Holodome, the immersive virtual reality experience from the late Paul Allen, is all about transporting visitors to other worlds. And now the high-tech concept has traveled from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., for an unveiling at TED 2019.
Holodome has been on display at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture for a year, and just last month revealed a new interactive game called “Dome of the Dead: Escape the Bayou,” developed by Seattle-based VR company Endeavor One.
“Response to the Holodome at TED has been overwhelmingly positive,” Kamal Srinivasan, director of product development at Vulcan and Holodome’s product manager, told GeekWire on Tuesday. “We booked out on the first day of the conference.”
At TED, the traveling 20-foot by 20-foot Holodome has brought along two new experiences, with journeys that will take those who step inside the 360-degree video dome to Mount Everest and to a museum full of works by painter Claude Monet. A third offering, taking the viewer to a distant black hole, has been on display at MoPOP. Vulcan Inc. describes the experiences here:
- Everest: A Holodome Experience: Alongside two of the world’s top climbers, you’ll attempt to summit Mount Everest and neighboring Mount Lhotse without using bottled oxygen. You’ll feel the struggle as together you enter the oxygen-depleted “death zone,” are swallowed by an avalanche, and experience the elation of awe-inspiring vistas.
- Museum of Masters: Claude Monet: A magical journey into the frame of Impressionist master Claude Monet’s greatest masterpieces.
- Songs of Infinity: Journey Into a Black Hole: Fly through the farthest edges of the cosmos as it was one billion years ago. You’ll watch the formation of a new star, get sucked into a black hole, and vanish into nothingness.
Holodome’s shared immersive setting allows multiple users to enter the enclosed space and witness surround video and sound, along with haptic elements under foot, without the use of a headset.
Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who passed away last October, charged his team team at Vulcan Inc. several years ago with the task of thinking outside the traditional VR box and to change the trajectory of where immersive experiences could go.
The hope now is that by showing off the technology at conferences like TED, Holodome will attract the partners needed to bring the experience to customers in settings such as arcades, theme parks, stadiums and elsewhere.
— Holodome @ #TED2019 (@holodome360) April 15, 2019
Amazing day 1 @TEDTalks. The Holodome is running at full capacity & delighting guests. Ex-Vice Presidents, tech billionaires, and philanthropists all commented that it’s THE highlight of the show. We are booked solid but I may have a few walk up passes. Stay tuned! #TED2019 pic.twitter.com/lrWFa8UmRy
— Art Min (@artmin) April 16, 2019
— Art Min (@artmin) April 15, 2019
— Art Min (@artmin) April 14, 2019
— Mars Tanumihardja (@mtanu) April 15, 2019