Gibraltar Furniture Featured At Sundance Virtual Reality Installation

Gibraltar Furniture is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Positron  for a new virtual reality exhibition at the famed Sundance film festival.

Jennifer Rundell, COO & Co-Founder, purchased 20 Eero Aarnio Ball Chairs from Gibraltar and specially modified them for Virtual Reality demonstration purposes. Aarnio was – and still is – one of the pioneers in using plastic in industrial design. Plastic material set the designers free to create every shape and use every color they wanted. This gave birth to objects oscillating between function and fun – but always fascinating ones.

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Positron combines creative design, gamification, engineering, storytelling, and brilliant coding to create one of-a-kind interactive experiences.  This company is unique in the experiential design industry as this team includes actual rocket scientists working alongside designers and artists.

Positron, a virtual reality technology studio in Los Angeles, announced today that it will mark its Festival debut with Voyager, the first cinematic, full-motion VR chair platform, at the 2017 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, January 19-29 in Park City. Select VR works from the New Frontier program will be available to screen in Voyager at New Frontier VR Palace, including If Not Love and Orbital Vanitas.

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“Positron is thrilled to offer cinema lovers at the Sundance Film Festival the opportunity to experience a completely new level of immersion in VR storytelling with Voyager,” said Jeffrey Travis, creator of the chair and CEO of Positron. “New Frontier is the ideal forum to share groundbreaking technology that provides filmgoers with a completely relaxed VR motion experience while empowering filmmakers to direct the viewer’s attention to points of interest in the story.”
The Finnish designer Eero Aarnio, born in 1932, studied from 1954 to 1957 at the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki and started in 1962 with his own office as an interior and industrial designer. Engaged in new ideas of furniture, he designed the Ball Chair (or globe chair) already in 1963; it was some years later before it was produced. Material (fiberglass) and shape were complete novelties for that time’s furniture industry. The fiberglass ball is built on a metal swiveling base, and upholstered with foam/fiberfill. The original colors were white, red, black and orange.

When Eero Aarnio had the first idea for the Ball Chair in 1963, fiberglass was a relatively new material as glass reinforced products were not Batch Produced as they are today nobody . The only possibility was to craft the chair with his own hands. It took Eero and his brother in law nearly one year until the first prototype was ready.

The prototype was a success, it is still standing in the designers house. By coincidence two young product managers from the company ASKO discovered the Ball Chair when visiting Eero in order to look at some pine wood chairs. They immediately realized the potential of this design icon.

In 1966 for the first time the chair was presented at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne. Celebrities bought copies of the original for their homes and it found itself in a variety of Design Museums throughout the world.

The design of the chair was not only striking to look at but it was also comfortable and relaxing to sit in for long periods of time. The chair has been described as ”a room within a room”. It offers shelter, a calming atmosphere and privacy for the seated person. Some models of the chair have had telephones built into them.

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The chair has featured in films such as ‘Tommy’, ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘Moon Zero Two’. It also featured in such classic television Programmes as ‘The Prisoner’.It has even been used by Vivienne Westwood in one of her shows.

Jennifer has spent her career at the intersection of technology and business. She is a veteran of leading cross-discipline teams in rapidly growing companies, and loves being at the helm of defining features that customers want. She brings leadership, a passion for solving problems that help to humanize technology and is on a mission to raise human empathy along the way.

“We’re truly excited to be presenting our VR experience, Orbital Vanitas, to Sundance Film Festival audiences through Voyager and the revolutionary motion it provides for cinematic VR,” said Shaun Gladwell, Lead Artist. Leo Faber, Key Collaborator on the surreal sci-fi mystery film elaborates, “To have the technological tools that enable us to further deepen the narrative through Voyager’s gentle motion and haptics is now a very happy reality for VR storytellers.”

Industry reactions from those who have experienced Voyager underscore its distinctive capabilities. “This is f****** awesome!” exclaimed Nonny de La Peña, “Godmother of VR” and filmmaker in the New Frontier category at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Ran Tao from Google VR added, “There is absolutely no motion sickness.”

“We discovered after gathering data from over 1,500 people, that Voyager solves the critically important problem of discomfort and motion sickness,” observed Jennifer Rundell, . “Voyager is an exceptional seated VR solution that offers gentle motion that’s organically connected to the storytelling, and users who previously experienced motion sickness with VR report they no longer suffer from it in our chair. Voyager takes into account how our bodies need to be involved while allowing people to experience VR with more of their senses, to relax and go magical places, leaving the current physical space behind.”

Voyager will also have a presence at the “Cinematic VR and the Future of Storytelling” panel on Thursday, January 26, 2017, 12:00pm -1:30pm at Cinetransformer, located at 500 Main Street. A Hosted Presentation by Ribbow Media Group, the panel discussion will explore the future of cinematic VR and storytelling possibilities for content creators and audiences. Panelists will include Maxwell Planck, Technical Director at Oculus Story Studio, Brad Becker, CEO of Sentient Play, Sundance alumni and VR director Milica Zec (Giant), Brian Furano, Co-Founder of Riot.House and Positron CEO Jeffrey Travis. Roy Taylor, Corporate Vice President and Head of Alliances at Radeon Technologies Group, AMD, will moderate the panel. Voyager will be available to demo as time permits.

Voyager is the first full-motion chair platform designed for cinematic VR. Integrating beautiful design and engineering magic, it reflects a passion for VR storytelling. Voyager delivers a completely new level of immersion in VR by providing a comfortable, fully integrated personal VR theater that incorporates gentle motorized yaw and pitch motion, haptic feedback (powered by Subpac), and specialized seating. Its unique software and hardware technology integration enables nuanced motion and haptic tracks to be encoded along the featured content’s visual and spatial audio tracks. The chair precisely guides the viewers’ attention to points of interest in the experience, while also allowing a viewer-controlled motion mode. Voyager units will be available Q1 2017 to select theaters, hotels, concerts, and events that desire to provide a premium VR experience.

Please contact Bradley Friedman, President of Gibraltar Furniture at T 800 416-3635 or via sales@gibraltarfurniture.com for more details

 

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