Bremen, Germany: German amusement ride manufacturer Huss Park Attractions GmbH has announced the successful initial testing of an exciting, high performance virtual reality (VR) system which is set to add totally new optional ride experiences to its attractions.
Hailed as the first VR system for use on a non-coaster attraction, the first tests of the system took place recently during an event with special guests at Djurs Sommerland on the park’s HUSS® Viking Ship attraction.
During the event the riders wore specially designed VR ‘glasses’ and were immersed into a completely different virtual environment which synchronised to the familiar ride program of the attraction.
With VR technology, all the motions of the ride are translated into the virtual world in real time to provide passengers with a totally new and exciting experience and to place them into new and fascinating environments. Even with the most lavish of design and theming, such a scenario would not be possible in the real world.
In addition to a more immersive and intense experience, the system can be applied to almost any existing ride and a wide variety of content, suitable to the ride movement and/or theming. It is possible to create many different experiences on the same attraction. High performance, real-time computer graphics allow the integration of interactive elements while both small and large attractions can be used to create equally effective VR experiences. The retrofitting of existing rides is also possible and there are no limits when it comes to theming choices.
During testing at Djurs Sommerland, guests were placed right in the middle of the action in a series of virtual scenes, including stormy seas with mythical creatures, as well as swinging through the urban landscape of Metropolis and above the skyscrapers around them in what feels like an oversized giant swing. All the scenes were carefully synchronised with the normal swinging movement of the attraction, creating a totally immersive and very realistic experience.
Those trying out the experience were hugely impressed by the new technology and its impact on the ride experience. Park Director Henrik B. Nielsen said: “This is really a new and exciting experience. From a park management point of view it would be a great extra feature to add to some attractions for a wide range of guests.”
Tivoli designer Will Gurley was also present for the test event and was equally as excited by the new development, saying: “I found that unlike other stationary virtual reality experiences where I often feel disoriented, the pairing of VR and ride movement was much more easy to become immersed in. The combination of virtual world with movement is a very exciting prospect for ride development. It has great immersive potential in its ability to heighten a physical experience.”
Also thrilled with the outcome of the first HUSS® VR-Ride experiences was Huss Park Attractions CEO Mirko J. Schulze who commented: “We currently see a hype towards VR technology. It is in everyone’s mouths, everyone is curious about the latest development. For us this is an exciting new development which brings another totally new option to our ride portfolio. The system adds a whole new dimension to rides and truly immerses passengers in another experience, outside the real world. With a wide range of visual content available, we will be able to place guests into all kinds of scenarios and on a range of attractions, so we are very much looking forward to moving ahead with this technology and creating some great new experiences.”
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