The Cricket

Company plans to bring full virtual-reality experiences to Utah

First Published      Last Updated Jul 16 2016 08:05 pm

A Utah company plans to open a series of "virtual entertainment centers" for cutting-edge virtual reality game-playing.

The VOID, based in Lindon, announced Tuesday plans to open the first "virtual entertainment center," or VEC, sometime in early 2016 in a facility in Pleasant Grove.

The company will use proprietary hardware and software to "allow guests to truly live virtually any adventure," said James Jenson, The VOID's co-founder and chief technological officer, in a statement.

Added Ken Bretschneider, the company's CEO and other co-founder, "we are fulfilling a promise of what a virtual reality experience can and should be. Until now, we have only seen experiences like The VOID portrayed in science fiction films and novels."

Guests will be able to enter a "game pod," wearing a custom-made "Rapture" HMD (head mounted display) and vest, to provide 3-D visuals, sound, tactile response (called "haptic feedback") and location tracking. The facilities will be equipped to simulate changes in elevation, vibrations, heat and cold sensations, moisture, and simulated liquids and smells.

The simulations will range from fantasy forests to alien planets, the company said. Co-op and multiplayer options will be available, and the gameplay will be family-friendly.