immersivecomputing @ Sky4DVR, Westfield, London

Visited June 2017

Sometimes the best experiences are the surprise ones, unexpected but very welcome.

During a visit to one of the Westfield shopping centres in London, I noticed a futuristic booth with Sky 4DVR branding and a lady wearing a HTC Vive VR headset.

Walking closer I saw an HTC Vive and Vive wand in the booth, both covered with white Hyperkin sleeves, which looked very cool. The Vive was fitted with the new DAS (Deluxe Audio Strap) but with the headphones removed.

The demo area was relatively large with a floor plate, air vents and camera on one side.

Vibrating floor plate for haptic feedback
Hot and cold air vents and GoPro camera

After speaking with the friendly people running the booth I was soon handed the Vive headset and a single controller, and a lovely pair of Sennheiser headphones to wear.

HTC Vive with Hyperkin sleeve

Stepping into the demo area, I realized the floor plate was actually a heavy duty vibration unit, whilst the air vents blasted hot and cold air across the area. A single GoPro camera was busy filming each demo so the Sky staff could email a copy to each attendee.

VR inside a shopping centre is quite novel

The content was created by UK based film special effects company “Framestore” which meant super high quality assets and a very polished experience.

The ice king from Game of Thrones

I started in a kitchen as formula 1 cars zoomed around me, some footballers playing around me, and then an amazing section with the “Ice king” from The game of thrones…wow!

The icy air from the air vents and vibrations as he came closer were very convincing!

Awesome Sennheiser headphones and Vive DAS
Formula 1 cars in the kitchen!
Vive base station for steamVR tracking

Overall a very high quality experience which shows how the extra budget associated with television and film companies can be used to create very effective and memorable VR experiences.

Placing this inside a very busy shopping centre is a huge win to expose many new people to VR in a good way.

Thanks to Sky 4DVR for the free experience.

Thanks for reading! Rob Cole, immersivecomputing


Human exploration of the immersive computing interface