Hammerson has signed virtual reality experience, Sandbox VR, as part of its plan to diversify the use of Grand Central in Birmingham.
The 13,000sq ft unit – set to open this summer – is the brand’s third in Europe and largest to date. This signing supports Sandbox VR’s plans to expand across the UK and Ireland, while elevating the experiential offer at Hammerson’s Bullring & Grand Central, in line with the wider evolution of the destination.
Taking group VR gameplay and competitive socialising to the next level, Sandbox VR creates a truly immersive experience within exclusively designed interactive worlds, making players feel like they are living inside a game or a movie. The d adventure is powered by a new generation of Hollywood motion capture cameras, 3D precision full-body trackers, custom hardware and haptic feedback suits, enhancing the touch, vibration and motion senses for the user.
Alongside its gameplay, Sandbox VR Birmingham is set to include the brand’s robotic bartender ‘Toni’. Shaking, stirring and serving up to 80 drinks per hour, Toni adds another unique experience to Grand Central’s hospitality and leisure offering.
Toby Tait, director asset management, Hammerson, said: “The signing of Sandbox VR is another big leap forward in the diversification and repositioning of our Birmingham estate. This is going to be a transformative year for Bullring & Grand Central with experiential brands and innovative concepts that engage and excite our customers. We are being bolder and more ambitious in our approach as we work to create a truly multi-use destination that we and the city can be proud of.”
Jake Wilmot-Sitwell, co-founder and COO at Sandbox VR UK & Ireland, commented: “Following our successful launch in Covent Garden last year, we wanted to kick off our expansion across the UK and Ireland by launching the biggest ever Sandbox VR site in the UK’s second city. As the West Midlands’ best-connected retail and leisure destination, the Bullring Estate is the ideal location to launch our second UK site, and we are eager to bring our mind-expanding adventures to this amazing market.”