Mack currently developing at least nine virtual reality rollercoasters

Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG

Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG

VR Coaster is the talk of the town during IAAPA Expo Orlando This ride got the longest queue during the show at IAAPA expo in Orlando: The VR Coaster ride at Funspot. For the first time in the US a real rollercoaster was equipped with the newest in ride technology.

“We had full queues the whole evening and every evening after the showfloor closed“ reports Thomas Wagner, CEO of VRCoaster. The product itself is extremely popular: At least nine major rides will be equipped with the VRCoaster technology. Mack and VR Coaster have been testing the system since Summer 2013 at Europa- Park, where also the first ride with VRCoaster technolgy opened in September 2015. An additional ride was then equipped with the system at Canada’s Wonderland, a Cedar Fair park.

“We’ve had many skeptics asking us ‘why would you want to do VR on a rollercoaster?’ and as a result of the demo we received tremendous positive feedback,” said VR Coaster’s Thomas Wagner, inventor of the one-of-a-kind technology. At Freedom Flyer, an inverted coaster at Funspot Orlando, a different theme took the stage during the ride. With the ability to use the touchpad on the VR goggles to shoot during the ride a whole new stage of the development has been unveiled. “It’s a dynamic ride with a drop element, air time and a helix at the end so it’s more intense than the existing VR coaster at Europa Park. Using the technology you can take an old coaster and give it not only a new skin, but completely

transform the way people perceive it,” he said. The blackbox that is installed at the train uses several sensors to precisely measure the position of the ride on the track. The real-time generated 3D world is than synchronized with the real position of the rider along the track. But not only can the ride be transformed into the virtual world but it can be extended. A long straight piece of track can transfor into a barrel roll or the drop height can be extended by the factor of 100. Everything is possible in the virtual world as long as you synchronize it to the real g-forces.

“Putting the technology on a rollercoaster as opposed to just a computer screen means you get added elements like the wind in your face and g-forces,” said Wagner. “Though it might look like a simulation ride, we can do things that were never possible in that environment. When you ride a rollercoaster you experience zero gravity, floating airtime and real drops. When you combine this with the VR simulation it’s mind-boggling.” All the motion-sickness that people feel when being static while watching VR content is obsolet here, because the movement and the virutal experience match perfectly.

VR on a rollercoaster

VR on a rollercoaster

“We are currently working on nine coasters,” he continued. “We have clients all over the world. One of the major attractions will open up publicly in January but there will be many rides that will be coming up one after the other – we have our hands full.”

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AmusementParksNews Bureau: news@amusementparksnews.com

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