These Thrill-Seeking Geniuses Are Testing Virtual Reality Headsets On Roller Coasters

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A professor in Germany is combining two amazing things: roller coasters and virtual reality. In early 2014, VR-Coaster launched as a virtual reality project for students. Mack Rides and Europe Park in Germany also saw the potential in the project, and decided to partner with the class by providing two roller coasters for research and testing.

The first Oculus Rift VR-rides on a roller coaster were synchronized to the real track so the sense of balance actually delivers exactly the right feedback that of the simulation. These “augmented thrill rides” often feel more comfortable than riding the coaster without wearing the device. In the virtual reality world, the user does not see tracks because it takes away from the thrill and surprise. Instead, the ride gets more exciting if there are “false informations” such as a never-ending stairway when, all of a sudden, the stairs break away and you’re falling down (while actually going down the first drop of the coaster in the real world).

Take a look at the side-by-side video of reality and virtual reality. The project is also incorporating a gaming element, where riders hold game controllers and can shoot or interact with objects in the virtual reality. For example press a button at the right time to blow up a meteor or attack an evil, mythical creature. The opportunities are endless, and this is undoubtedly the next phase of amusement parks and experiential entertainment.

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