Move over, movies and amusement parks: The next big thing in entertainment might just be some strange combination of the two. MIT Technology Review recently chronicled the rise of location-based virtual reality, and it’s a fascinating look at how technology and physical space are merging to create totally new immersive experiences.
Location-based VR, a clunky word to describe blending the physical and virtual worlds, comes in varieties—temporary, pop-up installations; permanent hubs where people pay for 30 minutes of high-intensity VR; and most intriguingly, tech-forward adaptations of familiar thrills like water slides and roller coasters.
Companies like Void are building VR centers across the country that let customers pay for a 15-minute VR experience built around interactive sets and immersive effects. Meanwhile, a slide at the Galaxy Erding water park in Germany’s massive Therme Erding spa now lets riders don a waterproof headset ma as they careen down a water slide. Riders choose an adventure, and sensors on the slide and in the headset, which is made by Ballast VR, allow the virtual experience (such as flying with butterflies) to be timed to exactly where you are on the ride.
Do you really need VR to enjoy the already thrilling experience of hurtling down a water slide? Probably not. But it is an intriguing experiment into how our digital and physical experiences are only to entangle more and more.
Via: MIT Tech Review