A free-roam virtual reality experience said to be the first of its kind in Ireland, is to open in March offering players the opportunity to fend off zombie hordes, among other games.
Tickets for Zero Latency Dublin are available online now, and the Sandyford-based enterprise is the latest offering by the Australian-based company which already runs arenas in Tokyo, Osaka, Madrid, Lisbon, Mexico, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Melbourne.
The 200 square metre free-roam arena hosts up to eight players who don VR headsets, microphones and backpacks as they interact with each other as full-motion avatars while undertaking challenges in a virtual reality world.
Those behind Zero Latency Dublin say it will offer a Zombie attack mission and “family-friendly” galaxy space challenges for groups of eight or under from its launch on March 4.
Ronan Cunningham, who is bringing the concept to Ireland, said he wanted to bring it home having tried it for himself in Japan.
“My first experience of Zero Latency was on honeymoon with my wife (Susanna Murphy) in Tokyo,” he said. “We’re always looking for new things to do, and as soon as we tried this, I knew instantly that I wanted to bring it to Dublin."
Murphy added: "As soon as we came out, our jaws hit the floor and Ronan's first words after coming out of the game was: 'We have to bring this to Dublin..That's the way we are, we've always been talking about business, ever since we met, so it didn't feel like work. We were both just very excited."
Zero Latency is so-called because the company claims to have developed software which eliminates the motion sickness sometimes associated with VR experiences.
The first prototype for Zero Latency was developed in 2012 in the garage of the company’s chief technical officer before it was brought to a trade conference in 2014.
The positive reception to the concept led to a successful crowdfunding campaign, and the first Zero Latency experience opened to the public in Melbourne in August 2015.
Brian Vaughan, senior lecturer and head of the Virtual Interaction Research Lab (VIRaL), at the Technical University Dublin (formerly DIT) said developers, artists, designers, and creatives are only now beginning to understand VR’s potential as “an immersive, engaging, and truly wondrous technology”.
“It is no surprise that VR technology has been so readily embraced in Ireland: VR development in Ireland is very healthy, with a number of companies creating wonderful bespoke creations, coupled with a very active academic research community,” Mr Vaughan said.
“As the social aspect of VR continues to develop, we will see VR move away from being a solitary experience to a more social and engaging experience,” he said.
Zero Latency Dublin will open at 21 Maple Avenue, Sandyford, Co. Dublin, A94 N6V9, on March 4.
Tickets cost €39 and are available to purchase here.
Opening times are from 10am to 11pm on Saturday and Sunday, and from 12 noon to 11pm Wednesday to Friday.
Additional reporting by Rebecca Stiffe.