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Google and IMAX Might Bring VR to Movie Theaters

VR at the movies? With Facebook’s professional 360-degree camera design schematics and Vuze’s affordable semi-pro 360-degree camera, lots of tools have been developed to make new and very exciting VR experiences for all those new headsets. But, if you’re wondering where your future VR summer blockbuster will come from, look no further than Google. In a partnership with IMAX announced at the Google I/O developer conference this week, the company announced that work is underway on a professional VR camera worthy of a superhero flick.

Details are scarce because the camera is still early in the planning stages, but Google has confirmed that the two companies will be building the new 360-degree camera rig “from the ground up” and it “will be built to utilize Jump, a platform for creating and viewing 3D 360 video.” But, the involvement of IMAX alone suggests that this camera will be meant for the creators and producers with the very deepest pockets. Who knows, maybe we’ll be watching future Star Wars and Marvel movies in glorious VR in the near future.

Of course, that means theaters will need to hand out VR rigs like 3D glasses, or just have them built into theater seats (probably the better idea, since a VR headset is maybe just a little more expensive than a pair of 3D glasses). Might those headsets be from Google? At I/O, Google introduced Daydream, a developer platform for VR experiences. While Daydream will probably be used mostly for Android games and other VR experiences, Google also took the opportunity to mention that they are working on their own VR headset. We’re just speculating here, but could that future Google headset be destined for movie theaters across the country? If Google is investing heavily in high-end VR content creation with the IMAX camera, it’s certainly more than possible.