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Sydney Film Festival: Dive Into Virtual Reality
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Sydney Film Festival: Dive Into Virtual Reality

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Sydney Film Festival: Dive Into Virtual Reality

Immerse yourself in a new virtual world this year at Sydney Film Festival.

We were very excited to discover that this year at SFF you can enjoy more than just the traditional cinema experience. By combining artistic creativity, cinematic techniques with advanced virtual reality technology, you can transport yourself into one of nine amazing digital worlds.

Put on one of the VR headsets and you can jam out with locals in the streets of Cuba, tumble down the rabbit hole and meet Cheshire Cat, walk through the hallways of a haunted Asylum or even dance on stage with some of the world’s best performers.

Virtual Reality Headsets

The headsets are provided by Jumpgate, a virtual reality production company based out of Adelaide and Melbourne. Jumpgate regularly works with artists, filmmakers, musicians and performers from all over the world to create narrative productions.

Jumpstart Virtual Reality headset
Image Credit: Jumpgate

Virtual and augmented reality has been a hot topic in the tech industry for many years but progress has been slow the last few years due to lagging technological developments. However, this year, the industry is finally hitting a milestone.

By combining new innovative technology and cunning eyewear designs, the industry is predicted to hit one billion this year, creating quite a niche. If you’re not familiar with virtual reality, here’s a little bit about what you can expect from the experience.

The VR hardware offers a realistic visual immersion (and sometimes audio) through a wide-angle headset display that shows a stereo image in complete 3D. Sensors in the headset track your head movements carefully and change what you’re seeing accordingly. So for example, if you move your head to the right, you will be able to see a whole new 90-degree angle view.

An authentic VR version of scuba diving will allow you to feel as if real fish are swimming towards you, and if you look up, you will see a realistically created sky. When you glance down, you will be able to clearly see the ocean floor. If there is an audio component, the sounds will adjust accordingly based on your movements, enhancing the perception the virtual world.

However, the full VR experience will not be complete until all senses can be catered for. For example, even though you are scuba diving, you will not be able to feel the coolness of the water or touch the sand on the bottom floor. This is what developers hope to achieve in the coming years.

Google Headset VR

Image Credit: Google

Google has also had a knack at creating personal VR headsets which you can easily buy and use at home by downloading the Cardboard app from the Apple Store for iOS and Google Play for Android devices. It’s just a visual taste of the whole VR experience, but certainly worth a try. When a colleague brought one into the office it kept us entertained for hours and the convenience of using it with your phone was incredible.

In fact, we heard that you can take home your very own VR headset with the limited edition Google Cardboard Virtual Reality glasses. Only 100 are available exclusively from the Hub for only $20. Be sure to head to the Hub on opening day so you can grab yours!

Experience Virtual Reality at the Hub

Sydney Film Festival Virtual Reality at the Hub
Image Credit: Sydney Film Festival

Access to all of the virtual reality films is free of charge at the Hub and is available at a first-come-first-serve basis. Starting June 9th you can head on over to the Hub to see and experience virtual reality for yourself. You can see the nine VR features here.

Thursday 9 June, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Friday 10 June, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Saturday 11 June, 2pm–4pm
Sunday 12 June, 4pm–6pm
Monday 13 June, 4pm–6pm
Tuesday 14 June, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Wednesday 15 June, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Thursday 16 June, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Friday17 June, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Saturday 18 June, 4pm–6pm
Sunday 19 June, 4pm–6pm

If you are interested, you can also meet the VR experts at a free panel on Saturday 11 June from 12pm–2pm.

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