VR Coaster, Holodeck VR and MackMedia unveil world's first 'Roam & Ride' Virtual Reality Attraction
VR Coaster, Holodeck VR and MackMedia have announced that the Holodeck platform has been selected to create the world's first 'Roam & Ride' VR attraction, a seamless combination of free-roaming virtual reality and an intense VR thrill ride.
The planned soft opening for the new VR attraction at Europa-Park is scheduled for September 2018.
"The Holodeck VR system, which can handle dozens of guests simultaneously, was the ideal extension to our patented approach of equipping ride attractions with VR" said Thomas Wagner, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of VR Coaster GmbH & Co. KG. Both systems use untethered mobile VR Headsets, making them a perfect match since laptop-backpacks are no option on a rollercoaster.
"Our patent-pending 'Roam & Ride' setup not only immerses guests in an exciting VR pre-show, but also makes the coaster boarding operations much easier and more efficient."
Together with MackMedia and EuropaCorp, the creative team of VR Coaster have created the breathtaking VR world in the "VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS" universe that sets new standards in visual quality:
By blending pre-rendered footage with real-time 3D, an enormous level of detail was achieved. Guests and operators appear as naturally moving avatars in a compelling free-roaming experience, before seamlessly boarding the thrilling VR ride of Eurosat Coastiality.
Holodeck VR's proprietary, patented tracking system offers the highest user throughput in the market, which makes it uniquely qualified for a major theme park like Europa-Park, welcoming more than 5.6 million visitors each year.
"We are honored that Holodeck VR has been selected as the virtual reality platform provider for this groundbreaking new project," said Jonathan Nowak Delgado, co-founder and managing director of Holodeck VR.
Holodeck VR can reliably track more than 100 objects at a time, from small areas up to stadium-sized spaces, and requires only a fraction of the usual tracking hardware, thus making Holodeck VR the most cost-effective solution for high-throughput free roaming VR attractions.
Jeff Burton, advisor at Holodeck VR and co-founder of Electronic Arts, said "I joined Holodeck VR because I see many parallels to when we started EA." Aside from the theme park industry, Burton sees the potential of Holodeck VR to become 'the iTunes for virtual worlds', "enabling content developers to market their experiences to massive audiences."
Holodeck VR uses proprietary patented sensor fusion technology, exclusively licensed from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Nuremberg, optical tracking hardware provided by Advanced Realtime Tracking, and onboard inertial measurement units (IMUs) to create a platform for high-volume free-roaming VR attractions.
Since the launch of the world's first virtual reality rollercoaster in September 2015, Europa-Park, Germany's largest theme park, has been continuously extending its VR offering on the 'Alpenexpress' rollercoaster, where visitors choose from five different VR experiences nowadays.
For the extensive refurbishment of the beloved 'Eurosat' rollercoaster which is planned to be completed in September, it was decided to offer two very different experiences on one and the same ride:
Visitors choosing to ride without virtual reality headsets, will embark on a journey, set in 19th century Paris, featuring the world famous 'Moulin Rouge' (Eurosat – CanCan Coaster).
In addition, there will be a separate coaster station for VR riders, thus ensuring smooth and fast operations (Eurosat Coastiality).
Since the introduction of the innovative 'ARTHUR – In the Minimoys Kingdom' inverted power coaster in 2014 (which is based on the popular ARTHUR & the Minimoys IP), MackMedia has developed a unique relationship with acclaimed filmmaker Luc Besson and the French motion picture company 'EuropaCorp'.
"As soon as I knew about Luc Besson's new movie 'VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS', I wanted to feature it on the new Eurosat Coastiality VR ride. The setting, visuals and atmosphere are simply made for virtual reality. In combination with the innovative, world-first 'Roam & Ride' concept, Europa-Park visitors will embark on a virtual reality adventure like no other", said Michael Mack, founder of MackMedia and managing partner of Europa-Park.