Off a busy street in an unknown part of downtown that seems both foreign and yet familiar, there’s an elevator that looks unassuming for those who haven’t seen it before. Step inside and press “Plank” and the cheesy elevator music accompanies a ride that lifts you 50 stories above a vast city. It’s not until the doors open that your mind goes into fight or flight mode and you forget that what you’re experiencing isn’t real—it’s virtual reality. In reality, you’re in a warehouse in St. Louis Park, but in your mind, you’re 50 stories above the ground with nothing to keep you from falling other than a 2×4 board cantilevered out over the busy street. Can you conquer your fears and reach the donuts at the end of the plank or will the plank conquer you?
It’s hard to explain just how real a scenario like this feels when you’re in it and that’s what makes REM5 Virtual Reality Laboratory’s experience so amazing. High-end VR equipment can transport you to the perilous plank, swimming with dolphins on an underwater adventure, or into a new generation of innovative games like Beat Saber, a 2019 version of Dance Dance Revolution, all with the click of a button.
What separates REM5 from other flavors of VR entertainment is the comfortable user environment from the moment customers walk in the front door. Skeptical visitors are treated to a free demo to ease any fears of motion sickness or vertigo (which are not a problem when great equipment is matched with the right experiences). When they’re ready to take the VR plunge, visitors get their own semi-private pod to explore VR. On nights and weekends, you can see everything from a family with young children taking turns exploring VR for the first time to a 60-year-old celebrating their birthday with a local craft beer and a pizza made on-site by a staff that cut their teeth at the well-known Mill Valley Kitchen.
If you wander into REM5 during the day, you’ll see the same VR equipment, but instead of games you might see a local class in a virtual field trip or an architecture firm showing their designs to a client who can now walk around their home as it’s being designed in real time.
There are a million applications for virtual reality and REM5 is an exciting place to explore the possibilities, whether you’re looking for fun or a way to make your business better. Make reservations on the REM5 website or contact them about your VR ideas.