We’ve heard of virtual reality (VR) being used on rollercoasters and other theme park rides, but the idea of using a VR headset while zooming down a water slide is a new one. However, this is exactly what Galaxy Water Park in Bavaria are attempting.
The new attraction will be a traditional style of waterslide where riders have the option of donning a VR headset to be shown an experience of riding a red-hot flow of lava from an exploding volcano while dodging rocks and other debris.
“Essentially, it’s a waterslide, but when you ride, you’re wearing virtual reality goggles, which totally intensifies many elements of the experience,” said Malcolm Burt from Australia’s Queensland University of Technology, who is working on the project. “Using research into VR immersion, and how to trick the brain into believing it is in danger, every twist, turn, and launch is magnified, and it definitely makes for more of an adrenaline kick.”
The research done by Burt is already being looked at by other theme parks, so it is possible that other rides will be using the same technology in future, perhaps even more VR waterslides.
The project is currently undergoing testing at the park and is expected to be opened later in the year. It’s not currently clear exactly how the experience will work, what VR hardware is planned to be used, or how that hardware will be protected from water and impact damage. Nor is it currently known if the VR experience will sync with the waterslide, and if it does how that will be accomplished, considering the known problems that come from the physical experience not matching up with the visual experience.
VRFocus will bring you further news on the latest VR use in travel and entertainment as soon as it comes in.