There are more than 400 amusement parks and attractions in the United States. New amusement parks have begun looking to technological innovations to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Although Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are still in their infancy, amusement park innovators have already begun to realize its potential through the creation of 4D amusement parks. This article looks at three amusement parks around the world using AR and VR to create a new theme park experience.
There are companies throughout the world that are creating virtual and augmented reality amusement parks. L.I.V.E Centre an abbreviation of Landmark Interactive Virtual Experience, in China uses virtual reality and augmented reality to create a new kind of theme park.
Fusing art, culture, and retail with virtual reality, augmented reality, and themed architecture and design, each complex will include an interactive museum, a virtual zoo and aquarium, a digital art gallery, a live entertainment stage, an immersive movie theater, and themed experience retail.
Many of the activities give you points, although the various articles I read made it unclear what and if you could redeem your points for. You can read more about this theme park in Fortunes’ article or by watching the video below.
The Void (@) went a different route and will have visitors wear Rapture tech that allows a more immersive experience through eyewear, a vest, and gloves. “Every bullet, laser, and creature interaction can have its own specific hit location and feel,” according to The Void website. They also are using motion simulators with a “360 degree motion over 3 axis rotations (roll, pitch and yaw) as well as lift” and interactive pods called VOID Game Pods that “create[s] the illusion the player is exploring miles of terrain or incredibly tall structures without ever leaving [their] game pod”.
Disney is also trying out this technological revolution, but they are testing taking VR out of the theme parks and into the real world.
Disney has created a line of augmented reality wearable toys, Playmation. These real world toys can unlock new game features in Disney’s video game Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes.
Disney is also looking at virtual reality as “another paint brush that we can use to tell our stories.” What does that mean? Well, they are “considering showcasing its theme parks in head-mounted virtual reality displays like the Oculus Rift,” according to Bei Yang in Venture Beat’s interview. Although they may integrate VR or augmented reality into some of their attractions, likely as projected video experiences rather than head-mounted displays, they are actually looking at taking VR out of the parks to allow users to experience Disney Theme Park rides at home.
As new amusement parks begin to pop up with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality integration, will traditional amusement parks begin to adapt their parks to include similar technology to compete? With their existing ride infrastructure, this integration could create a new level of audience interaction within existing theme parks, while still appealing to those with a more traditional love of amusement parks. With game developers already creating geo-location based AR games like Google’s Ingress it makes you wonder, Is Augmented Reality Marketing the Future?