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Virtual Reality Theme Park Will Offer the Best VR Experience to Everyone – THE VOID Exclusive

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The Vision Of Infinite Dimensions (THE VOID), the world’s first Virtual Reality (VR) theme park, will open its doors in Pleasant Grove, Utah, in the summer 2016. THE VOID will combine physical environments with VR technology to offer the ultimate entertainment experience.

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“At THE VOID you will walk into new dimensions and experience worlds without limits,” says THE VOID’s website. “From fighting intergalactic wars on alien planets, to casting spells in the darkest of dungeons, The Void presents the Future of Entertainment.”

Only limited by imagination, our advanced Virtual-Reality technologies allow you to see, move, and feel our digital worlds in a completely immersive and realistic way.

The Void will offer its own special line of high performance virtual reality interface gears, dubbed “Rapture” which includes headsets (image below), gloves, and body suits with haptic feedback that will allow visitors to see impressive virtual worlds and play games in full 3D, 360-degree immersion, walk in VR, and touch virtual objects. Like the Disney theme parks, THE VOID will be a social experience to enjoy with friends.

Hacked reached out to Gregg Jensen and Devin McGinn, respectively Chief Software Architect and Director of Creative Media at THE VOID, to find out more.

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Jensen is responsible for developing THE VOID as a platform. He designed and built many of the APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), that make global tracking as well as the 4D effects possible. He implemented the current user interface that runs the experiences and tracks the status of the packs, and integrated the system that builds and deploys the experiences to all machines in a single click. Currently, he is leading a team to architect and implement THE VOID’s online reservation system, which will be expanded to included avatar creation and micro transactions.

McGinn kindly answered the questions below.

Being Able to Literally Walk Through These Worlds Changes Everything

THE VOIDCould you describe THE VOID in a short sentence?

THE VOID is fulfilling the true promise of VR as a place people can come and not just play a game or watch a movie, but actually live them.

What’s your business model?

If you think about how a high-end movie theatre operates your getting close. People can watch trailers and book times for their experiences just as one might do when going to see a movie. This is one of the ways we avoid people having to stand in line. In addition, the experience begins the moment you walk through our doors. It will be a fascinating, imaginative and social place where people can spend hours with their friends and family.

Virtual reality has been hyped a lot since the 90s, but it hasn’t been adopted by consumers besides a few hardcore gamers. Can the Rift and other next-generation VR interfaces change that?

We love those systems, but they still have a pretty big price barrier and controller learning curve, not to mention the sickness issues some people have when seated. One of the most important things in getting consumers to adopt VR, is getting a fantastic experience out to the general public.

That’s exactly what our VOID Virtual Entertainment Centers are positioned to do. You don’t have to be a high end gamer with thousands of dollars of hardware to have a fantastic VR experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re a grandparent who has never touched a game controller, or a young child who just wants to be a wizard for a while. At THE VOID we’re making the best VR experience accessible to everyone.

What unique experiences will THE VOID continue to offer to VR-savvy consumers with powerful VR interfaces at home?

Our “Rapture” hardware isn’t confined by the same price point limitations as the home market. This allows us to create the absolute best of the best experiences. Also, walking cannot be overstated. As simple as that sounds, as a gamer we are accustomed to sitting in a chair and holding a controller. In recent years we have even been able to stand in our living room and flail our arms around a bit. But putting on a VR headset, seeing a whole world before you and then simply naturally walking forward to explore it is incredibly powerful.

Though you are exploring a fixed physical space, by using a technique we call “The Infinite Hallway” we can make you feel as though you are walking for miles and never entering the same room twice. Being able to literally walk through these worlds changes everything. You simply cannot get that experience at home.

Are you open to collaborations with entrepreneurs who wish to establish VOID-branded VR theme parks in their area?

We are open to partnering with select groups when it makes sense within our business structure and are currently exploring some of those potential partnerships. However, we don’t see THE VOID falling into a franchise model.

So when will you sell to Disney?

Ha! We see THE VOID as an incredibly strong brand and don’t have plans to part with it anytime soon, though as I stated above we are certainly open to partnerships when the fit is right.

