Enormous and immersive 8K dome screen is a great alternative to VR
If you love the idea of virtual reality, but hate having to wear a headset, this is going to appeal to you.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK has come up with an ultra high-definition immersive experience, featuring a rounded 8K projection dome screen that wraps around a moving seat.
Riders strap into a chairs that move in sync with the footage, making it feel as though you’re moving with the camera.
The attraction was first shown at SXSW this year, featuring a five-minute long flyby of Tokyo, taking you through popular spots in the city, like Shibuya, Asakusa and above the Tokyo Sky Tree in different periods.
While the ride’s giant screen is sufficient to cover your field of vision, we’d hardly call it VR — you don’t get the depth you might have get from a stereoscopic headset.
The hemispherical screen is called the WonderVision Sphere 5.2 — 5.2 being the width of the screen in meters (or 17 feet), and has a seat capable of moving in six axes.
The footage was shot with a single 8K camera, and the whole system took about four hours to assemble, according to CNET Japan.
“Unlike the conventional flat screen, you can see images coming closer to you physically in this dome screen,” Makoto Nakahira, an engineer at WonderVision, told Phys.Org.
We’re reminded of the IMAX Dome theatres that do something similar.
We’re reminded of the IMAX Dome theatres that do something similar, placing a cinema-size audience in the arc of a huge curved screen.
NHK is pushing 8K content ahead of the 2020 Games. The broadcaster first had a live 8K broadcast of the Rio Olympics’ opening ceremony last year, and it first showcased the next-generation step up from 4K back in 2014.
The world is catching up. Facebook launched its first 8K ultra-high definition Surround 360 virtual camera back in April, and GoPro’s Omni (which is basically just six Hero4 GoPros in a cube) was announced last year.
The ride is slated to go on display for Tokyo’s Digital Content Expo, which will be held in October.
(h/t Japan Times)