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The holidays have officially arrived, ushering in the season of hectic travel. This year, don’t spend the time before your flight jostling for a seat in the crowded waiting area. Instead, float through outer space, explore a safari, or hang out at a practice with LeBron James—all through virtual reality (VR).
This holiday season, stop by DIA’s Concourse A to find Facebook’s VR demo store. Open through January 24, passersby can test out the Samsung Gear VR Powered by Oculus—a device that works with Samsung’s S7 and S7 Edge to turn the phones into a VR experience—at no cost. The demo is essentially a two-and-a-half-minute series of 360-degree video vignettes. Take an awe-inspiring journey through space, enjoy a long boat ride through a foreign village, and get up close and personal with a terrifyingly realistic dinosaur—all without leaving the airport.
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Users wear blackout goggles that display 360-degree videos and headphones, which provide the scenes’ ambient noise. As the user moves her head and redirects her gaze, maybe in response to a rustling in the bushes or a voice she hears behind her, she sees more of the scene—what’s happening above, behind, and on all sides. It’s like being in a video.
Oculus VR communications manager Andrea Schubert says the possibilities for VR are unlimited, particularly when it comes to 360 videos, gaming, and social experiences. For now, she says Facebook wants users to get acquainted with the technology, which is best understood experientially.
So as you head to DIA this holiday season, stop by the Facebook storefront to give VR a try if you have at least 30 minutes of downtime (demos run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.). While the video itself lasts 2.5 minutes, it takes about 10 minutes to wait in line, get the explanatory introduction, and have your picture taken with the headset on. Just don’t get lost in the virtual reality and miss your flight.