Prop Hunt: Sourcing props for your escape room business
Escape Rooms of the Future – What can we expect?
Escape rooms are a relatively new concept and are believed to have originated in Asia. In the back-end of the noughties, escape rooms began to pop-up in Japan and from there, the idea was quickly taken up worldwide under various names. Escape rooms are so popular because they’re new and have an element of mystery and surprise, however without development, what once seemed like a fresh concept can get stale all too quickly. Staying on top of industry trends is vital, to create a seamless, immersive and most importantly surprising experience for your audience.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
In layman’s terms, IoT is the act of every-day objects being connected to the internet/wi-fi in order to control them wirelessly through your mobile or device, giving common objects ‘smart’ technology. So now as well as your smartphone, you could have a smart fridge or a smart kettle. Apply this technology to an escape room and the possibilities are endless.
Escape rooms are now heading towards making everything fully automated, allowing the participant to feel like a virtual character in a game where their actions have consequences and they can see, touch and feel in the game – giving them a fully immersive experience. Imagine if a certain word could trigger a rug to move, or a gesture could spark a sequence of events, triggered across everyday objects.
When things go bump in the night
An attraction in Moscow called ‘Hide & Seek in the Dark’ carries out its events in a pitch black room. Their players are then pursued by an actor wearing night vision goggles. The players split into hunters and huntees and have to navigate by feeling their way through labyrinths and a multitude of hiding spaces. They use lighting and special effects in order to make the experience as atmospheric as possible and the level of perceived threat can vary based on the audience.
The thin line between reality and technology
Whilst it’s still in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is likely to become more mainstream in the near future. It could inspire a whole room within your business and allows users to be in touch with both the room and technology. Sometimes it’s better to work with, and not against mobile phones after all. So how would it work?
- Users could scan footprints on the floor with their mobile device to reveal a hidden clue
- Users can scan an old painting which reveals an arrow pointing in the right direction
- Users can open a book on a certain page which then reveals a clue as it is being scanned
You can add an AR experience using software on the internet quickly and easily. It would be worth seeing the surprise from your clients when they reveal a hidden message which can only be seen through their phone.
It’s now virtual(ly) a reality
Virtual reality (VR) has been implemented in various levels, to various degrees of success but is definitely something to look to in the future. The Real Virtuality experience at Sundance allowed users to test equipment which enabled them to travel in time and space with a ‘physical’ body, all in a virtual setting. The creative potential this could give you when designing an escape room will be unparalleled. The Sundance trial obviously took a lot of time and money to make a reality, but it shows that it’s in the pipeline, so is something to look out for. You will be taking your clients to whole new worlds soon enough.
There is a multitude of other things to keep tabs on, from LARPing (Live action roleplay) to using technology that is already widely available, such as touch-sensitive lighting to create an experience that will shock and thrill your audience.
If you want to talk to The Insurance Centre about arranging suitable insurance for your Escape Room, call us on 01524 848506 or contact us here.