“Do you dare to dream?” That is the question posed to you when you enter Somnai; the new sleep inspired virtual reality event. Located just a 10 minute walk away from Old Street or Barbican stations, Somnai is easy to get to and well worth the trip.
Virtual reality technology has progressed so much and Somnai is leading the way with this sleep inspired extravaganza. Lasting 70 minutes the multi-sensory, immersive experience is a cross between hyper reality and virtual reality and will test your senses to the max.
The welcome room is cleverly designed to prepare you for your night’s sleep but what kind of dreams will you have?! In order to find out how your body copes with the amazing sights that await, you will be provided with a watch to record your heart rate. It was interesting to see how different people’s reactions were. Some people’s heart rates were already quite high and we hadn’t even stepped through the main doors yet!
It is difficult to talk about what you will find when you go through those doors and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. Part of what makes this experience so unique is the not knowing. The anticipation contributes to getting those heart monitors activated! What I will say is that you will experience different worlds, colours and heights in a way that you have never before. There are things in there to challenge and possibly frighten you a little, as in reality sometimes the dreams we have are not always pleasant ones. At times, when I looked at my heart rate, I was shocked!I didn’t even think it was possible for my heart to beat that fast. I survived though, as did the rest of the group, so there is a good chance that you will too.
Groups are small with only 6 allowed through at any time so you’ll quickly become firm friends, especially at the scarier parts. Even though you go through the experience together it is still a uniquely personal experience, seeing things that others may not. It is up to you what you look at and how you explore. When you are finally “woken” from your sleep you can then enter the Somnai virtual reality bar. Don’t worry though the drinks are all real (phew) with some interesting cocktails to try. Stay a while and compare your journey and dreams.
The bar alone is worth a visit even if you do not want to try the sleep experience and has plenty of surprises and mystery to entertain you. The highlight is that there is a virtual reality aspect to the cocktails as well. Download the Somani app and you will see your cocktail in the virtual world; a very clever way to carry on the theme of the place.
Cost – Prices start from £35 so won’t break the bank
Fancy scale – No official dress code although it’s suggested to come prepared for sleep. Maybe even a free drink if you come in your pj’s…
Overall – 5/5 Amazing and clever, so much to see and get the heart racing