Following CES in Las Vegas last week, VR is on the minds and lips of everyone in the tech and gaming space. But even though virtual reality is more immersive than any form of entertainment previously known, it still can’t manipulate all the senses at once.
Alton Towers Resort has developed a way to make the VR experience even more true to life… By strapping you to a roller coaster while you wear a VR headset.
The idea is that you can experience flying through outer space not only with your eyes and ears, but with your whole body.
The roller coaster is called Galactica and it’s a part of UK amusement park Alton Towers Resort, set to open in April.
As the name implies, it tells the story of being the first customer to travel to space with space tourism company, Galactica. For three minutes, riders will feel like they’re blasting off into space, traveling through warp tunnels into new galaxies, and touring various planets and wormholes.
The coaster was originally the ‘Air’ roller coaster at Alton Towers, and is being repurposed through the simple application of VR headsets.
The resort says it will be adding special shoulder straps to the belly-down ride, limiting users’ head movement for fear of motion sickness.
Engadget explains that this will allow the park to track the roller coaster itself, though users’ headsets will also be tracked individually to sync imagery perfectly with the movements of each rider’s head, limited as they may be. The headsets will also be equipped with special sweat-resistant straps to ensure they stay in place.
For folks who just want to ride a roller coaster, in real reality, Alton Towers says that a non-virtual option will be available to riders.