World’s First 8K:VR Motion Ride Debuts at SXSW With a Trip to Tokyo
Japanese media and entertainment companies NHK Enterprises, NHK Media Technology, RecoChoku Labo, and Wonder Vision Techno Laboratory create immersive VR experience without Head-Mounted Display (HMD)
AUSTIN, TX–(Marketwired – March 07, 2017) – SXSW attendees will have the opportunity to travel through Tokyo on the world’s first 8K:VR motion ride, an immersive virtual reality experience that does not require a head-mounted display (HMD) or headphones. A group of prominent Japanese media and entertainment companies collaborated to produce the ride: NHK Enterprises (NEP) and NHK Media Technology (MT) affiliates of NHK (Japan’s largest broadcasting organization & only public broadcaster), RecoChoku Labo (RCL) the R&D department of RecoChoku (Japan’s leading digital music provider), and sphere screen technology vendor Wonder Vision Techno Laboratory (WVTL).
A celebration of Tokyo in the lead up to 2020 in the cosmopolitan Japanese city, the ride features on-the-ground and aerial views of popular sites such as Tokyo Tower, Shibuya Crossing, and Sensōji Temple. The ride’s soundtrack is “Tokyo Victory”, a hit song by one of Japan’s most iconic band, Southern All Stars. Lead singer Keisuke Kuwata was inspired to write it after Tokyo won the bid for the next Summer Olympics.
The ride is a continuation of NEP’s and MT’s launch of the world’s first 8K:VR theater experience at SXSW last year, which was a critical success that won multiple awards and attracted more than 70,000 visitors. With NEP and MT’s 8K technology, a half dome-shaped wide screen, a motion ride synched to visual movements, and 5.1 surround sound, this is the world’s first and only 8K:VR motion ride.
NEP and MT created the content for the ride in collaboration with 2 other companies. RCL who has been researching and developing VR contents that can relive experiences, 360 3D video production utilizing next generation VR technology, and etc. since 2016 was also interested in 8K:VR to test it as a new type of music experience content. WVTL provided “Sphere 5.2”, the base visual system of 8K:VR Ride, and this all resulted in the 4 company co-development project. Sphere 5.2 (dimensions: Width 5.2m, Height 3.4m, Depth 2.6m) is a hemispherical wide screen visual system capable of projecting 4K or 8K visuals. By adding an 8K compatible projector and an electric six-axis motion base to this system, the world’s first motion ride with 8K visuals was achieved.
“Given the success of last year’s VR theater experience, we wanted to enhance the technology by creating a new immersive VR experience for the SXSW audience that showcases our technological advancements and the beauty of Tokyo,” said Mr. Tetsuya Fukuhara, Executive Producer, Business Development Strategy at NHK Enterprises. “By combining Japan’s world leading technology with the appropriate themed hit single from the legendary band that represents Japan, we are confident this will be a memorable experience that will leave people from around the world in awe.”
The 8K:VR Ride featuring “Tokyo Victory” exhibition details:
- SXSW 2017 Trade Show
- Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 3
- Stands 1333, 1335, 1337, 1432, 1434, 1436
- March 12 (Sun) – 15 (Wed): 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m (Wed only until noon)
- Admissions: SXSW badge registrants only
- Official 8K:VR website: http://8KVR.net
At SXSW 2016, NEP and MT introduced the world’s first 8K:VR Theater, which utilized an 8K display with 3D and a 22.2 multichannel sound system. The content was filmed in high quality 3D with 360-degree sound and a live laser show, resulting in an incredibly realistic experience as if the visual content was right in front of viewers’ eyes. The project received numerous awards including a 2016 Good Design Award, an Innovative Technologies 2016 Special Award (Special Jury Prize), and a Lumiere Japan Awards 2016 Grand Prix (3D Category).
About NHK Enterprises (NEP)
NHK Enterprises produces, develops, and sells media content, including production of NHK programs and other visual content, event planning and production, program and character licensing, and sales of products such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs. We deliver cultural content to our broad customer base in Japan and overseas through the production of more than 10,000 television and radio programs a year, along with the development of related events and merchandise.
About NHK Media Technology (MT)
NHK Media Technology, Inc. is responsible for the technical operations of NHK programs, and also the development and operation of its computer systems. We thus support NHK’s broadcasting by our state-of-the-art broadcast engineering and reliable information system technologies. As the media environment undergoes remarkable change and broadcasting services diversify, we are making full use of our twin pillar technologies to challenge the very limits of possibility in the industry. Our goals for tomorrow are the better combination of broadcasting and telecommunications, and higher quality though 8K UHDTV production.
About RecoChoku, RecoChoku Labo
Since established in July 2001, RecoChoku launched the world’s first master ringtone service called “Chaku-Uta ®” in 2002, a full-track master ringtone service “Chaku-Uta Full ®” in 2004, and has constantly introduced advanced, and high level value-added digital music services. Furthermore, the company has expanded the business in such areas as subscription streaming services, collaborative digital music service partnerships, and services adding new experiences and value to music.
RecoChoku Labo, RecoChoku’s R&D organization is focused on next generation services and music market creation. Founded in January 2014, it is based in Tokyo and the West Coast of the U.S. to contribute in music market creation for the next generation, domestic music fan research, research & analysis of advanced overseas business models, and to develop new service prototypes by partnering with different industries, educational institutions, etc. The company is currently working on projects such as producing VR content and big data analysis.
About Wonder Vision Techno Laboratory
Wonder Vision Techno Laboratory’s product, WV Sphere 5.2 is a motion picture system that is able to project 4K or 8K images onto a hemispherical screen with the following dimensions: Width 5.2m, Height 3.4m, Depth 2.6m. While the images are being projected, seats are able to move in sync with the on-screen action. Wind and/or appropriate sound effects can also be added. The result is a unique virtual reality viewing experience appealing directly to the 5 senses.
About Southern All Stars
Southern All Stars made their debut on June 25, 1978 with the single “Katte Ni Sinbad.” With vocalist Keisuke Kuwata’s iconic voice coupled with the band’s unique lyrics, they instantly made their mark on the Japanese music scene. They became one of Japan’s top bands with the release of their 1979 single “Itoshi No Ellie,” which was a huge hit and now considered a timeless classic (this song is also known for Ray Charles’ popular cover). They continued to release hit song after hit song, and have amassed 5 singles and 6 albums that went on to become million-sellers. Particularly in 2000, their single “TSUNAMI” sold 3 million copies, with their best album Umi No Yeah!! going on to sell 3.6 million copies. In March of 2015, they released their 15th album Budou, their first full album in 10 years. Of course, “Tokyo Victory”, the first single from the album, took number 1 on the charts and became a huge hit. The tour that followed, which included 23 performances across 11 venues, rocked Japan by bringing in a total of over 500,000 attendees. For nearly 40 years since their debut, the band has continued to lead the Japanese music scene and have become so influential that you cannot talk about Japanese music without mentioning the name Southern All Stars.