Six Flags Partners Up With Samsung For Virtual Reality Roller Coaster Rides
Good news for roller coaster fans: Six Flags theme parks have teamed up with Samsung to offer visitors a chance to ride one of nine different roller coasters equipped with Samsung Gear Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. The parks, located in California, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Quebec and Texas, are the first in the U.S. to offer this enhanced experience via the company’s headsets. Germany’s Europa Park made use of the VR technology in conjunction with their coaster rides, and by all accounts it’s been wildly popular.
Virtual Reality Headsets
As if roller coasters weren’t exciting enough, after strapping on a VR headset riders will then embark on a journey that can take them through outer space fighting alien beings, allowing them to leave the sights of steel track, skyline and milling crowds far behind for a fully immersed experience. If space isn’t your thing, how about soaring through Metropolis with Superman as he kills robotic minions dispatched by archenemy Lex Luthor? To take it up a notch, it has been reported that on some of these coaster adventures riders will have the ability to interact with their virtual surroundings by firing cosmic weapons at oncoming villains and attackers.
Marc Mathieu, CMO of Samsung America, noted in a statement that, "This transforms the modern roller coaster into a totally new, one-of-a-kind sensorial experience -- powered by technology." That kind of goes without saying. Roller coasters are enjoyed by thrill seekers all over the world and are usually the No. 1 attraction at theme or amusement parks. Millions of dollars are spent on them regularly in an attempt to outdo previous rides a park may have played host to or to outshine competitors and bring in visitor dollars. In the long run, they probably pay for themselves 10 times over before they’re upgraded or scrapped and replaced.
Samsung Gear VR
Late in 2015, Samsung debuted its VR headsets to compete against other recently developed VR/AR products like Oculus Rift, Microsoft’s HoloLens and the HTC Vive headsets. Interestingly, Gear VR sets run on software designed by Oculus, which, as many people know, is owned by Facebook. In order to entice cellphone shoppers, Samsung was giving the headsets away with pre-orders of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. It makes sense, because the Gear VRs rely on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to work, but it’s still a great incentive to buy one because the headsets aren’t cheap.
Virtual Reality Side Effects
One of the few complaints in relation to the rides using the VR headsets is nausea. A lot of people complain of this when going to an IMAX theater. It’s due to the fact that the eyes trick the brain into thinking the body is actually moving when it’s not. It’s been suggested that syncing the images with the rides would theoretically solve the problem. A lot of people get sick riding roller coasters, period. That can easily be remedied with products like Dramamine and Bonine. The one major skeeve factor for me is wearing a headset after thousands of people have used them, one right after the other, before me.
What do you think about this latest expansion into virtual reality? Are you looking forward to riding your favorite coasters with an entirely new view? Let us know.