Virtual Reality (VR) is a futuristic innovation that is currently one of the most popular technological advancements in the field of entertainment and is being further developed to be applicable within various spheres such as education, training and health purposes.
Virtual reality is a simulated experience created with the help of computer technology. The most distinguishable component of this technology is the head-mounted display. It involves a headset that looks like a thick pair of goggles to be worn by the users over their eyes. This headset along with VR and AR technology, immerses the users into a 3D world where they can interact with their surroundings in an overwhelmingly realistic manner. It provides these realistic experiences by simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch and even smell.
This year, for the first time in Maldives, VR entertainment was introduced with the establishment of VR Café by Halftone Maldives Pvt. Ltd. VR Café is a unique space targeted for people of all ages to experience the wonders of Virtual Reality. The café is located on the first floor of Malé Square, Ameenee Magu. It is divided into two contrasting scenes comprising an indoor and outdoor area. The indoor area is for VR entertainment with dimly lit rooms fully equipped with VR devices. It also includes a cozy area to relax and have a drink after the experience. The outdoor terrace-like open space is the designated café area; drinks and snacks are available for order. The location serves a pleasant environment for the customers facing away from the noise and pollution from the streets. Smoking is prohibited within the premises making the space family friendly.
VR café employs the two most advanced VR brands which are the Oculus Quest and HTC Vive. Oculus Quest is the first all-in-one gaming system built for virtual reality which can be used almost anywhere with just a VR headset and controllers. The HTC Vive is known for its smooth tracking for a seamless experience. VR café has also introduced Virtuix Omni during September 2020. The Virtuix Omni™ is the first-of-its-kind VR motion platform that lets you walk and run around in virtual reality games and applications. Halftone Maldives aims to expand VR services to all parts of Maldives including resorts and guest houses. With the future expansion they also plan to introduce VR escape rooms. Apart from gaming, VR technology can be extremely useful in teaching and learning by simulating experiences beyond classrooms. It’s also used in healthcare for services such as rehabilitative and therapeutic activities including using virtual experiences to relax and calm patients.
Due to the on-going pandemic, VR café takes all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. It is compulsory for the staff to wear face masks throughout their shifts. All VR headset users should wear a facemask and VR headset’s mask. After each session of VR experience, all the VR gears are also disinfected and sanitized. To ensure the maximum safety of the customers, VR café uses UVC disinfecting boxes to sanitize the headsets.
Moreover, private booking for VR experience has been made available in order to maintain social distancing protocols and to give confidence to the customers who wish to book VR experience sessions. All necessary information will be provided for the customers on how to use the VR headsets and made aware of any uncomfortable outcomes that may arise. VR specialists will also be there to guide the customers during their exceptional journey.