Credit: Henry St Leger If you want to impress a friend, or a date, you’re not taking them to a gadget showcase. You’re going to a cool bar.

This is cutting-edge tech with a gently casual bent, operated as successors to the coin-op cabinets still found in countless bars around the world, and which – incredibly – can still cost more by-the-minute than an hour-long VR experience (£39 per person across The VR Concept’s venues). While VR in general struggles to shake off its public image as an isolated, niche interest, modern arcades may be able to tackle this problem head-on: by bringing VR to social spaces and ensuring players and punters feel connected to the experience.

There are other notable VR sites worldwide attracting interest, including a VR bar in Vienna and a high-profile theme park in Guizhou, China that opened its doors this month. Even as this nascent technology struggles to gain a foothold in everyday use, these ventures point to a bright future for VR as a normalised, ultra-social experience.

Co-founder Lane is optimistic about the future of VR, in his sector at least: “What we’re doing with this is providing people with interesting, fun stuff to do on a night out.  “The question isn’t ‘do we see interest in VR waning’. It’s ‘do we see interest in experiences waning’.

And absolutely we don’t.” Get the best tech deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable tech news and more! Read more from…

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