The most interesting thing I discovered on this trip was the continuous theme of creating immersive experiences throughout all the companies we visited. Whether it be Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality technology, Dolby Digital’s Atmos system, or Delfi’s instillations, all are design with the goal of fully immersing the audience, therefore creating new and exciting experiences.

It seems like younger generations are continually demanding more from their sources of entertainment. To meet this demand, technology companies are finding ways to really bring entertainment to the next level. Dolby really proved this to me when they showed us their Atmos theatre experience. With more detailed surround sound and super high quality image projection, this technology makes watching a movie in a cinema much more exciting because it really creates an experience that deeply satisfies one visually and audibly.

Delfi, although mostly works with designing installations for events, trade shows and museums, also operates with this goal. They work through a design process that produces a product that immerses and excites audiences within a physical area, using various structures and technology. I found it fascinating to see the design process utilized to design a unique experience, rather than a product or service. And also how both new and old technology can be used to enhance it to provide Delfi’s clients with a experience to then provide to their customers in order to leave a memorable impression on them.

Virtual reality is constantly discussed when exploring new technology, and rightfully so. The Oculus Rift VR system is one of the most advanced systems on the market today and has huge potential in changing the entertainment industry in many areas. While gaming is currently the main use of VR and the Rift is a gaming headset, I learned on this trip that VR will push past gaming into a more experiential  use. Soon people will be able to create any type of experience imaginable using this technology.

And this concept of immersive experience goes beyond entertainment, offering a broad basis for different applications. Experiencing and exploring products from anywhere in the world becomes possible. Training in certain occupations, like pilots or surgeons could utilize these technologies. It seems that, in the future, the physical world will be adjoined by a virtual space in which experiences are endless.

By Alex Stewart.

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