The former head of Disney Imagineering is now head of a startup of a location-based VR company
Bruce Vaughn served as chief creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney’s operation that dreams up and builds most things in its theme parks and resorts, for over 9 years. In his role, Vaughn oversaw major projects like the $1 billion renovation of Disney California Adventure park (including Cars Land).
Vaughn left Disney in May 2016, but only took a short break before announcing his new venture – Dreamscape Immersive. Vaughn serves as its CEO and is positioned perfectly because of his experience at Disney and the themed entertainment space.
Dreamscape Immersive is a company that’s looking to take virtual reality, a very hyped-up form of new entertainment, and adding a new level of reality to it. Similar to companies like the Disney-supported company The Void, Dreamscape Immersive is using the latest VR technologies and combining them with real-life environments, special effects, and motion capture tech to create a unique and “hyper-immersive” experience in what they like to call “VR centers.”
It’s really something that needs to be experienced to be described, but the premise is that if you were to see an item in a virtual world, you’d be able to pick up that item in real-life. If you were in a smelly place like a sewer, you’d smell the sewage itself. If you saw another person in the VR world, you’d be able to stick out your hand and receive a handshake.
Where Vaughn and his expertise can contribute the most is obviously creating more of these already engaging VR experiences with that added level reality. It was rumored that Disney is playing in the VR space and how that could translate into one of their future theme park attractions. Beyond that, the scale of what Vaughn is doing now is considerably less than creating something as immersive and real as Cars Land. However, the hype and new dimension of entertainment that he is adding to virtual entertainment is something to take note of.
And others are taking note, including AMC Entertainment (owner of AMC Theaters) who recently announced $20 million in support of what is still being called a “startup.” AMC also said they are looking to build 6 of Dreamscape Immersive’s VR centers in the U.S. and U.K. together in the next few years.
This is all clearly an attempt to make VR more mainstream, taking the current VR entertainment out of people’s homes and into large, public places like malls. We’ll see if the public takes to these new forms of entertainment when the first Dreamscape Immersive VR center opens in the first quarter of 2018 in Los Angeles.