Google, IMAX scrap plans for VR camera

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A joint project by Google and IMAX to develop a Virtual Reality movie-quality camera has been tentatively scrapped.

IMAX has already invested in various pilot and experimental projects to create VR centres at some of its cinema sites, which a year ago was highlighted by the company as representing a significant growth opportunity. A year later and Variety reports that one of its two VR centres in New York has been closed, and another in Shanghai was closed in July.

IMAX says the pilot installations were very much in the review stage, but Variety says that the problem is less the technology but the lack of VR entertainment content and the pricing model for in-theatre use of headsets.

“We’ve currently paused the development of the IMAX VR camera while we continue to review the viability of our pilot programme,” said a statement from IMAX to Variety.

The project was announced back in May 2016 by IMAX at Google’s annual developer conference, and described as the mechanism where “today’s leading filmmakers and content creators to deliver the highest-quality 3D 360-degree content experiences to audiences worldwide.”

IMAX, at the time, said that some of the industry’s biggest and most visionary filmmakers including Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay, Anthony and Joe Russo, and Zack Snyder, were interested in the technology.


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