Imax, Hitachi launch group virtual reality ride

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TOKYO--Japanese electronics company Hitachi Ltd. and mega-screen movie company Imax Corp. will market virtual reality entertainment systems used at amusement parks starting next year.

The system developed with U.K.-based Entertainment Design Workshop LLC will be marketed worldwide by Imax's subsidiary Ridefilm Corp.

The yet to be named system consists of a six-person capsule set in front of a digital image videoscreen. The simulated ride will be interactive, with visitors being able to "steer" their capsule through the simulated course.

The two companies will market the virtual reality systems for simulation attractions worldwide from the spring of 1999 and are aiming for annual sales of 300 units by the end of 2002.

Copyright November 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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