Marriot hotels is trialing a new entertainment service that would bring Virtual Reality into your rooms with a Samsung VR headset and headphones. The team up of Marriot and Samsung are calling it the “Vroom Service” and are testing it for a couple of week in their New York and London hotels. The VR headsets and headphones will be delivered direct to a guest’s bedroom where they can enjoy an “in-room virtual reality travel experience.”
Last September Marriot had tried a full sensory simulator that utilized an Oculus Rift heasdset with environmental control (i.e., wind, smell, temperature) for giving virtual guided tours of Hawaii and London.
Coinciding with the Vroom Service will be “VR Postcards”, an all-new VR content platform that provides an “intimate and immersive travel stories that users experience in 360 3D via a virtual reality headset”. Matthew Carroll VP at Marriot Hotels says “VRoom combines storytelling with technology, two things that are important to next generation travelers.” Some of your first VR experiences will be an ice-cream shop in Rwanda, Chile’s Andes Mountains, and the streets of Beijing.
If VR just isn’t your thing, Marriot also locked down Netflix (jobs at Netflix) for your hotel room TV. Sweet!
So you ask yourself, what else besides virtual tours is going on with the Samsung VR headset? Do you like the Orchestra?
Started September 11th and running through October, the LA Philharmonic’s Immortal Beethoven festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall will be available this month as a download called Orchestra VR from the Samsung VR and Oculus Rift app stores. This VR app puts you in the middle of an orchestra as it performs Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
This is the first time the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra has produced virtual reality content that puts you in the middle of a symphony performance as it plays Beethoven. Working with the interactive agency Secret Location, it was shot in the Walt Disney Concert Hall with modified Go-Pro’s to create 3D spherical cameras.
The project leverages Oculus (jobs at Oculus) technology with the Samsung Gear VR headset that puts you right into the symphony hall. You’ll have a 360 degree view of the performance from all angles, perhaps more engaging is the light show and amazing use of enhanced colors.
For five weeks, the LA Philharmonic is created an artificial environment out of a converted truck where you will be able to experience the orchestra right down to the seating and carpeting, but you’ll be viewing the experience through the headsets. The truck will be driving around to art walks, museums, parks, the Los Angeles County Fair, the annual Korean festival, and many other events to share this experience. It’s being called Van Beethoven.
Yes, we know that Samsung isn’t the only black stallion in the VR game. News is that the former CEO and co-founder of smartphone company HTC has joined forces with visual effects studio Digital Domains in Hong Kong. Peter Chou’s move seems very strategic considering HTC (jobs at HTC) is now releasing their own VR headset which is getting much notice because of its high quality spacial control, minimizing VR motion nausea.
Digital Domain has worked on the visuals for more than 100 movies, including Iron Man 3, the Transformers series, and Titanic. It appears HTC is planning much more than just a VR gaming and entertainment platform; medical science, training, architecture and interest zones yet to be thought up. This expansion into new territory sounds very much like the VR company zSpace we recently wrote about. Digital Domain has always pushed the envelope in motion capture and computer generated imagery, so the synergy between the hardware, software and content could revolutionize media.
Unfortunately you’ll have to wait till the beginning of 2016 to get one and you may have to stand in line since initial quantities will be limited.