Founded by ex-THX executive, VRrOOm officially announced on August 25 an exclusive partnership with CFEC, a China Film Group (CFG) company. The future network of VR cinemas, a key component of the company’s VR ecosystem, was introduced at the Beijing International Radio, TV & Film Exhibition (BIRTV) under the brand VRrOOm Sanctum.
“THE AR/VR Market is expected to hit $120 billion by 2020* and the technology is going to be the next big thing for storytelling, beyond gaming”, said Louis Cacciuttolo, who worked for THX as Global Brand VP until March this year and was top executive for international communication agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Ogilvy before joining the cinema industry. “Yet, there are few resources dedicated to facilitating the access to VR and accelerating mass market adoption.”
"We are launching a fully dedicated Virtual Reality ecosystem"
VRrOOm is built around three main pillars: information, through a digital media platform www.vrroom.buzz, physical VR experience in cinemas with VRrOOm Sanctum and VR and AR content production.
“The general audience understanding of VR is currently limited as most people can’t afford the best equipment and readily available content is scarce. Cinema destinations provide a cost-effective way for most people to experience the best that VR can offer,” Louis Cacciuttolo added.
The first VRrOOm Sanctum theatres will be installed inside traditional cinemas this fall in Beijing and Shanghai thanks to an exclusive partnership sealed with Chinese film industry leader China Film Group’s affiliated company CFEC. The goal is to expand the network at high speed and have dozens of sites installed across key cities of China by the end of 2017. VRrOOm also reached an agreement with French cinema chain CineMovida and two more VRrOOm Sanctum theatres are due to open in France in November. More projects are also currently under discussion in the US and in Europe.
Lin Minjie, China Film Equipment Company (CFEC) and China Giant Screen President, said: “The thirst of the Chinese audience for new technology makes VR an unavoidable part of our future development strategy. We want to be the first in China to provide the highest quality and most innovative experiences to delight our audience and further contribute to China’s cinema industry progress. This exclusive collaboration with VRrOOm makes a lot of sense as they have the right expertise and resources that are necessary to keep the cinema industry moving forward.” In fact, Digi-Capital forecasts that Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, others) could drive AR/VR revenue by 2020, followed by Europe and North America.
Jacques Font, owner of French cinema chain CineMovida, said: “My grandfather opened our family’s first cinema theatre back in 1910, and it is the oldest cinema still operating in France. I always believed in pioneering promising technologies. We were the first here to adopt the digital format prior to Avatar’s launch. We are currently revamping our auditoriums with laser projectors. I am convinced that it is an obligation to embrace VR as it will be a new form of cinematic storytelling. VRrOOm’s solution is the perfect fit to cinema professionals’ vision of integrating the virtual reality experience inside traditional movie theatres.”
Besides VRrOOm Sanctum, www.vrroom.buzz, an information platform in three languages (English, French and Chinese) aimed at introducing the latest VR trends to the general audience, is already operational; the website is powered by an algorithm capable of analysing all posts related to VR, AR and MR on social media and websites worldwide, in real time, providing the company with invaluable market insights.
VRrOOm will also announce in the coming weeks a partnership with a Beijing-based VR/AR content studio. “As the industry is still in its infancy, it is essential to be able to test various content formats and experiments beyond VR, for example in Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality”, explained Louis Cacciuttolo. “VRrOOm Sanctum will be a great platform for experimenting, allowing the company to identify market needs real time and improve the audience’s experience as technology and content creation evolve.”
The success of VR is strongly connected to the "wow" effect of the experience. Offering quality VR cinematic experiences will be an essential factor for the success of VRrOOm ecosystem, especially as the startup wants to become the world’s top-of-mind resource for what could soon become a new “VR lifestyle”. As Louis Cacciuttolo sums up: “The reality is that VR has no limits and, most importantly, enables people to realize anything they could dream of. Stories told in VR or experiences lived in VR are truly bewitching. We aim at building a civilization of enchantment”.