Ghostbusters steps into VR with “hyper-reality” experience from THE VOID

Ghostbusters is coming to virtual reality, in the form of a hyper-reality experience opening at Madame Tussauds New York later this week.

Developed in partnership with THE VOID, the company behind the virtual reality laser tag-like experience that opened in Utah last year, the experience blends real-world objects with virtual reality to allow users to interact with a virtual space.

Dubbed Ghostbusters Dimension, the 15-Minute VR experience allows audiences to take on the role of a ghostbuster seeking out supernatural enemies in a New York apartment block.

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“With an untethered VR experience that allows people to roam freely and interact with a physical world that matches the digital one they are seeing, consumers will have whole new levels of delight as they lose themselves in another realm,” said Clive Downie, CMO Unity Technologies, which provided the 3D engine that powers the experience.

“It’s giving presence to interactive storytelling putting people into the Ghostbusters world with high definition, high frame rate high excitement action, powered in part by Unity.”

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Images courtesy of THE VOID

While clearly a promotional tool for the new Ghostbusters film, the experience also offers many more people the opportunity to experience THE VOID’s unique hyper-reality offering.

Visitors to the company’s Utah-based experience wear custom head-mounted displays and backpack computers, which provide them with a virtual reality overlay to the space they are in.

The hardware users wear is styled to look like futuristic armour and is known as RAPTURE gear.

“The Ghostbusters world is the perfect fit for THE VOID because you literally strap our RAPTURE gear on and it turns into your proton pack and proton gun,” said James Jensen, Chief Visionary Officer at THE VOID.

The experience will open at Madame Tussauds New York on the 1st of July, as part of a wider Ghostbusters exhibition.

Each hyper-reality session will last 15 minutes with up to three people able to take part at a time, meaning tickets are likely to sell out fast.

Tickets, which also get you into the rest of Madame Tussauds, cost $49.75 a person, although you do have to sign a liability waiver if you want to take part.

Nevertheless, we expect Ghostbusters Dimension to be a big hit when it opens later this week.

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The UK government is launching a fintech competition to help renters get on the property ladder

The UK government is offering £2 million to fintech developers who come up with a tool that lets renters record and share their payment data.

The Rent Recognition Challenge, which was first announced as part of the chancellors’ autumn budget, will task developers with finding a way to record payment data from Britain’s 11 million renters in a bid to improve their credit scores and ultimately help them to get a mortgage.

“Most lenders and Credit Reference Agencies are unable to take rental data into account, because they don’t have access to it.

“The Rent Recognition Challenge will challenge firms to develop an innovative solution to this problem and help to restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation,” said the economic secretary to HM Treasury, Stephen Barclay.

Economic secretary to HM Treasury, Stephen Barclay. Image courtesy of Chris McAndrew

The competition will provide an initial round of grant funding to six promising proposals to help turn their ideas into workable products.

A panel of leading figures from the Fintech sector will then whittle the six down to just a handful of teams who will receive further funding and support to bring their ideas to market.

“People’s monthly rent is often their biggest expense, so it makes sense for it to be recognised when applying for a mortgage. Without a good credit score, getting a mortgage can be a real struggle.”

Image courtesy of Jeff Djevdet

The government’s attempt to help more people out of private renting arrangements and into home ownership comes after Scottish Widows published a report that warned tomorrow’s pensioners will have to find huge amounts of money to pay ever-escalating rents to private landlords.

Scottish Widows projected one in eight retirees will be renting by 2032, which works out to three times the number renting today. It also said there is a £43bn gap between the income and savings people have now and what the rent bill will be in retirement.

Speaking to the Guardian, Dan Wilson Craw of campaign group Generation Rent said: “The common perception is that retirees either own their home outright or have a council tenancy, so the government will be in for a nasty shock as more of us retire and continue to rent from a private landlord.

“Many renters relying on pensions will qualify for housing benefit which will put greater strain on the public finances.”

The Rent Recognition Challenge will open to applications early in the New Year, and development will conclude in October 2018.