Google and IMAX Deal a Major Blow to the VR Movie Industry

There are many possible advantages to virtual reality technology. Unlocking that true potential may be a lot more difficult than originally anticipated. Google is seemingly back out of its VR movie venture with IMAX. Not entirely surprising, as previous efforts to develop custom hardware have not been too successful.

Google and IMAX Part Ways

Back in 2016, both Google and IMAX saw a lot of merit in exploring the virtual reality movie industry. Their goal was to build new VR cameras for filmmakers and transform the movie-going experience as a whole. Google would benefit from IMAX’s experience in building such equipment. Additionally, the tech giant’s Jump platform makes it easier to create 360-degree videos.

However, those plans were apparently canceled some time ago. According to sources, Google pulled out of this project in late 2017 as the company is shifting to augmented reality. IMAX has also shut down two VR centers, as it seems this company is also steering away from virtual reality sooner or later. Not a positive sign for the industry, especially at this crucial stage.

There has been no real interest in VR movies to date. Despite filmmakers experimenting with the technology, the general public seemingly couldn’t care any less. Moreover, there is a big difference between creating a 10-minute VR experience and full-length feature movie in virtual reality. Without the necessary hardware to do so, no real changes are expected in this regard.

How this will play out for the VR movie industry, remains unclear. With big backers of the technology pulling their support, a power vacuum will be created eventually. Various startups still hold out hope for virtual reality, but general consumers are not excited about the technology just yet. Changing that perspective will be a daunting challenge.

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By JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is a FinTech, VR, and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium.