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Multi-user VR experiences could become the next frontier of entertainment, but only if it has the infrastructure in place to support it

Multi-user VR experiences could become the next frontier of entertainment, but only if it has the infrastructure in place to support it

New innovations designed to intensify the immersive experiences of VR could finally see the technology transcend its previous status as a niche, one-to-one format, to one that soon caters to mass audiences.

However, for organisations to successfully serve many customers at once rather than providing small-scale experiences, they will require technological support with the highest levels of speed, storage and connectivity, according to Greg McCulloch, CEO of Aegis Data.

Recently, it was reported that the world’s largest movie theatre company, AMC, entered into a partnership with the start-up Dreamscape Immersive, to bring VR experiences to North America and the U.K. Dreamscape creates room-scale, multi-person VR experiences, known as ‘location-based VR’ and has attracted the attention of Hollywood elites such as Steven Spielberg, Warner Bros. and 21st Century Fox.

 

Many suggest that these recent innovations could finally see VR start to stamp its unique presence in the entertainment industry – something that is already afoot in other areas of the sector, such as amusement parks; Thorpe Park’s VR ghost train, designed by Derren Brown, is one notable example.

 

Many suggest that these recent innovations could finally see VR start to stamp its unique presence in the entertainment industry – something that is already afoot in other areas of the sector, such as amusement parks; Thorpe Park’s VR ghost train, designed by Derren Brown, is one notable example.

 

McCulloch welcomes these advances, but in order for VR to be truly immersive while appealing to large-scale audiences, it is critical that the technological infrastructure is in place to support its demanding requirements:  

“Clearly, there is no denying the scope for VR, but many would argue that the current iterations of the technology are largely consigned to singular or one-off user experiences. Making it available at a large, broadcast scale will represent a real game-changer, allowing it to become the next frontier for entertainment, and evidence suggests this will soon become the reality."

— Greg McCulloch, CEO, Aegis Data

“Recently, we have seen a number of notable investments – after striking a $1.1 billion deal with Google, HTC renewed its interest in its Vive headset, contradicting reports from a month earlier that it had planned to drop it. Additionally, the partnership between AMC and Dreamscape, has the potential to revolutionise the entertainment industry, putting mass audiences at the heart of the action.”

“These innovations represent a really exciting time for VR, but in order for these immersive experiences to become truly that, it needs to be supported with the necessary connectivity, speed and storage capabilities to ensure it is delivered in the most flawless manner possible."

“Understanding the culture of the technology, particularly its consumption patterns, will be critical to this process. From an infrastructure perspective speed and connectivity will be essential. Historically, one of the criticisms levelled at VR has been its inability to handle the demands placed on it – something which will be particularly pertinent when rolling out to collective, large audiences. Having dedicated fibre connections to key Internet Exchanges will enable customers to benefit from high connectivity and speeds, allowing the user to have a seamless, unhindered experience.

 

“Additionally, as demand for more immersive experiences intensifies so will the data volumes generated from this grow rapidly. Because of this we’ll likely see a greater demand for high performance computing (HPC) capabilities, to ensure applications are able to run efficiently, reliably and quickly. By having the necessary data halls, which are able to deliver the high-density power and cooling required for the next generation of platforms such as HPC, customers can be reassured that the right capabilities are in place to grow their estates and help ensure that recent innovations in VR continue to blossom,” McCulloch concluded.

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