We have a slight bias for all things New York City, it’s our home and we love it here. So it is always fun for us to take a look in our own backyard to see what is going on in the Virtual Reality landscape. Equipped with an unlimited metrocard and a few cups of coffee we hit the streets to experience all the VR we could get our hands on. As always, we welcome feedback.
Address: 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
We actually raced past all of the wax figures to get to the experience, that’s how excited we were. And we were not disappointed. Created by The VOID (Vision Of Infinite Dimensions) this Hyper-reality experience sets the bar for an immersive VR experience. The VOID teamed up with Sony Pictures to develop their first public installation based on the studio’s Ghostbuster Franchise. You strap on your proton pack, grab your proton gun (remember not to cross streams!) and get ready. As soon as the experience begins you are immersed in another world. We won’t give away the specifics, better you find out on your own. Just be ready when the ghosts attack you. And they will.
Address: 808B Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215
We are very excited about this new VR offering. Maybe because it is in my zip code. vrbar is Brooklyn’s first and only virtual reality arcade. Offering experiences on the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Gear VR. Want to climb Mount Everest? I do! Explore Tatooine? Yup. Paint in three dimensions? Roger that. vrBar offers a range of experiences, games, and films to let you explore this entirely new world of storytelling.
Address: 25 Madison Ave, NY NY 10010
This place is just cool. Check all of Sony’s latest technology along with the Carry Me VR Experience. Join music superstar Kygo in this incredible VR experience inspired by the hit song, “Carry Me”.
Location: 250 Kalahari Blvd., Pocono Manor, PA 18349
So not NYC, but a short drive and worth it. The Kalahari resorts just opened The Arena. One of the only free-roaming, open air, Virtual Reality experiences in the US. Powered by Zero Latency out of Australia, The Arena offers two separate VR experiences. Zombies and a kid-friendly fantasy world. We really have never tried anything like this before. As a bonus, the Kalahari resort itself is an amazing place, complete with water park, arcade, restaurants, and a spa.
Address: 355A Bowery, NY 10003
We covered our experience with Jump Into the Light in a separate article, but most certainly wanted to revisit the highlights here. This list would not be complete without them. Jump Into the Light is America’s first Virtual Reality Cinema and Play Lab. With multiple VR experiences ranging from 360 videos to Tilt Brush by Google, Jump Into Light provides customers with a great introduction into the world of VR. Oh, did we mention you can scan yourself? It is the ultimate selfie.
Address: 285 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10007
Your adventure begins as soon as you get on the elevator. As the elevator rises, so too does the Manhattan skyline. From farmland to what we know today the elevator ride make you wish all elevators were like this. Once you reach the observation deck you are given a special “Explorer iPad” which allows you to “scan” the Manhattan skyline. This is a great use of augmented reality and demonstrates AR’s potential. Simply look at the skyline through the iPad, click on what interests you and get flown there to get history highlights, video content and more.
Address: 837 Washington St, NYC
Manhattan’s Meatpacking District is one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods, only fitting that a cool VR experience is located here. Samsung 837 is a flagship store in the Samsung family. It is a combination of showroom and event space. All of the latest Samsung technology is here for you to test and play with. It should be noted, you cannot buy anything. This is a showroom only. Ride a virtual roller coaster, experience a photo gallery of 360 pictures, and while you are there – get a 360 photo of yourself. Once you’re done and have worked up an appetite go check out the amazing restaurants the Meatpacking District offers.
Address: 1280 Lexington Ave New York, NY 10028
Kill two VR birds with one stone. You can demo the new Oculus Touch controllers with its Rift virtual reality headset as well as Sony’s PlayStation VR. Oculus games include Touch Tutorial, VR Sports Challenge, Unspoken, The Climb (with added Touch controls) and Medium.
Address: 128 E. 86th St, NY, NY 10028
So if you’ve already made the trip to Best Buy head over to GameStop to check out the HTC Vive. Designed from the ground up for room-scale interaction, VIVE delivers an immersive and delightful experience for seated, standing and room-scale experiences. Let us know which VR experiences you have tried and which one is your favorite. Check their website for times.
What did we miss, what are your favorites? Let’s talk VR!
by Craig Stanland