IT is hard to know for sure what the future of entertainment will be. Remember the days when pundits thought we would all have 3D TVs by now?

It shows that however promising the tech, it has to match our demands, preferences and budgets as viewers. But the UK’S first ‘virtual safari’ left me pondering this again – is virtual reality (VR) the next big thing? Dedicated VR experience, Wild Immersion, has opened at the Trafford Centre offering the chance to get ‘up close’ with wild animals in its first film, Virtual Reserve.

You wear a VR headset and earphones and are then totally immersed in various habitats around the world.

Real wildlife footage has been created from 120 days of filming all around the world and with the headset it feels like you are swimming with dolphins, walking alongside elephants, zebras and giraffes, having a very close encounter with lions or being shrunk to the size of a frog.

Winsford Guardian:

The 360-degree film means you can look above, below or behind you and it is exciting to think that many people will have their first VR experience here. Until now my limited exposure to VR has been in games and it is fascinating to think that its application can and should be much wider than that.

Wild Immersion will introduce new short films every few months. They will all be based on the natural world with a focus on conservation and biodiversity and to raise funds for new nature reserves.

But imagine if feature films could be made in this way.

The big obstacle is money – Virtual Reserve is said to have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and even for the user or centres like Wild Immersion, the headsets do not come cheap.

But in a digital world of constant distractions and technology advancing at an incredible rate, VR offers us the chance to be anyone, go anywhere. If you find cinema immersive imagine what an escape VR could be in the near future. Wild Immersion is suitable for anyone aged over five. Tickets cost £5.99.