Step Inside The Igloo

Future Technologies / Leisure /

Virtual Reality is one of the technologies of the moment but a limiting element of this immersive experience is the need to don a headset. Aside from the fact that you are immediately restricted in terms of your movement you are also left to feel the excitement alone and cannot easily share the experience. And with all that aside, you do also look a bit of a tool to everyone else that is sitting around watching you.

It is very much a two-piece experience, with the direct user getting a very different experience to the non-participants watching on a screen.

That is one of the things that makes Igloo such an interesting proposition.

In the simplest of terms Igloo takes the content usually restricted to the user of a headset and instead projects it around a 360-degree dome, which means everyone in that space can share the experience simultaneously.

As their Commercial Director, Pippa Halliday, explained to me when we met at a VR exhibition in London recently and I tried the technology, “Stepping inside Igloo is like stepping inside a giant VR headset.”

Because the technology can accommodate anything from 5-500 people at a time, it’s always going to be a shared experience and there is a more immediate, hassle free introduction to the content being displayed.

For someone who remains a big fan of VR, there’s no doubting the impact that Igloo can make when you enter one of the pods and begin to see the sophisticated projection equipment in action.

Igloo is currently delivered in three physical formats, depending upon the specific requirements to hand.

  • Projection domes, which are distinctive, robust structures of up to 21-metre diameter, for indoor or outdoor use and perfect for projecting a seamless 360° horizon.
  • Projection cylinders, which are easily erected in more confined spaces and able to fit under standard ceiling heights, these structures go up to 9-metres in diameter are great for collaborative presentations, teamwork and exhibitions.
  • Custom builds for anyone that is looking for a more individual experience or wants to retrofit an existing space.

The company designs and builds everything, ensuring that there is only one end-to-end service provider. This includes the structures, the screens and all the technology that fully enables an experience.

My own experience of Igloo was a very positive one and you certainly get the sense that there is an air of quality and dedication to what they are trying to achieve. From cinematic, HD visuals to cinema quality audio soundscapes, in its own way it is every bit immersive as virtual reality.

Any third-party content can be played via the Igloo Media Player, accommodating both 4K and 8K visual quality.

Of course, it comes with its own price tag and this isn’t a system that you just setup in 5 minutes in your living room when you fancy being whisked away to a new environment. But then that isn’t what it was created for.

For me, Igloo’s biggest strength is being able to bring a little of the personal and individual sensations from VR into a place where everyone can share a sensation simultaneously. There’s a lot to be said for the collective experience.

“We have worked with 100s of clients over the last decade,” Pippa explains. “These have been from diverse backgrounds, including Adidas, the BBC, Mercedes Benz, Toys-R-Us, Martini and Exxon Mobil.

“We’ve also been able to adapt and change as the world around us and technology has advanced. The emergence of new forms of 360 means that we are always looking at innovative ways to deliver a unique experience to our users and there are some exciting developments on the horizon for 2018 and beyond.”

If you would like to learn a little more about Igloo then visit the company’s website here.


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Ben Whittaker

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