VR Coaster, Holodeck VR and MackMedia announced yesterday 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.
Thomas Wagner, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of VR Coaster GmbH & Co. KG. said:
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.
According to the press release, 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 realtime 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.
Jonathan Nowak Delgado, co-founder and managing director of Holodeck VR, said:
We are honored that Holodeck VR has been selected as the virtual reality platform provider for this groundbreaking new project.
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 R&D Institute 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’.
Michael Mack, founder of MackMedia and managing partner of Europa-Park said:
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.
About VR Coaster
VR Coaster GmbH & Co. KG is the leading provider of Virtual Reality Experiences on real Ride Attractions. Through their partnership with MackMedia, Mack Rides and Europa-Park, they comprise extensive know how in the Rides and Theme Park Industry. Also, the award-winning creative team of VR Coaster creates their exciting State-of-the-Art VR experiences in-house: With years of expertise in 3D content creation and game design, they have already turned over 60 rollercoasters and drop towers worldwide into thrilling, high-performance Virtual Reality Rides.
About Holodeck VR
Holodeck VR is a pioneer and leader in delivering turn-key large-scale, multiplayer, free-roaming commercial VR attraction systems for the location-based entertainment industry. It is the only LBE VR massive-scale technology platform that is explicitly open to all third-party content developers. The company offers complete solutions that can be installed quickly and operated efficiently.
Holodeck VR is a one-stop shop that makes it easy for owners and operators to offer innovative virtual reality attractions to their visitors. Holodeck VR’s distribution partners market the solutions to several location verticals like shopping malls, family entertainment centers, theme parks, casinos, sports centers, resorts, water parks and cruise ships.
MackMedia was founded by Michael Mack in 2002. Initially established with the intention to visually document the history and future development of Europa-Park, MackMedia’s portfolio of services has been quickly expanding ever since, nowadays spanning from media productions for a wide range of industries (TV & Livestreams, Animation, Cinema Productions) to offerings for the theme park industry (such as 4D movies, flying theatre content and other media based attractions), to Music, Games & App Publishing and IP, Brand and Licensing development (Alpha Mods, Coastiality, Rulantica, Adventure Club of Europe). MackMedia leverages the same values the Mack family business has been building on for over 235 years, respecting its heritage while embracing change and transformative media innovations.
About Advanced Realtime Tracking GmbH (ART)
ART is a leading manufacturer of high-end optical tracking systems for Virtual and Augmented Reality. In addition, ART provides solutions for industrial measurement and Motion Capture for ergonomics. The company is located near Munich, Germany. Founded in 1999, ART quickly became one of the most important suppliers of infrared optical tracking solutions for the automotive and aerospace industries, and for research institutes and universities. ART offers a variety of tracked input devices, such as Flysticks and Fingertracking, particularly designed for Virtual Reality applications.
Moreover ART is the only company in the world to provide a dedicated solution for optical tracking inside multi-sided projection systems. With new approaches in optics and image processing, ART expands their skills in highly sophisticated and intelligent solutions for content analysis. First applications and proofs of concept can be found in VERPOSE and in the MARKERLESS detection technology.