If you live in the UK you may be already very familiar with Alton Towers. The UK theme park has just announced that its first virtual reality rollercoaster, Galactica, is opening in April. Based on its Air ride, which sees people strapped in facedown, Galactica uses custom Samsung Gear VR headsets from Figment VR to transport riders into a space themed experience, encountering frozen and molten planets and wormholes.
Holy hell. This could be the coolest thing we try in 2016. Or it could be a one way ticket to vomit town.
During the three minute ride, the virtual world revolves around a fictional space tourism company, Galactica, in the year 3016 and begins before you've taken off on the Galactanaut ship.
The 'route' takes you to the outer edges of the solar system, to visit the fictional volcano planet Nero 5 and frost covered Kepler 9 and apparently witness the birth of a new star. According to Galactica's site, more destinations are coming soon too and you're guided by Eve, a fictional AI.
Air has been modified for the Galactica experience so to help with motion sickness, shoulder straps are in place to stop heads moving about to the left and right. Plus there's a custom tethering system and sensors on the ride itself monitor each Gear VR headset.
We've seen space themed Gear VR apps before and it can be a magical experience but who knows what the motion of being on a goddamn rollercoaster at the same time will do. Essentially, the ride becomes another controller to add motion to the VR experience.
Like The Void, which can most easily be described as a VR theme park, and to an extent home VR set ups like the HTC Vive Pre, Galactica is based around making the virtual reality world as immersive an experience as possible.
There's only one thing for it - we'll be queuing up at Alton Towers this April.
Source: GALACTICA IS A VIRTUAL REALITY ROLLERCOASTER OPENING AT ALTON TOWERS IN APRIL