Take a wild ride down the world’s first virtual reality waterslide
Thrill seekers will soon be able to take an immersive trip down the world’s first virtual reality waterslide, which is expected to open at Bavaria’s Galaxy Water Park later this year.
The attraction, which is currently being tested, will include VR elements that let visitors slide down lava flows and dodge volcanic eruptions.
“Essentially, it’s a waterslide, but when you ride, you’re wearing virtual reality goggles which totally intensifies many elements of the experience,” Malcolm Burt, an academic at Australia’s Queensland University of Technology who is working with a German waterslide company to produce the concept, said in a press release. "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."
Burt, a media producer who is currently conducting research on delivering the virtual reality theme park ride as part of his PhD, caught the attention of waterslide company Wiegand-Maelzer after the release of his documentary, titled "Signature Attraction," on why rollercoasters exist.
“Certain design elements are still being ironed out, but the VR waterslide concept is in testing and there is nothing else like it in the world,” Frank Heimes of the waterslide company said in the release.
Burt’s research has also sparked curiosity from several VR amusement attraction vendors in the U.S. and Europe, as well as Six Flags, which is giving him access to collect data from a variety of their attractions, including a VR rollercoaster and a ride with a more than 400-foot VR drop.