'The Void' virtual reality theme park will have 'holodeck' rooms

Virtual reality headsets are about to go mainstream as Oculus is becoming available to buy next year. In the wake of new VR developments, a brand new type of theme park is emerging. It's time to enter The Void. VR gamers will be able to immerse themselves in experiences not unlike Star Trek's holodeck or The Matrix, as physical surroundings will mirror whatever VR environment they are in. The Void plans to be the first Virtual Entertainment Center or VEC of its kind. It's set to open its first location in Pleasant Grove, Utah and plans to open other locations around the world.

In its ambitious undertaking, The Void is planning 16 different 60 x 60 ft rooms to act as physical stages for various VR environments. The designers plan on changing out the virtual stages every three months, so players always have something new to experience. By merging the physical world with the virtual realm, players will get to experience a much deeper immersion than if they were simply wearing a headset while gaming from the couch.

Among the planned experiences are a haunted house, dinosaur safari and futuristic battlefields featuring competitive or co-op modes. The last of which sounds like a VR twist on 90's laser tag. With the physical landscape matching the VR scenery, if you're peering at dinosaurs from behind a boulder, you will feel the rocky surface beneath your grip. The designers are planning for other 4D elements like blasts of air, moisture, temperature changes, smells, and vibrations that you can interact with as you explore each virtual world.

If 16 ever-changing rooms of VR entertainment aren't enough, The Void is also planning motion simulators to pair with VR environments like mech battles, and space exploration. So, as you fly around in an aerial battle, you could feel your ship go into a nosedive or barrel roll.

The Void isn't planning on using Oculus for its VR headsets. The VEC won't be using competitor, Crescent Bay, either. Instead, The Void is being ambitious and using a VR headset of its own design, the Rapture HMD.

This new style of theme park be the ultimate playground for virtual reality gaming. It has a host of other applications as well. By merging phsyical stages with VR, it could move beyond amusement and prove to be the future of police and military training grounds.

Source: CNet