IMAX and its Chinese subsidiary have completed the first phase of a $50m funding to develop fully immersive virtual reality content, which will be used across 25 interactive VR platforms including its VR centres.
With the funds, IMAX and its partners from media, entertainment and technology sectors will develop high quality VR content over the next three years.
IMAX plans to target premium, event-style productions with Hollywood studio and filmmakers, along with gaming publishers and other leading content developers.
At present, its partners include IMAX China, Acer, Creative Artists Agency, China Media Capital, Enlight Media, The Raine Group, Studio City and WPP.
IMAX, in collaboration with Google is currently developing a cinema-grade virtual reality camera.
The company is in advanced discussion with several content developers including Hollywood studios and gaming publishers to use the camera.
The large-format film company looks to create immersive and interactive content which will allow users to see, feel, move and play in virtual reality world.
The company is also preparing to launch its first pilot VR centres in Los Angeles and in Manchester, England. It also targets other facilities in China, Japan, US, the Middle East and Western Europe in the coming months.
With these pilot VR centres, IMAX wants to test several parameters of VR content including overall consumer experience, pricing models and the type of content to be featured.
Based on the success of this pilot model, it can be taken to the next level, where the VR experience can be rolled out across the world in multiplexes, shopping centres and tourist destinations.
IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond said: “IMAX has built its legacy on using innovation and creative collaboration to drive the further adoption of new technologies.
“Today, we are expanding upon that legacy by teaming up with leaders across the media, entertainment and technology space to unlock a new level of premium, high-quality content for use throughout the VR ecosystem.
“We will be leveraging our collective relationships with world-class filmmakers and content creators to fund VR experiences that excite and attract a larger user base to capitalize on opportunities across all VR platforms including IMAX VR.”