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Immersive experiences

Updated: May 2

woman in deprivation tank
Deprivation tank

In this article, we will explain Immersive Experiences and explore the realms of altered states of reality.

What is an immersive experience?

An immersive experience is when someone intentionally alters the environment to create an augmented reality. Lighting effects, visual elements, and sound are used to create a unique experience that touches all the senses.

Technically malls, casinos, and yes, even Ikea, can be considered an immersive experience.

When was the first Immersive experience?

If you want to get philosophical our first immersive experience began after the great oxygenation event when the Earth's atmosphere began to contain oxygen making the world habitable.

Immersive experiences were popularized with Disney's amusement park opening in Anaheim, California on July 17, 1955.

Since Walt Disney's foray into immersive experience design and the use of animatronics, new technology has encouraged different genres of experiences:

  • Motion-based attractions, like one of the many theme parks, have pushed the boundaries of animatronics and film. The jaws attraction is one that I can recall from my childhood.

  • Augmented reality has allowed creators of mobile games and interactive games to create immersive experiences making the world a game environment, using our phones and special goggles. Pokemon go is an example of an AR mobile game.

  • Mobile applications like doodlelens use your phone to display text IRL

AR phone game Codename: Neon real-world multiplayer

What is Augmented reality?

Augmented reality is achieved by altering the perception of someone's surroundings. This is usually done with the aid of a phone or AR goggles or headset.

top AR Augmented reality goggles on the market right now:

  1. Oculus Quest 2

  2. Lenovo Star Wars

  3. Merge AR/VR Headset

  4. Microsoft HoloLens 2

  5. Magic Leap One

  1. Epson Moverio BT-300

  2. Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2

  3. Raptor AR headset

  4. ThirdEye Generation

  5. Kopin Solos

  6. Toshiba dynaEdge

  7. Vuzix Blade AR

  8. Snap Spectacles 3

Zuckerberg using the Oculus Rift
Zuckerberg using the Oculus Rift

Oculus rift is Facebook's play on the AR hardware space. They bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014.

woman using Halo Lens ar glasses
Halo Lens

Halo lens is Microsoft's bet. These futuristic spectacles have many commercial applications like complicated assembly instructions for manufacturers of auto parts.

Halo Lens use in construction
Halo Lens

AR Art or immersive art has been on trend since NFTs have been minted and platforms created to support AR art.

Augmented reality art has been used by artists like Montreal based artist Waxhead and street art festivals like Mural, when they did AR art in the Parc du Portugal during the 2021 Mural festival in Montreal Canada.

Artists can now create immersive media and distribute them online for their fans to enjoy. Immersive technology is changing how we experience experiences life.

Let's explore Some of the different types of immersive experiences:

1. Eatertainment

Food as a prop and chefs with pizazz. This is the ultimate dinner and a show. Ex. Saltbae, chef celebrities or a modern-day benihana


The race car driving, speed boat flying, adrenalin-seeking father of Steve Aoki made his fortune dazzling white suburban families with entertaining tableside chefs who knew how to flick a shrimp into the chest pocket of some business person on lunch break.

Video showing a Benihana chef in action:

Here are a couple of other eatertainment experiences.

Rainforest Cafe

Tonga Room

Medieval times

2. Escapist

An event or activity that encourages pleasant, and perhaps unlikely, outcomes instead of the less interesting or unpleasant aspects of life. Some examples:


three people Larping

The art of people gathering, dressing up like characters from a game of thrones episode, and role-playing. One of these meetings takes place at Mont Royal parc in Montreal every Sunday in the summer of course, unless you are a real die-hard larping enthusiast.

Escape rooms

4 bored people in Escape room
Escape room

Getting locked in a room and having to figure it out has been trending these days.

3. Jobertainment

Jobertainment is an activity whereby you pay to do someone's job. Some examples:

Apple Picking

apple picking

Pay to pretend to be a farmer for a day

4. Immersive theater

Immersive theater is venues that are staged experiences designed to alter guest's reality. Some examples:

Minnesota renaissance festival

two people jousting at the Minnesota renaissance festival
Minnesota renaissance festival

Once upon a time, a lot of people got together in Minnesota to enjoy the old times. "The Minnesota Renaissance Festival began its journey in September of 1971 on a 22 acre field in Jonathan, MN. More than 25,000 people visited the two weekend grand opening of the festival then named A Celebration of Nature, Art, and Life! That celebration has since relocated to Shakopee, MN and has grown to be the largest Renaissance Festival in the United States with an annual attendance of 300,000."

Meow Wolf - House of the eternal return

Immersive art adventures in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and Denver. Meow Wolf is a popular attraction and an unforgettable experience. Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return is a mind-bending, explorable art experience for people of all ages in Santa Fe, NM.

Sleep no more

Sleep No More is the New York City production of a site-specific work of theatre created by British theatre company Punchdrunk. It is primarily based on William Shakespeare's Macbeth, with inspiration also taken from noir films, as well as some reference to the 1697 Paisley witch trials.

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