Westfield Century City launches VR experience
LA mall, Westfield Century City is piloting a new virtual reality attraction that transforms shoppers into avatars for a twelve-minute immersion experience described as part theme park, part movie.
"Alien Zoo" is a multisensory experience where customers and their friends are suited up with VR sensors placed on shoes, gloves, backpacks and headsets, and can then journey as avatars through outer space. The whole experience takes 40 minutes.
Westfield is an investor in Dreamscape Immersion, the company that created the experience. Dreamscape is a new virtual reality film company created by Hollywood veterans, and counts Warner Brothers, 21st Century Fox and Steven Spielberg among its investors.
Emerati holding company Majid Al Futtaim is also an investor. The Dubai-based company, which owns a variety of retail properties in the Middle East and North Africa, plans to bring the pop-up mall experience to the region in the next two months.
In a release, co-creator and co-chairman of Dreamscape Walter Parkes, who was previously the head of motion pictures at DreamWorks, explained the need for innovation in the retail and entertainment industries. He said, "The future of the retail business and the movie business is about entertainment and dining, because there’s really nothing that you can’t buy online, so you have to offer something more."
The Dreamscape Immersion VR experience is currently being offered as a pop-up at Westfield Century City. It is rumored, however, that a permanent Dreamscape Immersion flagship theater could be based at the mall in the future.
Alien Zoo is open for one month and admits shoppers ages 10 and older. Many of the showtimes are already sold out, indicating how receptive customers are to this new type of experiential retail.
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