Ok so this week, I have decided to take a different route to my blog and do some travel! I love new technologies and virtual reality. So I decided to check out the 360 degree cinema in Gwangju, South Korea. It’s a virtual reality cinema which is the first of its kind in the entire world. Next door is the Gwangju National science museum, which were both really amazing experiences. Gwangju is one of the bigger cities in South Korea, it is located in the south and is quite diverse and cosmopolitan.
What is a 360degree cinema?
A 360 degree cinema is an audiovisual simulation which allows the user to be engulfed into an augmented reality that surrounds you and allows you to view images and graphics all around them. The experience is similar to a real-life experience as the graphics are detailed and uses the existing environment as it is instead of creating an artificial one like as in VR.
What is the cost?
Since the 360 degree cinema is located right next to the Gwangju National Science Museum. I wanted to enter both the science museum as well as go to the 360 degree cinema. The cost for both was $2.70 c. It was really cheap and both the science museum as well as the 360 degree theatre were loads of fun.
What can you do inside (science museum)
Inside the science museum, there are lots of activities related to science (obviously) There are two floors. On the first floor, there is a restaurant, a science lab and some activities where you can learn more about dinosaurs. You can also walk among them with a projection on a big screen. It was really cool and the kids also loved it! You can watch live science projects on the walls. Check it out here: (IMG_3977) Learn more about technological innovations from the past, as well as learn about new innovations from the present. You can take steps up to the second floor which has the periodic table of elements as you walk up. On the second floor, there are many games related to light and movement. As well as the movement and changes of images and light to the eye. It was very interesting to learn more about scientists from the past and the innovations that they have created.
The 360 degree Cinema
This was, in fact, the reason that I went to the Science museum since I knew that the 360 degree cinema is right next door. You have to buy the ticket for the 360 degree cinema at the entrance of the science museum. Unfortunately very few of the ticket staff speak English, but with a bit of Konglish you can get the message across. The movie times have a schedule and you have to arrive five minutes before to enter the cinema. You have to leave any food or drink at the door. The theatre is spherical and the projection of the movie occurs all around. You stand on a glass bridge and hold onto a railing whilst the movie (which is actually only 15 minutes long plays) I watched one about the universe and the world (The movie which is 15 minutes long is available only in Korean (it is after all made for a Korean audience) however, I did manage to get the gist of the movie. (Which was to take care of the only planet that we have) The movies take you from space, into the oceans and also all around the earth. You can watch more about the 360 degree cinema here.
What does it feel like?
The experience can be a little scary, everything feels very very near to you and you really do feel as though you are in space as well as under the sea. It is one of the realist movie types of experiences that I have ever encountered. You may get dizzy because the images are all around and you want to look all around the spherical theatre. The audience stands on a glass bridge with a metal railing and the images are all around you, even below your feet. You feel encapsulated. The movie starts off in space and talks about energy and you move across the planets and the sun. It then progresses to the ocean to swim with whales and then in a hot air balloon progressing to earth. At times I felt as though the glass bridge I was standing on was moving, but it wasn’t actually the case.
Why is it amazing?
The cinema itself is revolutionary because it is the first of its kind and it sets the scene for all other VR theatres in the future. Movies could be longer and we would be fully emerged into them, making the experience truly unique and exciting. The theatre allows you to experience virtual reality without the use of a headset. I really enjoyed the experience because it was something new and I was fully emerged into it. It was also a lot different from the 3 and 4D cinemas that we are used to. Hopefully, this is what movie-going will be like in the future!
That’s it for this week!
I hope that you enjoyed reading!