Alton Towers, one of the UK’s leading theme parks, has announce they’re to launch their first virtual reality roller coaster called ‘Galactica’, to open in April.
It seems that the out of home entertainment sector is really cottoning on to the potential of VR as a way to provide unique experiences for their visitors.
Alton Towers, one of the largest theme parks in the UK, has announced a new virtual roller coaster called Galactica which fuses physical roller coaster thrills with fantastical visuals made possible with VR.
The new ride, as the name might suggest, is themed on space travel, transporting users through different galaxies whilst wearing Samsung Gear VRs holstered by a proprietary strap and cover system, designed by UK’s Figment Productions. The ride’s harness allows the user to look around freely, but firmly bolstered their shoulders to help eliminate sickness from lateral movement and the lack of positional tracking to counteract it – to help alleviate VR sickness in ride.
More importantly, Figment are the minds behind the motion synchronisation technology used to drive the ride’s VR visuals, known as Vector VR.
The ride should last for approximately 3 minutes and will marry physical roller coaster movements, twists, turns and rolls with VR visuals displayed in the headset. Those on the ride will be face down for the duration of the experience, a neat physical twist that we can’t wait to try.
Alton Towers claim that the physical aspect of the experience will be no slouch either, stating that certain points of the ride exert up to 3.5gs of pressure, akin to that experienced by astronauts during rocket launches.
We have no technical details on the headsets used in the experience, although as you can see they’re clearly designed to be rugged (and secured too). No word on comfort or indeed potential cleanliness measures that will be employed by the park. They do state that the ride represents millions of pounds worth of investment by the company, so clearly they’re taking this seriously.
It’s an exciting move by the UK leader in theme parks, and one which we’ll be bringing you more detailed coverage on very soon.