Dubai‘s known for pushing boundaries so where better to introduce a new form of hyper-reality. Combining digital and physical worlds, guests are transported into Ghostbusters: Dimension – the question is though, is it worth your time?
Located on the shore of The Beach at JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence), The Void is hard to miss – brightly lit, perched on the edge of the sand, it doesn’t give many clues away as to what’s hidden inside.
The Void – What’s it all about?
THE VOID uses Hyper-Reality — a combination of physical sets, real-time interactive effects and virtual reality — and its RAPTURETM hardware to create sensory and emotional immersion. The RAPTURE series includes a head mounted display, a vest with 22 points of haptic feedback, a BACKTOPTM gaming computer, and the multifunctional Mark IV gun. Each stage is modular and built for experiences that are mapped digitally over the physical space.
In layman’s terms, guests get geared up in digitally-connected vests and helmets (that incorporate both headphones and digital virtual-reality goggles and make their way into a world that merges the physical with the digital.
As soon as the headsets are dropped, your friend standing beside you takes on a new form. Each player pops up on the display as their chosen avatar, moving in time to their real actions.
When you reach for a door handle, you’ll feel yourself really touching one – only you’ll see a digital version of it (and a digital version of your own arm). It takes a few minutes to adjust to the sensation, but once you do, you’re in for a great time!
With a vibrating proton blaster in hand, players make their way through this bizarre new world completing challenges as they go.
We weren’t certain of what to expect going into The Void. It was our first experience of fully-immersive virtual reality and due to the secretive nature of the experience, there’s not a great deal of information available online. Cameras aren’t allowed in the game itself and even if they were, it would be impossible to photograph the imagery you’d see through your headset.
We were pleasantly surprised by just how easy it was to move around through the experience – the gear itself was light-weight and the VR experience was well matched to the physical elements around us. We were warned that some people feel a little disoriented or dizzy at the start but nobody in our group of four experienced this so I think it’s fair to say that most people will be unaffected by this.
The challenges themselves were entertaining and though I won’t give too much away, there’s a part of the experience where the (digital) wall of a skyscraper falls away, leaving players afraid of heights clinging onto the handrail for dear life. The scene felt incredibly realistic and was a real highlight of the game for me.
Hyper-Reality – The way forward?
Our experience at The Void was unlike anything we’d tried before and for that reason alone, it was absolutely worth doing. The technology they employ is beyond belief and to step into the future for fifteen minutes was a real treat.
As we left, Nathan commented that he’d have loved for the experience to have run a little longer, which I think says it all.
The Void is a great addition to The Beach and a must-see stop on your visit to Dubai, the city of the future.
Should you want to visit The Void in Dubai, tickets are available online for AED110 per person. Advance booking is suggested. Guests must be 12 years of age or older and 120cm tall to participate.
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The Void had us along to review their hyper-reality experience. As always, all thoughts are our own.