One of Europe’s largest water parks, Therme Erding’s Galaxy Erding water park in Germany, has a new claim to fame: a water slide that outfits guests with a VR headset. Dubbed VRSlide, the system includes a water-resistant VR headset powered by a Samsung Galaxy S8 for a deep dive through the waters of the digital unknown.
As first reported by The Verge, the VR headset system was developed by American startup Ballast VR and includes a number of features that aim to keep park guests moving through the lines at a regular pace.
At 393.3 grams (~0.8 pounds), the headset features wireless charging, NFC, and a pass-through camera. VRSlide headsets are tracked by Ballast’s patented tracking system, which is accomplished through a mix of ultrasound sensors for the slide rider’s position and accelerometer to further confirm the position. The company maintains the precision of their tracking system “eliminates most motion sickness commonly felt in early virtual reality experiences.”
Each headset docks in a dedicated charging cabinet and wirelessly sends information from that day’s operations to the company’s servers, which allows Ballast to do things like generate analytic reports about rider capacity, update content, and detail each headset’s performance.
The company’s VR water slide experiences were developed in Unity, something Ballast says allows them to “easily make tweaks, push updates and create brand new experiences … [so] guests have something new to look forward to with every visit.”
VRSlide is available on the park’s 160 meter (~520 ft) long innertube slide ‘Space Glider’, and now that the heat waves are finally here, there may be no better time to hit the water park and try out the sort of experience that was once only available to VR roller coaster riders.
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