Part 2…An experience unlike any other!…What a night!…What is “haptic seating”?…

Not our photos. LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 04: Sphere lights up for the first time in celebration of Independence Day on July 04, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 366-foot-tall, 516-foot-wide venue, the largest spherical structure on Earth, features an Exosphere with a 580,000-square-foot display, the largest LED screen in the world, and is expected to open later in 2023. on July 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

We are still reeling over the experience of visiting the Sphere in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, hosted by Richard, along with dinner at Aria Resort and Spa. What a fun night it was! I took a few photos, but when the scenes passed so quickly before our eyes, I had little time to adjust my phone’s camera to capture them. No regular cameras are allowed in the theatre.

Today, we’re sharing some photos we took during the presentation, Postcards from Earth, which was an astounding experience. An exciting aspect of the presentation was the “haptic seating,” which, of course, Richard ensured we had with our excellent seats:

“The Sphere at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas has 18,600 seats and a standing capacity of 20,000. The Sphere is a 516-foot-wide, 366-foot-tall, circular theater that opened to the public in September 2023.”

When we first saw this scene on the big screen, we all wondered, “Is this it?” But only a second later, the visuals appeared on the massive ceiling and dome of the entire theatre. It was breathtaking!  

“Haptic seating” is described as follows:

“The Sphere at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas has 10,000 haptic seats. The seats are integrated with Powersoft’s infrasound system, which uses a compact transducer called Mover to provide haptic feedback. Mover’s moving-magnet technology uses an audio signal with ultra-low-frequency reproduction to make the chairs vibrate and shake as desired for each performance.”

While we had the sensation of being in a spaceship, the effects were outstanding. It couldn’t have been more fun. We felt like kids on an innovative, technologically advanced ride at Disneyland or Disney World, except it was more profound than anything found at those venues.

It felt as if we were in an aquarium with these sting rays.

The cost to build the Sphere is astounding as follows:

“$2.3 billion
After accounting for design changes, supply chain crisis, and inflation, it is understood that The Sphere ultimately cost $2.3 billion.”
There are conflicting reports on whether the Sphere has been making money since its completion, included in the following:
“Las Vegas Sphere reports $98.4 million loss, the CFO quit as well,” said a post from Daily Loud, the “#1 Source For Hip-Hop/Viral News Across The Planet,” according to its X profile. Photography website PetaPixel went with a similar headline, saying, “Las Vegas Sphere’s CFO Quits as Company Posts $98.4 Million Loss.”
We all gasped as the beauty of this scene played out in 360 degrees.
In another report:
“As of February 5, 2024, Sphere Entertainment reported a $51 million profit in its second quarter. This includes $314 million in ticket sales and $159 million in expenses.”
Describe the technology of the Sphere:
“The Sphere in Las Vegas has many technologies, including:
  • LED screen
    The Sphere has a 16K resolution wraparound LED screen that wraps over and behind the audience. The screen uses Lens Projection Formulas and spherical trigonometry to map images onto the curved display. The screen is also designed to be permeable so that reverb doesn’t tarnish the sound.
  • Audio
    The Sphere has speakers with beamforming and wave field synthesis technologies. The 10,000 haptic seats have actuators that tune frequencies and act as low-frequency bass. The Sphere also uses a new camera system called Big Sky to create a new cinematic experience.
  • 4D experience
    The Sphere uses 4D technologies, including infrasonics and haptics, to create a 4D experience.
  • Energy
    The Sphere is powered by about 70% solar power, most coming from Nevada’s leading electricity utility, NV Energy.”
    We felt as if we were underwater with a school of fish.

Based on the above information, this venue has been quite an undertaking. Is it worth attending, even with family members, when tickets for good seats are over $200 each and parking is $70? That can only be determined by one’s willingness to bear this expense for a relatively short but astounding once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Would children enjoy this? I’d say it wouldn’t be suitable for kids under eight years old and might be frightening even for children of that age. Preteen and teenagers would undoubtedly enjoy it.

The haptic seats vibrated with the sounds of the elephant hooves hitting the ground. Guess what this reminded us of?

As for seniors? If mobility is a serious problem, we wouldn’t recommend it. Although the facility has options for wheelchair assistance, it would be essential to book this before booking the seats to ensure the senior or disabled person can maneuver the way to their seat, which is very difficult if mobility is an issue. It appeared they had particular seating areas for those in wheelchairs, which wouldn’t require climbing over people on the narrow, steep ledges.

