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Full Motion Virtual Reality hits Wanaka

The largest of its kind in Australasia, REALM is a fully immersive, virtual reality adventure arcade that is set to change the way tourists experience New Zealand.

At a time when tourism is booming, this fully interactive digital experience based in Wanaka offers a unique way of seeing some of the region’s most popular tourist destinations without even having to be there. This means that tourists who miss out on experiences due to weather conditions or who don’t have time to climb the famous Roy’s Peak or take a small plane ride to Milford Sound, will still be able to do so at REALM in full motion VR.

REALM’s futuristic and innovative arcade includes adventures for both tourists and gamers.

The concept is the brainchild of Chris Popperwell and Devon Sansbury, owners of Fix IT Digital in Wanaka. The pair are both pilots with a keen interest in digital simulation and technology. Launching Fixit Digital in late 2016, they very quickly understood just how fast technology is moving forward. With suppliers from all over the world keeping them up-to-date with the latest trends, virtual reality was a passion they both wanted to investigate further.

Devon says, “The allure of virtual reality is that you can be whoever you want to be, go wherever you want to go, and experience situations you would never otherwise have the opportunity to experience. That’s what we are bringing to Wanaka – one-of-a-kind experiences that everyone can enjoy.”

While there are other virtual reality arcades and gaming lounges in New Zealand, REALM is the first to offer full motion technology to the general public. The full motion machines are the latest in cutting-edge technology from Chinese tech giant, KATVR. REALM also owns the exclusive rights to distribute the machines in New Zealand. The machines are designed to give the user a completely immersive experience. You become one with the world in your headset. You can walk, run, jump, or climb with their full motion machines. Dedicated gamers are excited for REALM to launch and can’t wait for the opportunity to experience this level of digital immersion in New Zealand.

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James Simpkin, an avid gamer from Wanaka agrees: “It’s one thing to be a character in a game and feel like you’re in another world where you have skills and abilities you can’t have in real life, but to be plunged into the world itself, to feel like you’re really there – that’s going to be out of this world – literally!”

NZVRARA Founding Chair and Industry Ambassador, Michael Gregg is thrilled to see the entry of arcade-style omni-directional locomotion into our international tourism hub. “The VR sector is following our film industry by leading the world in content creation. Having technology like REALM to experience it on is going next level,” enthuses Michael.

The key focus for REALM is not only providing the best and smartest gaming technologies to enthusiasts, but to approach virtual reality in a more inclusive way.

“We want everyone to be able to experience this amazing inner-world technology. Our vision is to create and provide adventures for a wide variety of interests, including for tourists who are coming to Wanaka and Queenstown but don’t have time to tick off all the ‘must-do’ activities. Our machines are also ideal for those who, due to illness, age, or limited resources can ‘travel’ to places they can no longer physically get to. Take a walk through the streets of Paris, visit Mayan temples in Mexico, or walk on the Great Wall of China. Full motion virtual reality is, after all, the next best thing to reality,” says Chris.

And they won’t stop there. The plan is to create other REALMS across New Zealand. Both Devon and Chris are excited to be part of an industry that is advancing at a monumental pace and are passionate about growing alongside it. They welcome collaboration with others passionate about virtual reality and invite anyone interested to come and try their KATVR full motion machines themselves.

REALM officially opens on December 14 2018 in Wanaka at Spencer House Mall.

© Scoop Media

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