Commercial Reality: Space-Facilitating Immersive Experiences

Published on
March 6, 2024
February 29, 2024

When the first generation of cinema was introduced in 1891 by the Edison company in the form of the Kinetoscope it only took a decade before it was a global commercial success with public screening parlors established worldwide. To a certain degree, next-generation digital experiences have followed a similar adoption curve in their early generations – as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been around for decades and are accessible across the world. However, until the last decade or so immersive experience technology was relatively fertile, even today it has great innovation and growth potential, but the recent developments have allowed created increasingly viable commercial use cases for immersive experiences.

The commercial reality is a commercial offering of digital reality or immersive experience, encapsulating the space, technology and designed virtual content and experience under one price. From a consumer lens, the model may not differ much from going to a cinema or arcade, but from an operational perspective, commercial reality differs in that the space and technology owners are directly involved in the development or heavily involved configuration of the content / designed experience. There is a spectrum as not all immersive space owners develop their own productions, but given the inherent involvement in configuring physical hardware and space with the immersive content, venue owners have more control and are more comprehensively involved in the entire experience the end participant undergoes.

Essentially, these providers have greater control of the digital reality they offer consumers, than other businesses in the realm of virtual entertainment have in the past. Software and game developers are limited by choice of hardware and headset, hardware providers have to build products for various scenarios and configurations. Commercial reality, offers an end-to-end experience for consumers, developing a reality as a product.

What are some examples of commercial reality?

Mukaab – Riyadh

The Mukaab is one of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s latest megaprojects envisioned as a top-tier hospitality hub, encompassing a wide array of retail and cultural hotspots, tourist magnets, residential and hotel accommodations. But its main feature is that it will provide an experience “created by digital and virtual technology with the latest holographics.” within the inside walls of the cube structure.

ARTECHOUSE – Washington, D.C.

Artechouse is a unique venue providing immersive and interactive art exhibitions. These exhibitions are not just to be observed, but to be experienced. The company has developed its own in-house creative and production studio capabilities.

The MSG Sphere – Las Vegas

The Sphere is an entertainment venue the first of it’s kind, boasting 580,000 square feet of LED displays on its exterior. Its interior includes the world’s largest LED screen, speakers with beamforming and wave field synthesis technologies, and 4D physical effects

What technologies are used?

Haptics (wearables, seating, wind, flooring + ultrasound)

Haptic technology can create tactile sensations that mimic real-world experiences. For example, seats might vibrate in sync with what’s happening on screen or wearable devices provide physical feedback to enhance virtual / augmented reality experiences.

Surround sound

Surround sound systems use multiple speakers placed around the venue to create a three-dimensional audio environment. This makes audiences feel like they’re in the middle of the action, enhancing the immersion and realism of the experience.

Projections

Projection technology can be used to display images or videos on large surfaces, such as walls or domes with the benefit of being able to display on non-flat surfaces.

Production lightning

Production lighting alters the mood and atmosphere of a venue, by controlling the intensity, direction, and colour of light, creators can guide audiences’s attention and enhance the storytelling.

LED displays

LED displays can show high-resolution images and videos. Often these displays are used to create realistic backgrounds or dynamic visual effects that captivate audiences.

VR and AR

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies can create interactive digital environments or overlay digital information onto the real world. We have seen many use cases such as arcades, escape rooms and roller coasters.

The implication on real estate

In conclusion, the rise of commercial reality and immersive experiences has significant implications for the real estate sector. As these technologies continue to evolve, they are reshaping the way we design and utilize physical spaces for modern entertainment. Commercial reality arises from the direct involvement of space and technology owners in content development and space configuration signifies a shift towards more integrated and comprehensive control over the end-user experience. More and more, asset owners will be poised the question

“Do we add a movie cinema or an immersive experience venue?”.

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