Sandbox VR Launching a New “Star Trek” Location-Based VR Experience This Fall
Sandbox VR is teaming up with CBS Interactive to launch a new location-based “Star Trek” VR experience this fall called Star Trek: Discovery Away Mission. The experience will enable up to six players to immerse themselves into the world of the series which will come with the phasers, tricorders and even a holodeck.
The experience will first be unveiled in the current Sandbox VR locations in San Francisco Bay Area, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Later on, it will be launched in New York, San Diego, Austin and Chicago.
The work on “Star Trek” has been a major milestone for Sandbox VR. According to the company’s President and Chief Product Officer Siqi Chen, the San Francisco-based startup has long been inspired by the Star Trek series and the company was committed to creating the “0.1 version of the holodeck”.
The idea to create a Star Trek virtual reality experience was first mooted during a meeting with CBS a while back. The broadcaster had suggested that Sandbox VR go full in and develop a real-life holodeck for the “Star Trek” virtual reality experience.
The resulting experience is one where players are tasked with carrying out investigations on a distress signal coming from a lost spaceship. The mission will involve paying a visit to an ice moon in order to locate the ship and it begins with using the virtual reality holodeck.
Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman), the Starfleet officer in the “Star Trek Discovery” will guide the experience which lasts about 30 minutes. While it will include some combat situations, it is going to largely focus on the collective problem-solving instead of just the single-person shooter scenarios. Sandbox VR has stated that its team is attempting to recreate the ‘Star Trek’ experience.
Sandbox VR is one of the main startups at the forefront of rolling out location-based virtual reality experiences into public spaces such as malls. Unlike other location-based VR providers such as The Void, Sandbox VR places a greater emphasis on the physical cues so users don’t have to worry about bumping into the props as they are roaming about the ice moon.
Players in the experience are able to see not only themselves but also their friends in virtual reality. They are able to even see their fingers and give each other high-fives. Sandbox says its experience does full-body motion capture, tracking the players from head to toe.
This kind of setup enables Sandbox to run several experiences at every location and the platform can therefore work more as a movie theater which showcases multiple back-to-back films within the same theater. All these experiences will be available at all the Sandbox locations.
Sandbox VR’s approach has found great resonance with many of the leading startup investors. Earlier this year, they pumped $68 million into the company. The startup is planning to roll out up to 16 locations by the end of this year.