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trt:labs / Sublimotion

Sublimotion by Paco Roncero

In 2014, the Sublimotion restaurant opened its doors to guests on the island of Ibiza. The restaurant was the result of two years of intense hard work by Vega Factory and Paco Roncero, together with a group of chefs, designers, engineers, illusionists, set designers, architects, choreographers & screenwriters and resulted in a new type of stagecraft: the merger of haute cuisine, cutting edge technology and unprecedented staging. In the same year it opened, Sublimotion won the award for Best Innovation FSB at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards and has been blowing diners minds ever since.

Read on for the background story…

The Concept

anyone, anywhere, anytime

A product of the creative minds at Vega Factory, the Sublimotion concept was born 2012. Under their guidance, the aesthetics of the restaurant and the magic of the show came to life, delivering a spellbinding experience for diners. From the undulating clamshell serving dishes to the wrap around 360 degree visuals, from the burlesque dancers to pods that magically descend from the ceiling, their creative mastery and years of experience in top class event organisation help create the ideal platform in which to showcase the 12 individual Michelin star quality courses.

At the beginning of 2018 they had asked themselves the question: What if we can have dinner with anyone…anywhere….at any time? A haute cuisine dining experience where you can eat with friends inside a Virtual environment. In essence a video game version of the familiar Mediterranean dining table, except with Michelin starred chefs preparing the food instead of Grandma (or Abuela as they say in Ibiza). The experience had to be deployed and dismantled in a maximum of 5 minutes, had to be visually stunning to fit in with the rest of the Sublimotion experience and had to be 100% reliable….night after night. Not an easy challenge!

The Development

challenge accepted

After having successfully delivered previous AR experiences for Sublimotion, Vega Factory approached us with their latest vision. Our design team set about bringing this vision to life; a hyper-realistic virtual restaurant where the walls dissolve around the diners to reveal that they have left Ibiza and are in fact dining in New York’s Central Park. As the snow falls around them, the diner’s hands are tracked using Leap Motion sensors so that when they are served a real life snack, they can pick it up in the virtual world and eat a course prepared by Michelin starred chefs – entirely in VR!

In order to deliver the experience we had to use cutting edge VR technology: portable HP backpack PCs, HTC Vive VR headsets and Leap Motion sensors. Our team jumped various hurdles making sure the experience started rapidly, calibrated with millimetre accuracy every time and coped with the lighting conditions of the dynamic restaurant environment. After an intense period of research and development, we delivered an experience worthy of the Sublimotion brand.

The Delivery

hardware isn’t hard

Of course cutting edge technology usually means a whopping budget. The challenge now was: how to provide a world class experience, with the highest performance technology, without breaking the bank? Cue Grover!

With a simple subscription model, Grover helps users access the latest technology without paying the full price, or investing a lot of money in equipment that quickly goes out of date.

Their Creators program helps creators and start-ups realise their unique visions through easier access to technology. Grover even went out of their way to acquire the best-in-class technology for Sublimotion to help deliver a stunning VR experience, entirely worthy of Sublimotion’s high standards. This allowed trtlabs to bring Vega Factory’s vision to life, amazing diners at Sublimotion throughout the summer of 2018, including quite a few famous faces!

visit our partners in the sublimotion project