Feb 02, 2016 11:10 AM EST

Movie Going To Be Changed Because of VR Technology

Virtual reality, an emerging technology, is about to change video gaming, and by extension, movie going as well. This direction was clearly manifested in the recent Sundance 2016 independent movie festival.

The event has featured more VR experiences than ever before. This technology is being featured in the New Frontier Program of the film festival which focuses on the latest and alternative types of creative expressions.

The president of Nokia Technologies, Ramzi Haidamus, said that virtual reality development for filmmakers has taken a long time. He currently leads the development of OZO, the first camera that offers virtual reality capabilities for Hollywood movie makers. Haidamus has been trying VR for years, saying that its technology has made huge improvements over the years.

Haidamus said that people's desire to be closely connected to stories and the appealing price point of VR is the 'perfect storm' for this technology in 2016.

Four years ago, a VR headset can only be bought for the price of $40,000. But that price has now fallen considerably. Today, there is the Oculus Rift VR headset that can be purchased at $600. It offers lifelike, immersive 3-D images in every direction. The wearer feels like he is really a part of the scene he is watching.

In contrast, more and more people are shying away from movie theaters. A report from The Numbers indicated that attendance in movie theaters are flattening in the face of strong competition from online streaming sites like Netflix and others. This spurs moviemakers in Hollywood to look at emerging technologies to attract moviegoers.

"The industry needs a new way (for moviegoers) to consume more immersive content without having to go to a theater," stated Haidamus. He added that film studios are collaborating with tech companies such as Nokia to make VR content.

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