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The next Roller Coaster

Published: 01.09.2014
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The people at VR Coaster had a great idea: Create a 3D ride synchronized to a real world rollercoaster, put someone on the seat with an Oculus Rift headset, and let them freak the hell out as they fly through a fantastic landscape full of dragons and lava giants. Apparently, people say it's an amazing experience.

In February 2014, I approached the german roller coaster manufacturer Mack Rides with the idea of extending a real roller coaster by wearing an Oculus Rift headset during the ride. I was wondering if it would be possible to replace the real environment by a synchronized virtual ride.

At Mack Rides, they also saw the potential and entered this ground-breaking cooperation project with me and my students, providing us two roller coasters for research and testing (Blue Fire and Pegasus in Europa-Park).

Then, on April 7th, we actually became VR coaster pioneers – being the very first people to experience an Oculus Rift VR-ride on a real roller coaster, synchronized to the real track. And it was just unbelievable!

On that day, we all felt that we were laying the foundation of something very big.

I don't know if it's going to be "very big" but at least this is something that many people would really like to experience in an amusement park. I know I want to do it. It must be incredible to be subjected to the extreme movement of a rollerc oaster while you look around truly believing you are somewhere else.

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