VR parks, showrooms pop up as regulations lifted
Virtual reality is a sector that could forever change the way we interact with the world. Still, many people have yet to experience it because of the hefty price tags for VR devices.
But according to our Kim Jiyeon, it's becoming more available and affordable here in Korea.. "Near a busy movie theater in Seoul, a virtual reality park opened where visitors can try VR content for 13 U.S. dollars. Since it's located near a movie theater it's more accessible than other kinds of theme parks in the city."
The park is one of several popping up around the city to give the public a chance to experience virtual reality for themselves.
It's had more than 3-thousand visitors since its opening on December 23rd, and is equipped with six different kinds of games that let visitors try virtual activities ranging from rollercoaster rides and archery to playing an instrument.
"I'm playing the virtual drumming game Into the Rhythm. The goal is to try and follow the beat as you play a virtual instrument. And to help me out, whenever I hit a note, I feel the joystick move as if I'm actually drumming." "We're willing to open up a second and third branch near college campuses to target young people and early adopters of new technology."
Another way companies are trying to provide VR content to the general public is through VR hands-on rooms... where people have a secluded area to try out different gadgets at one time. "We update our content on a daily basis. And as you can see, visitors can watch other people trying out the VR content through our visible showrooms. We designed this to draw more visitors into the exciting realm of virtual reality."
Such VR parks and showrooms are becoming viable ways for the general public to test the latest gadgets without having to lay out the thousands of dollars it would cost to buy them. "Compared to the U.S. and Europe, the Korean VR industry is about a year behind in terms of technological level. Demand for VR content is a primary factor driving tech development, so the creation of VR parks and experience zones is a great way to increase accessibility and let the general public become familiar with virtual reality."
The expert added that local regulations that used to prevent businesses from launching VR parks -- including the mandatory safety guidelines for amusement parks -- are being relaxed starting this year, thanks to a law revision by the culture ministry that came into effect starting January 1st.
The revision permits the installation of mini VR simulators and rides with a capacity of up to five people -- even near residential areas.