The other day I saw the future. I’m not even kidding, it was how I imagine a person seeing a light bulb, a car, or that peanut butter and jelly mixed together in the same jar for the first time must have felt.
My Peek Into the Future
It was one of those increasingly rare moments where I felt something completely new, and realized how important it will be to us in the coming years. Probably how my parents felt the first time they used a cell phone. How did I get to peak into the future of all things film, television, and media? All I had to do was put on a headset.
I have long been a fan of Lionsgate’s innovative marketing strategy, and even wrote about them as recently as a few weeks ago. But what I saw the other day was a complete game changer. Lionsgate is currently partnered with Samsung for the upcoming film in the Divergent series, Insurgent, but it wasn’t until I was able to face a fear landscape in a wholly immersive 360° narrative experience that I could fully grasp how truly incredible this technology is.
My personal experience starts by sitting in a chair, much like the ones seen in the films. I was asked to place Samsung Gear™ VR goggles, powered by the Galaxy Note® 4, on and to plug in headphones. Sitting there with my senses so obstructed was a little unnerving at first, but moments later it was like being transported headfirst into a different world.
Suddenly, I wasn’t myself anymore. I looked down at my hands and clothes that didn’t belong to me. I was sitting in a different room; surrounded by unfamiliar faces, save for Kate Winslet’s character Jeanine. I don’t want to spoil anything further, but you’re put into two fear landscapes and Miles Teller and Mekhi Phifer’s characters (Peter and Max) make quick appearances.
No one is denying that Lionsgate’s simulation is a glorified advertisement for Insurgent. But it’s important to look at the bigger picture. This is a new form of storytelling - art that's captured in every angle, and quite possibly a brave step forward into the future of entertainment.
Now, It's Your Turn
You might be saying to yourself, “Sure, you got to experience this. Awesome. But what does that have to do with me?” Well, that’s the best part!
Starting today the Insurgent VR app became available on both iOS and Android. It includes an exclusive clip from Insurgent as well as the virtual reality experience. While the app is a pretty fantastic feat on it's own, being able to participate in the full immersive experience (chair and all) is well within reach.
People in New York (myself included) were already treated to the Shatter Reality experience this past week. But fans in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Austin will get the chance next.
The weather actually warms up a bit this weekend in Chi-town, and I'd SERIOUSLY suggest hitting the Pier for this rare slice of VR majesty. You won't regret it. Plus, at each location, there will be a dedicated chair and entrance for Press, Field “Fast Pass Winners,” and Samsung Galaxy Owners.
People who attend the tour will be able to leave the dreary March weather behind by sitting in an Erudite testing chair, plugging into the Samsung Gear VR, and escaping reality for a bit.
If you don’t live in one of the touring cities, fear not! Starting this weekend (March 7-8) select Best Buy stores across the country will host the simulation on Samsung Gear VR. While you can get the gist by simply using the app on your phone, viewing it on Samsung Gear VR is the way it was built to be seen and it's an unparalleled experience.
Let's Shatter Reality, Together
Ten years from now, virtuality reality will likely be commonplace in every avenue of entertainment. But it feels great to be able to take part in it while it's still in the infancy stage.
Whether you view this experience as a way to look in the world of Divergent, or to look into the future, it's pretty incredible and well worth the time.
Trust me, everyone should experience the Insurgent VR, at the very least just to say that they did. I've said it before and I'll say it again: This is the future, people, and you don't want to get left behind.
[Insurgent](movie:949018) will hit theaters across the country starting March 20, 2015.