The cutting edge of gaming technology is virtual reality. VR systems immerse the player within the game – the interactive 3-D world and gaming action surrounding them on all sides.
For fans of VR gaming, it adds another level of excitement to the increasingly intricate world of video games.
But there are a couple of downsides.
First, the high-end gaming consoles, which give the most complete experience, are very expensive. For example, an Oculus Rift system can retail for more than $500, and that’s without games, which can range from free to around $40.
Second, because some games let you wander around inside them, they require a little extra space to play comfortably.
So, gamer and software programmer Jag Kalluru and his partners decided to open VR3 Gaming in South Whitehall Township.
In the Tilghman Square shopping center near the New Vision Movie Theater, VR3 is a place people can go to play on the latest virtual reality gear in a clean, open space.
That clean, open space is important, Kalluru said, as he pointed to the cords which hang from the ceiling at VR3 rather than being laid out across the floor.
“You can get so involved in the game,” he said. “We don’t want you to trip.”
VR3 charges by the half-hour and hour, $15 and $25, respectively, on weekends. On weekdays, the hour slots are discounted by $5.
With racing, first-person shooter, interactive experience and educational games available, there is something for everyone, Kalluru said.
“We’re not just a place for a bunch of teenage kids,” he said. “We want whole families to come and play together … from 6 to 99 years old.”
He said the newly opened business has hosted a number of birthday parties. He also is promoting it as a place for team building.
Kalluru said there isn’t a wide range of youth-oriented activities in the area, and he saw VR gaming places as a growing trend in other areas but without a strong presence in the Lehigh Valley.
With a movie theater, karate school and tutoring academy in the shopping center, Kalluru said he saw great potential to get exposure to families visiting for other activities – perhaps for the family member that doesn’t want to see the movie everyone else is going to see.
VR3 Virtual Reality Gaming is at 4624 Broadway, South Whitehall Township. For more information, visit www.vr3gaming.com.
Dental office focuses on children
A new pediatric dentist office has opened near Easton. Children’s Dental Health started seeing patients March 29.
The practice aims to make dental care fun by offering computer notepads, movies, books, toys and a chalk wall.
Staff is trained to work with children.
The practice is at 1800 Sullivan Trail, Suite 120, Forks Township.
For more information, visit www.childrensdentalhealth.com.
Photo booth offers 3-D models of subjects
For decades, families have collected photographs of loved ones to keep them close and preserve precious memories.
Now, the old-fashioned photograph has gone 3-D as families can have small three-dimensional models of their loved ones or even pets.
A business has opened in Pottsville that allows you to take a 3-D scan of yourself, which can then be used to make a sandstone model.
Studio 3D Photo Booth, started by John Albertini, is in an existing Pottsville gift shop, Martian Materials Meteorite Store, at 18 N. Second St.
Customers can make an appointment online or walk in during shop hours and step into a 10-foot-wide photo booth. Its 89 cameras will take two photos in a quarter-second to create a three-dimensional image. The 3-D model will be created and delivered in about two weeks.
Customers can get full-body, half-body and bust-size sculptures in a variety of heights. Subjects can be scanned alone or in groups. Pets are welcome. Prices start at $34.
Albertini said he got the idea at a similar business in Philadelphia.
“Instead of going home with a model of myself, I went home with a business model,” he said.
While there are countless ways the figures can be enjoyed, Albertini said he expects his main target will be parents and grandparents who want mementos of children, perhaps on birthdays or in sports uniforms.
For more information, visit www.studio3dbooth.com.
Editor’s note: We want to hear about your new business or product. Contact Stacy Wescoe at 610-807-9619 ext. 4104 or send an email to SWescoe@lvb.com. To be considered, a new venture should be less than 60 days old or starting within 60 days.