philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Kevin Williams: LBVR is not dead, it is rising again

... the reality of LBE VR post-COVID is a nuanced one. The industry has always had hygiene at the top of our needs, as with the bowling industry (shoes), the go-kart (helmets), and the 3D theater (glasses) regarding cleaning. The LBE VR scene is pushing the use of UV-C to great effect, and our cleaning protocols (such as the HOLOGATE Standard) are deployed to keep guests safe. Protocols that some in other industries are now copying.

...To be frank I look forward to seeing how the Quest 2 deals in a Standalone market that will have competition next year from the new Sony PSVR2, along with Pico, Panasonic, and Samsung Standalone systems without walled gardens. We will get to see if a closed ecosystem against an open development market will work, and how much the Facebook login issues will impact buying habits.

The VOID was already in difficulties before COVID lockdown. it seems like with AMC and other big entertainment operations the debt was magnified when the ticket tap was turned off for a period. ... Once we know the situation with regards to Disney support of the VOID, and if the rumors are true, then we will know if they are going to survive.

What is your outlook for LBE VR in 5 years?

I envisage that LBE VR will be less about VR. The move towards more XR platforms in our sector has gained momentum, the use of new project mapping systems that can generate an immersive environment with a level of image quality far surpassing the current and future headsets is a strong draw, and also offer unencumbered immersion.

What are your future plans instead?

As a specialist consultancy in this sector, I am working with investors on these new Location-Based entertainment venue concepts. I am working with developers of new LBE XR hardware to be deployed into the market. I am working on a new media service to get the message out to the industry, and also trying to hunt down the next generation of immersive technology. It’s not a matter of “instead”, it’s a continuation of business.

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