As technology advances, we constantly look for new ways to interact with it. Recently, with the advent and popularity of VR, companies are striving to create experiences that are immersive as possible. Enter Aures, a London based club that is updating their Sensorium room to affect all five human senses. In a graffiti covered street of Waterloo, South London, this club is preparing to shake guests to the bone. Literally.
Video and audio enhanced through the other senses isn’t a new concept. However, we are technologically at a point where more in depth and complex techniques can be pulled off, greatly enhancing the experience. I remember a trip I had to a ‘4-D’ movie theater. I was sourly disappointed when the only addition was seats that moved slightly and a large fan in place to simulate wind. That was 10 years ago, so I can imagine that things have got a lot better since than.
The first step in the Sensorium is assuring that the audio quality is clear as can be. Instead of just a couple speakers at the front of the room, 50 speakers are placed around the room at different levels. There are also 10 amplifiers and a PA system. This assures that the audience can enjoy the dynamics and power of the auditorium while still retaining the clarity you’d get from headphones. There is also a ‘food and drink’ phase that will add a scent delivery installation to further increase the way a concert is tailored for a specific performer.
Perhaps the coolest part of the changes is the installation of a low-frequency, haptic floor. It’s slated as a bone conduction effect, which is typically used for those hard of hearing. Air conduction is listening to something like headphones where the sound travels through the air into your ear. Bone conduction hearing aids place an electromechanical headphone on the user’s skull and it transmits through the skull to the inner ear using vibrations. So, the idea for the floor is that vibrations synced to the band playing can increase our listening experience through a different mode of hearing.
Time will tell how well it works, but it’s definitely a unique concept. The hope is, Aures London, and specifically the Sensorium Room, will be able to tailor craft a sensory experience unique to the artist that is performing. The more tailored it is to the performer, the more immersive the entire experience will be.