Electronic Specifier walks with the dinosaurs

7th December 2022
Paige West

Electronic Specifier’s Paige West paid a visit to Divr Labs’ virtual reality experience in London to walk with the dinosaurs in a 4D world.

A couple of weeks ago, we heard that Divr Labs was “set to shake up the status quo in the virtual reality gaming world”, with a state-of-the-art space opening in Westfield London. So, naturally, we went to pay them a visit to test out this statement.

Located in Westfields Shopping Centre, Shephard’s Bush the experience starts from £29.95 per person for a 40-minute session.

Divr Labs’ latest game, Meet the Dinosaurs, provides a unique experience for adventurers and explorers who want to discover the pre-historic world of giant life-size creatures in 4D. The educational game provides an interactive experience for guests to meet the dinosaurs face to face in the virtual reality world.

As part of the pre-historic fantasy, players who choose to accept the mission become virtual time travellers and travel back 80 million years through the cretaceous landscape to get up close to the dinosaurs.

It is a unique virtual reality experience with real world motion. Visitors can explore and discover the immersive world by being able to physically walk-through the game. Once you’ve popped on the headset and a paintball-style vest, you can free-roam through a labyrinth of multi-functional rooms in a large-scale arena over 1,600sqft/150sqm. It’s one of the biggest free-roaming arenas in London.

One of my biggest concerns was walking into walls (seriously) but, when there’s a physical wall, it is matched very precisely to a virtual wall/obstacle in the VR experience. When there’s a purely virtual wall or restricted area (i.e., next room behind closed door), the user’s headset is faded out and displays only a warning sign when they try to enter. Very reassuring.

Now, the headsets are Focus 3 headsets from HTC. The high-quality PC VR content is streamed wirelessly via Wi-Fi. They have four wide-angle lens cameras used for tracking of position and orientation (so called inside-out tracking) and for hand and finger tracking as well.

The vest enables you to interact with others, play with groups of players, and touch and see the dinosaurs. Connected to a PC via Bluetooth, it has 40 vibration motors delivering haptic feedback so players can feel the movement of tremors, wind and even heat from virtual hot lava! There’s also the opportunity to enjoy a flying sensation from a virtual glider – which was the most impressive part of the experience in my opinion!

In order to make the experiences as realistic as possible, Divr Labs works with specialist consultants to deliver the highest quality games and experience.

“We focus strongly on storytelling and exploration and avoid shooting experiences on purpose. That way we can convey much wider range of emotions and situations and really pull the players into our worlds and make them feel like part of the story,” states Divr Labs.

Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) devices promise to revolutionise the way we interact, acting as gateways to the Metaverse and this experience really does highlight what virtual reality technology is capable of.

Watch my behind-the-scenes video below!

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