LANDMARK ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
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Simultaneously Presents Companion Application ‘Pavilion of Me™’ Platform That Integrates Virtual Reality Into Everyday Home Entertainment
Landmark Entertainment Group has taken inspiration from its theme park design heritage and the long-standing World’s Fair tradition to create the concept for the “Virtual World’s Fair™,” a virtual reality experience loaded with real-time social interaction, entertainment, education, and shopping, just like a traditional world’s fair, but designed to be enjoyed in-home rather than as a real-world travel destination.
Landmark’s Virtual World’s Fair has been developed in conjunction with the Pavilion of Me ™ (P.O.M.™) concept, a daily-use in-home entertainment portal that reimagines everyday activities such as checking social media, online shopping, watching film and TV content, video chat, and playing video games into virtual reality experiences.
The Virtual World’s Fair will be accessed through the P.O.M. portal donning a VR headset; first-time users will create a personalized avatar, and then journey into the Virtual World’s Fair embodied in their newly customized digital persona. Both the P.O.M. and Virtual World’s Fair will enable social interactions with other people’s avatars (including family, friends, celebrities, world leaders and even total strangers) from around the world.
P.O.M. is scheduled to launch next year, with the complete Virtual World’s Fair experience to follow in 2017.
“Virtual World’s Fair is a concept we’ve been developing for the past 12 months,” said Tony Christopher, President & CEO of Landmark Entertainment Group. “We used our expertise in the theme park and live entertainment space to create a virtual destination for all ages. This is a place where you’ll spend from moments to hours each time you visit, and return to repeatedly, either solo or with your friends and family in tow, just as you would a real-world theme park. It will be the greatest never-ending show on Earth.”
Initially, there will be four distinct ‘lands’ within The Virtual World’s Fair:
‘Intencity’ – will showcase some of the world’s greatest advancements in technology, design and art through pavilions and exhibitions hosted by major brands, countries and organizations
‘Dataland’ – is a child’s first virtual reality experience, an entertainment and education wonderland for children
‘Passportal’ – is where the world is just a virtual step away; users can experience virtual travel to exotic destinations and international events such as national parks and monuments, capital cities, concerts, international festivals and holiday festivities
‘The Tower of Humanity’ – is a celebration of the world we live in, and where the world’s biggest and most important issues are experienced, empathized with, debated and acted upon by global citizens
“Trailblazing a new and innovative medium like virtual reality is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” added Christopher. “While the foundation of the Virtual World’s Fair concept is heavily entertainment driven, it will also be a place to interact with others, encourage curiosity and exploration, and contribute to solving the world’s biggest issues.”
Pavilion of Me was also inspired by Landmark’s traditional theme park work, borrowing from Landmark’s theme park design concept of ‘play patterns’ to help lay the foundation for mass consumer adoption of virtual reality.
“‘Play Patterns’ refers to the daily behaviors or patterns that consumers exhibit when going about their daily lives,” notes Christopher. “When we conceptualize attractions in the theme park business, we carefully think these patterns through to make sure that the end-to-end attraction experience for consumers is seamless and compatible with those comfortable, natural, daily human behaviors.”
The Pavilion of Me platform will include five rooms:
Communications – where users will be able to browse the Internet, utilize popular social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Instagram in a virtual reality setting
Memories – a space to view photos and videos as an entertaining, immersive experience
Entertainment – a place where users can listen to music, watch movies and TV from their hard drives or from services such as Hulu, Netflix or Amazon and play video games, alone or with friends
P.O.M. Lounge – where users can customize their own personal space, invite their friends to chat, hangout
Shopping – where users can enjoy a more immersive online shopping experience in VR
Throughout the P.O.M. experience, users will have their own “personal assistant” and “pet” of their choice to assist and entertain them.
“It’s actually quite simple,” added Christopher. “P.O.M. takes everything you already enjoy doing on your computer or mobile device, and makes it more theatrical – more fun, and completely immersive. This is a critical step toward establishing virtual reality as a daily experience, rather than a techie / enthusiast curiosity.”
Oppenheimer recently published a report on the state of the virtual reality industry, identifying some of the key obstacles to mass consumer adoption. Among the concerns was the limited amount of virtual reality content available to warrant the purchase of a headset, as well as the social and psychological impact of isolationist experiences, which thus far have been the only option.
Landmark agrees that solving these issues is a critical component in the successful adoption of VR by a broad mass audience and believes that Pavilion of Me and Virtual World’s Fair provide a solution to both those issues. P.O.M. layers virtual reality on top of existing services and content, which means that people can experience an almost unlimited amount of content as an integrated virtual reality experience for the first time. Virtual World’s Fair organizes experiences by ‘lands,’ using a natural-feeling metaphor of place to help users navigate and discover all of the available content enabling a robust experience. The volume, variety and imaginativeness of the experiences will draw in users for repeat visits to experience new attractions, to learn and to interact with other users just as they would in a traditional theme park or traditional world’s fair. Both the Virtual World’s Fair and the P.O.M. will enable two-way, multi-user interaction within a single virtual space, thereby powering a social, rather than isolating, virtual reality experience.
Landmark Entertainment Group previously announced an out-of-home virtual reality entertainment and retail destination known as the L.I.V.E. Centre™ in June. The L.I.V.E. Centre is a mixed virtual reality and augmented reality experience encompassing a virtual zoo, a digital art gallery, a virtual museum, a 4D theater, and immersive cinema with futuristic themed retail, all housed inside a 200,000 square foot physical destination.
“Some of the virtual reality projects we are developing today are based on ideas we had back in the mid 1990s but abandoned because the technology wasn’t quite there yet,” said Christopher. “The technology has now caught up, so it’s no longer science fiction. That virtual reality future we envisioned years ago is finally here.”
While Landmark continues to advance its own VR intellectual property and original content projects, the company will also serve as a virtual reality creative content studio for brands looking to create virtual reality stories.