Aside from today’s main photo, I took all the other images we’ve posted today from my seat, but the seating was too tight to turn around for better shots.

There were hundreds of scenes, many of which we’d seen in our travels. But, I needed to sit back, relax, and be immersed in the experience.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, February 23, 2014:

Marabou Storks will eat anything they can swallow, including shoes, clothing, and tin cans. They can become aggressive if fed by humans when they are refused food. Although not vultures, their behavior exceeds the traits of vultures whose diet consists of animal remains. For more, please click here.

Part 1…An experience unlike any other!…What a night!…

The exterior of the Sphere changes frequently due to unique technology.

When Richard suggested taking us to the Sphere in Las Vegas for my birthday, I jumped all over the idea. I couldn’t have been more excited to visit a venue packed with excellent entertainment in this wild city. He planned to take us to dinner at Javier’s at Aria Resort and Casino located on the strip. Then he and his lovely girlfriend would drop us off at the Sphere while they’d park the car and meet us where they left us at the corner of Sand and Koval after a long walk from a parking garage back to the venue.

The parking at the Sphere started at $70, and after the expensive cost of the tickets, which was about $200 per person, and the costly dinner at Aria, it made no sense for him to pay that much for parking. They parked at a casino where Richard had a parking pass and walked several blocks to meet up with us while we waited outside for about 20 minutes.

Once he told me he’d booked the tickets, I was concerned about access to our seats at the massive theatre. After reading dozens of reviews, many visitors complained about the steep steps, ramps, and walkways. This worried me. Although I can walk three miles a day in the corridors here, it’s level for easy walking; I couldn’t imagine how I’d manage to walk up and down ramps and multiple flights of stairs and make our way to our seats high in the theatre.

Moments after we arrived, the exterior changed to another view. It’s truly a fantastic experience, especially in the interior and the presentation on the full ceiling screen with haptic seats.

Richard discovered that the better seats were up high since the bulk of the viewing experience of the film, “Postcards from Earth,” included almost a full viewing of the massive ceiling. If seated too low in the arena, we would constantly be straining our necks to get a full view and perspective of the magical scenery. Once we were seated, we realized how difficult a lower seat would have been. But our seats proved to be perfect.

From when Richard booked the seat until we left yesterday late afternoon to head to his house, I often read reviews, looking for answers on how to make the trek to our seats easier for my troubled legs. Much to my delight, I found there were elevators and escalators inside the venue.

While we waited for them to meet up with us after parking, I spoke to a security guard, and he pointed us in the direction of the VIP entrance, where there were elevators that would take us directly to the floor where our seats were located. Once the four of us were together again, we walked less than a block to the bank of elevators, where an operator took us to the correct floor.

Tom’s dinner at Javier’s at the Aria beef taco and beef enchilada with Spanish rice.

Once off the elevator, we had a short walk to the entrance to our section, and then, the only tricky part of the experience began. We had to walk up a few flights of steep stairs and literally wiggle our way onto a very narrow ledge where the seats were situated. We had to squeeze by the knees of about eight already-seated people on this narrow ledge.

The seats were situated on theatre-style seating but were steeper than we’d ever seen. If a person had a problem with heights and elevation, this could have been a problem. All four of us maneuvered ourselves gingerly to access our dead-center seats. I must admit I did so with more caution than the others. Once I plopped down in my seat, I was thrilled to finally have made it with much more ease than I’d anticipated.

And then the magic began, more of which we’ll share in tomorrow’s Part 2. Today, we’re sharing a few food photos from our fantastic dinner at Javier’s at Aria before the show and more photos I took during the astounding show. No regular cameras were allowed, and I wasn’t sure that included smartphone cameras. I ensured my flash was off and managed to sneak in a few shots, although they did not fully represent the magnitude of the experience. That would be nearly impossible to do well when scenes on the full-circle ceiling and screen flew by in a blur. A video would have been impossible while seated in the steep and tight seating.

Although not as massive as some chopped salads, my chicken chopped salad was delicious.

What a terrific evening we had! I felt relieved knowing it all worked well and that I had no significant issues entering and leaving the theatre. Of course, as always, Tom kept a tight hold on me, which was comforting and reassuring.

More will follow tomorrow, including a description of “haptic seating.”

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, February 22, 2014:

Baby warthog, standing by the braai. “What’s on the menu?” he inquires. “Pellets, I hope! For more photos, please click here.