Alton Towers Discussion Thread

P. 576: The Alton Towers Dungeon teased for 2019!
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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby A.J. » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:49 am

jedimaster1227 wrote:Do the ride's trains need any kind of modification to sustain the VR headsets' power throughout the course of the ride? How have previous VR tests been set up to work with the existing installations?

For those of you who don't want to follow the link, the VR Coaster system uses Samsung Gear VR, which is basically a Samsung smartphone mounted right in front of your eyes with a headset. The headsets are basically just pieces of plastic with field of view lenses and the phones can be taken out and charged when they need to be.
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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby Garet » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:56 am

An example here of one of those headsets in use in Everland (which is also owned by Samsung) It's part of the Pride of Korea section when you enter during your time-slot and there are some interactive areas before the 4D move.

I've seen them slowly start appearing in the electronic stores lately. They had a test booth with them in Seoul a few months ago with T Express footage and footage from one of Everlands horror mazes.

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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby Dar » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:15 am

Rob over on Towers Street has said that on a recent EuropaStreet visit to Europa Park they were told that this isn't a Mack/VRCoaster installation.

I can't wait for them to balls this up.

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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby jray21 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:21 pm

Sounds like an interesting idea, but I bet we'll all look like a bunch of idiots looking all around. Kind of like people who have a bluetooth earpiece in, but look like they're talking to themselves.
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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby KarlaKoaster » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:47 pm

I don't want to get ahead of myself as I know VR hasn't been confirmed yet, but I thought this quote was interesting in an interview with Michael Mack (from Mack Rides) on Blooloop was interesting:

“We tested for over a year with Blue Fire, and managed to develop a way of controlling the guiding and running wheels, and measuring where the wheel would be at any point. By knowing exactly where the train would be on the track, we invented a little black box installed on the train, to capture the movement and positioning of the wheel. This sends a signal to the VR headset so the movie can be perfectly in synch with the roller coaster." (Without that synchronisation, there was significant potential for motion sickness.)


It goes to show how much is involved in the technology and that it's more than just the headset. I still don't really know what to make of the tech yet. I think it's a good idea but it's hard to know whether it will just be a short term novelty or not.

Full article here: www.blooloop.com/features/europa-park-mack-rides-alpenexpress-vr-ride/38210
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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby StealthFan » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:00 pm

Dar wrote:Rob over on Towers Street has said that on a recent EuropaStreet visit to Europa Park they were told that this isn't a Mack/VRCoaster installation.

I can't wait for them to balls this up.


Given the fact the park haven't announced anything yet you honestly think Mack would just spill the beans on it happening? Even in the modern age of internet rumours and terrible know it all enthusiasts there can still be a few secrets kept here and there.

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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby Dar » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:37 am

StealthFan wrote:
Dar wrote:Rob over on Towers Street has said that on a recent EuropaStreet visit to Europa Park they were told that this isn't a Mack/VRCoaster installation.

I can't wait for them to balls this up.


Given the fact the park haven't announced anything yet you honestly think Mack would just spill the beans on it happening? Even in the modern age of internet rumours and terrible know it all enthusiasts there can still be a few secrets kept here and there.

Yes. Europa Street have a good relationship with the park and there's nothing stopping them confirming that they don't have anything planned with Alton Towers.

It's just been announced that it's going to be an immersive VR experience produced by Figment Productions. The announcement event is still happening, so expect some more news later.

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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby KingRCT3 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:05 am

Figment Production has a website and they talk about VR coasters here.

We are proud to announce that our first public Vector VR project is Galactica at Alton Towers. (The creative work for Galactica was developed through our long-standing relationship with Merlin Magic Making and we worked closely with the amazing Alton Towers team on the technical implementation).


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Vector VR is Figment’s own motion synchronisation and control platform for virtual reality. Primarily, its uses are in theme parks and other visitor attractions, but in some circumstances ambitious live events might also benefit from Vector VR.

Vector is based on an idea that originally saw us strapping mobile phones to our chests and whizzing around the studio on wheelie chairs. Before long we were lucky enough to test our fledgling system on a real, first class rollercoaster and now it has matured into the world’s first fully realised VR motion-sync system that delivers on real-world operational requirements. That means delivering solutions to ensure safety, address hygiene concerns, maintain throughput, and deliver an amazing guest experience at a realistic cost.

We are proud to announce that our first public Vector VR project is Galactica at Alton Towers. (The creative work for Galactica was developed through our long-standing relationship with Merlin Magic Making and we worked closely with the amazing Alton Towers team on the technical implementation).

Whilst its first application has been on rollercoasters, Vector isn’t limited to coasters. It can be used on any vehicle that follows a fixed/predictable path:

Rollercoasters
AGVs (Automated Ground Vehicles)
Simulators
Pirate Ships (it’s a theme park thing)
Drop Towers
Entertainment Robots.
The control system architecture also enables us to operate individual and group controls for synchronised playback in:

Live Events
Virtual Reality Theatres.
From day one, our vision for Vector included two key features: to be mechanically independent of the ride and to use the same sensor for ‘recording and playback’. What does that mean? A recent example explains this best…

We were asked to create demo for a new client, so we put a sensor into our hand luggage and jumped on a plane. Within an hour of being in the theme park we had mapped the rollercoaster with our control sensor – the same sensor that could be used just hours later to give the client a live proof-of-concept with a demo scene in a VR headset.

Below is a simplified list of Vector’s key features, including the extras we’ve developed to enable a full operational roll-out.

- Mechanical independence from the ride vehicle
- Each rider’s control sensor includes a touch-screen, enabling hosts to modify the rider’s experience
- The control sensor can be fitted to the ride in an IP rated, custom-made box, or be mobile and independent of the ride vehicle. It can even be carried in a back-pack, so guests can have a separate VR experience pre and post ride
- High quality media playback featuring graphics which go well beyond traditional game-style visuals
- Individual rider control including subtitles, audio description and audio levels etc. via control pack touch-screen
- System-wide rider control including transmission of customised messages to individual riders via control room tablets
- Key safety features including custom head-straps, harnesses and tethers which keep guests safe on and off the ride
- Custom engineered hygiene solutions
- Battery packs enabling up to a full day of operation for every headset
- Off-ride charging solutions including bespoke powered cases for large numbers of batteries
- Off-ride storage solutions for headsets with built-in charging capabilities.

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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby Picto81 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:52 am

So it looks like its been confirmed then, VR to be installed on Air. What are your thoughts?
I actually liked air the way it was, but I'm not opposed to change so I look forward to riding this in April. Does anyone know if they have added a launch? Is it possible to add a launch? and is the VR optional?

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Re: Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Postby RyanTPM » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:45 am

^I don't think that they've added any launch or that its possible. Looking forward to this though when i go this year :)

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