What do you think of the recently announced Jaunt funding round by top investors including Disney, and the possible evolution of Disney theme parks into VR theme parks?

The Jaunt funding is very cool, as it seems like the natural evolution in cinema. It differs from what we are doing, in that I imagine it will still be a seated passive experience. However, as a movie lover I’m excited to see where it goes. As far as Disney possibly moving toward VR I think it makes sense, as we believe this really is the future of entertainment.

The thing about it, is that’s a once a year destination. We imagine THE VOID more like a high-end movie theatre or Imax screen. Most people will eventually have one within driving distance and will visit it multiple times throughout the year. Besides, who’s to say those Disney experiences won’t be powered by THE VOID.

Images from THE VOID.

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Artificial Intelligence

Students Create Doom AI Which Learns Visually and Kills Humans in Deathmatch

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Two students from Carnegie Mellon University recently placed second in an artificial intelligence competition for their submission of a program that was able to learn the game Doom the same way humans do – by playing.

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Communication

Sony Introduces 2FA for PlayStation Users

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In a long-awaited and overdue move, Sony has finally introduced two-factor authentication to PlayStation users who can now enable the security feature on their PlayStation Network (PSN) accounts.

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Five years after suffering a devastating hack that compromised the user details of some 77 million PlayStation Network users, Sony has introduced two-factor authentication (2FA) on PSN accounts. Sony confirmed the news with a tweet last night, explaining how the feature works.

“By requiring two forms of identification for sign-in, your account and personal information will be better protected.” Sony wrote in its blog.

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Users will be asked to provide a verification code that will be texted to their mobile phones at the time of signing into their PSN account. While the feature isn’t hack-proof (nothing is, really), it provides a much-needed extra layer of protection that a large platform like the PlayStation Network, with over 100 million uses, deserves.

Sony PS 2FA

Sony added:

Passwords can be compromised if you use the same password for multiple accounts, click on malicious links, open phishing emails and other methods.

If your password is compromised and becomes known to someone other than yourself, your account will still require a verification code to gain access when you activate 2-Step Verification.

With the feature, Sony caught up with its console rival Microsoft. The Redmond-based software giant had introduced 2FA for Xbox back in 2013, during the days of Xbox 360. Other platforms which sees millions of users such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and others have been offering 2FA security for years.

It is perhaps baffling that Sony took as long as it did to introduce 2FA security, after the 2011 breach. At the time, the hack had Sony admitting that names, email addresses, billing addresses, account passwords and some credit card numbers were all exposed. The fallout saw Sony fined by the UK government. Furthermore, Sony also agreed to a settlement in a class action lawsuit, worth millions, granting PSN users in the United States the means to claim damages if they suffered identity theft as a result of the data breach.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Fun Hacks

British Whizz Kid Hacks Pokemon Go; Catches Monsters Without Breaking a Sweat

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Pokemon Go

A 25-year-old British former computer science student has discovered a loophole in the popular Pokemon Go allowing him to catch Pokemon without leaving the comfort of his home.

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According to reports, players of the game have resorted to donating thousands of pounds to keep Mark Gore’s ‘bot’ running. Five lawyers are alleged to have urged him to remove the programme.

Mr Gore has stated that his loophole wasn’t designed to take the fun out of the game, which is reported to have seen users harassed by police for walking into restricted areas, according to the British tabloid newspaper, the Sun.

He stated that it was easy exploiting the game, which was created by Niantic. Gore said that over 24,000 people worldwide had been using his site to take advantage of his ‘bot’.

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He said:

I don’t think I’m spoiling people’s fun. If you look at the age bracket of people playing this game, it’s not all teenagers playing. There are a lot of people who work all day and don’t have the time to spend hours each day going out and catching Pokemon.

He added that those who want to can run the program in the comfort of their own home for two hours a day and still maintain the same level of fun to those who walk around collecting Pokemon.

While it certainly adds a level of safety to the game, does it not take away the authentic feel of it too?

Featured image from Matthew Corley via Shutterstock.

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