Step inside Utah warehouse to explore new worlds

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Enter a warehouse north of Provo to step onto a space station to battle aliens and giant spiders.

A building in Lindon is the testing grounds for a Utah company planning to build a 100,000-square-foot virtual reality facility in Pleasant Grove next year.

"It's amazing to step into something that is not everyday life," Ken Bretschneider, the CEO and Founder of The Void, told KUTV.

"You can step back in time," he said. "You can go into the future. You can cross another dimension. You can go across the universe."

The gaming center will be called The Void and feature as many eight 60-by-60-foot gaming pods, each with a different kind of experience for up to 10 players at a time.

A promotional video from the company shows futuristic shooters, fantasy adventures and airship gun battles. There will also be experience-based options like walking with dinosaurs.

Players will wear three pieces of equipment: a head-mounted display, vest and gloves.

"We've developed all these technologies to be able to place people in a completely virtual world, where they're completely mobile and wireless inside the environment," said Bretschneider.

He said The Void is trying to create the most realistic gaming experience in the world.

His team carefully programmed the virtual world to match walls and objects inside the physical warehouse and incorporated things like hot, cold, weather, rain and smells.

The Lindon prototype already allows people to explore two foreign worlds: One where the user can battle enemies on a space station and another that allows exploration of rooms and caves and a steep cliff wall.

The starting price for The Void will be $29.95 for half an hour of play.

Employee Curtis Hickman said the experience will be better than previous virtual worlds because it's tied to physical reality -- gamers can walk and touch real walls, preventing the disconnect between what your body is doing and what your eyes see.

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