A new video has released announcing the existence and showcasing the work of the ILM Experience Lab (shortened to ILMxLAB). The newly formed division of ILM and parent company Lucasfilm is exploring experiential interactive entertainment opportunities for Star Wars and other properties like Jurassic Park, with a particular focus on the use of virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift.
The video announcing the program shows off some early experiments, including a virtual reality program that allows a user to interact with a Velociraptor, as well as a very video game-like interactive Star Wars speeder sequence that sees the user zipping beneath the legs of a massive AT-AT walker.
The new program is drawing on the talents of ILM’s story team, Industrial Light and Magic’s technical team, and the folks at Skywalker sound, all in pursuit of exploring new avenues for interactive engagement with these fictional universes.
Beyond virtual reality, ILMxLAB is working on opportunities in augmented reality, real-time cinema, and theme park applications. The video makes no mention of any retail facing projects at this time, but with Oculus Rift now scheduled for a public release in 2016, there’s no doubt that this video is only a first step for ILMxLAB.
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It comes as no surprise that the highly successful Lucasfilm would be interested in tapping into new paths into entertainment, like those provided by virtual reality, but it's certainly exciting to see such a concerted effort underway by the company. With the technical know-how present at ILM, it’s not hard to imagine that some of the earliest virtual reality success stories may eventually come from this newly announced group.