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Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets: where to get a first-hand taste of virtual reality

While VR is taking off, the equipment is still too expensive to be accessible to most. At JetOne you can try the latest tech, explore virtual shipwrecks and immerse yourself in a futuristic firefight

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 May, 2016, 8:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 May, 2016, 8:00am

Everyone’s heard about the recent advances in virtual reality and how the new technology is going to transform computer gaming (and perhaps even our lives in general), but how many readers have actually tried it?

Even if you were able to get your hands on an in-demand and expensive headset such as the Oculus Rift, you’d need a pretty powerful PC to run it – that laptop you use to Skype with your mum just isn’t going to cut it.

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People wanting to see what all the fuss is about can visit a branch of local simulation centre JetOne Motion. The company opened its first branch in Central in 2014 offering flight and racing simulation, and has since opened more outlets in HMV Causeway Bay, APM in Kwun Tong and K11 in Tsim Sha Tsui amid a surge of interest in virtual reality.

On a recent visit to the Central branch, we plunged head-first into some virtual worlds using the latest technology – the Oculus Rift CV1 headset (which was released in March) and the HTC Vive (released in April).

Peter Yu, JetOne’s chief operating officer, first introduced us to virtual reality by giving us an Oculus Rift headset and sending us into a futuristic firefight between a squad of hi-tech soldiers and a brutal battle robot. We were blown away by how immersive the experience was, as explosions echoed around us and bullets whizzed by our heads.

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We then explored the gentler side of virtual reality after switching to the HTC Vive headset. Using the system’s two hand controllers, we enjoyed a spot of very cartoony tennis, before being whisked into a lush underwater world where we explored a shipwreck and even a whale skeleton populated by a host of aquatic creepy-crawlies.

Once you’ve had your mind blown by the virtual reality headsets, make sure you’ve left enough time to try out JetOne’s full-motion racing and flight simulators – surrounded by three 55-inch LED screens and sitting in a cockpit mounted on hydraulics is the next best thing to actually being on the race track or in the sky.

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