Two chairs in a Glendale building can transport a person into the world of virtual reality.
Slip on a headset and a pair of headphones and the red-cushioned chair begins to lean back. Then on the headset viewer comes “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and the viewer is introduced to characters Hiccup and Astrid and the dragons, Hookfang, Toothless and Stormfly. The Voyager chair adjusts itself as it tilts back and forward, and rotates side to side, with motion matched to the VR content.
The 4-minute “Dragon” film was made possible by Walmart Inc., which is taking it on a tour in trailers from California to Arkansas that started last month and ends in April. The free film is a marketing tool to get customers into a “How to Train Your Dragon” gift shop.
But for Jeffrey Travis, the inventor of the Voyager chair and chief executive of Positron Inc., the Glendale company that developed the device, it is a way to democratize access to the virtual reality format.
An average customer at Walmart does not attend a film festival where VR films are shown, so the trailers and “Dragon” film are a way to get them to slip on a headset and see it for themselves, Travis said.
“They are able to go up to this trailer from a big film title that they recognize and have this immersive, incredible VR experience they never would have had otherwise,” he added.
Read the full story in the March 18 issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.