Quick Guide to Creating an Immersive Projection Room

A young man in the middle of a space projection immersive projection room

The science fiction concept of the “holodeck” has been in the future for a while. While we don’t have the holodeck yet, immersive projection can help create the illusion of being literally inside content. This can make entertainment better. An immersive projection room can also be used for education, to participate in meetings that feel more like you are there, and to simulate designs.

What Is Immersive Projection?

At its most basic, immersive projection is the use of multiple screens in a “cave”-style setup so that you sit between the side screens. It is starting to show up in state-of-the-art movie theaters. Also, some people are beginning to put multiple screens in home theaters. Even some video gamers use multiple screens to get “closer to the action.”

You might also consider opting for 360° projection, which projects images on all the walls of the space. This is often done for things like museum displays. It allows for an experience similar to VR without users having to wear a headset. It is often more challenging and expensive, however. The projectors must be carefully located to give a seamless experience and minimize the effect of images being projected “onto” other users, which causes distortion. This is akin to the traditional planetarium—but far more versatile.

Why Use Immersive Projection?

Immersive projection can be used for a variety of purposes. These range from entertainment to education, but the technology is also useful for corporate presentations, especially for tech companies. It could also be used to visualize interior design and perform risk assessments.

Some people have also been experimenting with it for therapeutic meditation. This allows the user to be surrounded by a peaceful forest scene, rainfall on water, a starry sky, etc.

How to Make an Immersive Projection Room

Immersive projection requires a certain amount of capital investment. Building an immersive projection room needs either three screens or, more likely, a projection system that operates in “three dimensions.” Some systems may have a central television screen and then use projection for the side screens. For smaller rooms, you can save money by using the room’s white walls as screens instead of setting up actual screens. However, this does require that the walls be prepared properly.

For 360-degree projection, you need carefully located projectors and plain walls that allow for a seamless projection across the room. It’s also important to start with a suitable room, of course. Most individuals can’t afford a purpose-built space, but you should choose an available space that has the best possible acoustics and works well for the projection mechanics. An expert can help establish whether the room you plan on using is suitable.

Don’t Forget Audio

When building out a projection room, it’s easy to focus on the visual elements and fail to properly consider audio. To build a proper immersive room, you need the correct audio gear to best use the room’s acoustics.

This depends on a variety of factors, including the size and shape of the room and the intended purpose of the immersive projection. Entertainment, for example, has slightly different needs from education applications. The ideal immersive projection room would be purpose-built, but as that is rarely possible, a good audio designer can help you with the sound profile that will make for the best experience.

Choose the Highest Quality Your Budget Allows

When making an immersive projection room, you need to choose the highest quality equipment your budget allows. In particular, you need the right projectors and the right sound gear.

Not only do you need good projectors, but they need to be able to handle image blending. This allows more than one projector to project onto the same surface. Because of this, all of the projectors need to be of the same type (and typically of the same brand). If you plan on projecting onto walls, not screens, make sure the projectors you choose handle this well.

Again, don’t neglect audio. In some ways, it is even more important to have good audio gear.

How Much Does an Immersive Room Cost?

The cost of an immersive room is highly variable, depending on the size of the room and whether you are doing “cave” or 360° immersion. Because of this, it’s hard to predict how much the room will cost. You should work with your A/V designer to get the best results within your budget.

Moffitt can help you turn a space into an immersive projection room, choose the right gear, and handle the video and audio design to give you the best possible results. Contact us today for more information.

 

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