VR Coaster and Sensics today unveiled RideVR, a new all-in-one VR headset built especially for use on high-flying theme park rides.
VR headsets have been in use on rides like roller coasters and drop towers basically since the initial Samsung Gear VR for Note 4 came to market in late 2014. Because consumer-level mobile VR headsets like Gear VR aren’t really built to withstand all-day use by the sweaty theme park-going masses, Sensics and VR Coaster have partnered to build an all-in-one headset that aims to tighten down on some of the pain points of using consumer VR in a high traffic setting.
RideVR’s two-part design is pretty ingenious, accomplishing a few feats at once. As an option, the headset’s display and optics can detach from the head/chin strap and face mask, letting visitors put on the strap first while waiting in line and get a good fit before ever entering VR. This ideally increases the physical throughput of people by getting everyone ready well in advance. Because the headset also includes an inexpensive face mask that’s hypo-allergenic, reusable and machine washable, operators can replace it with a fresh mask whenever your sweaty uncle finishes with it.
Fact: heat kills components and generally sucks. If you’ve ever run a Gear VR for longer than 2 hours, you know you could practically cook an egg on the other side, but the companies promise to minimize overheating in RideVR with improved thermal management. The RideVR battery is also a separate from the processing unit, letting operators charge batteries while keeping the processing unit in use, or alternatively letting them use a power cord and forgoing the battery entirely.
Lastly, the RideVR headset packs a 2880×1600 resolution display that they say significantly diminishes the ‘screen door effect’. Sensics and VR Coaster are staying mum on further info surrounding the actual guts of the device.
As patent holders for using mobile VR headsets on rides, VR Coaster is one of the most prolific companies offering mobile VR headset-enabled rides to date, with 40 parks worldwide using their tech.
Sensics, a co-founder of Razer’s OSVR initiative which produced the HDK headset, has already released an enterprise-facing PC VR headset using the same ‘split’ design concept described in RideVR, a device intended for room-scale VR experiences.
Select theme park customers will deploy the RideVR headset in early 2018.
VR Coaster is hosting a booth at the IAAPA 2017 show in Orlando, Florida where more info will be available. Sensics will also be at the CES show in Las Vegas in January 2018.