Augmented & Virtual Reality News Source

Amusement parksVirtual reality gives old fairground rides new purpose

  • In the case of Kraken, the rider wears a headset that takes him on an underwater journey which matches the coaster’s movements, dodging prehistoric sea creatures such as pliosaurs, careering down into an underwater canyon, and straining to escape the clutches of the terrible, tentacled monster after which the ride is named.
  • VR, though, has given parks an opportunity to breathe new life into old rides, saving money as they do so.
  • One cause of VR-induced nausea is high latency—too long a delay between users moving their heads (and thus their expected view of the virtual world) and the headset’s response to that movement.
  • High latency sends confusing signals to the brain and prompts “cue conflict”, the body’s response to receiving mixed signals from the eyes, which provide vision, and the ears, which contain the organs that register movement and balance.
  • To ensure perfect correspondence, VR firms such as Figment Productions, a British company that worked on the new Kraken ride, map the entire track using devices called inertial measurement units (IMUs) before the visuals are created.

KRAKEN, a 17-year-old rollercoaster at SeaWorld Orlando, an amusement park in Florida, reopened in June after several months of refurbishment. That, in itself, is unusual. The normal fate of old rides is demolition and replacement by new ones offering fresh thrills.

@TheEconomist: Virtual reality gives old fairground rides new purpose

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Amusement parksVirtual reality gives old fairground rides new purpose