If conventional waterslides aren’t quite enough of a thrill for you, try gliding down ethereal lava flows and skirting simulated volcanic eruptions on the world’s first virtual reality waterslide.
The slide, which is currently in its testing stage, is set to open at Bavaria’s Galaxy Water Park later this year.
“Essentially, it’s a waterslide, but when you ride, you’re wearing virtual reality goggles which totally intensifies many elements of the experience,” said media producer Malcolm Burt of Australia’s Queensland University of Technology, who is working with a German waterslide company to create the concept.
"Using research into VR immersion, and how to trick the brain into believing it is in danger, every twist, turn, and launch is magnified, and it definitely makes for more of an adrenaline kick."
Burt and waterslide company Wiegand-Maelzer paired up to develop the slide following the release of Burt’s documentary about rollercoasters, called "Signature Attraction.” Its completion will be part of Burt’s PhD.
“Certain design elements are still being ironed out, but the VR waterslide concept is in testing and there is nothing else like it in the world,” said Frank Heimes of Wiegand-Maelzer.
Burt’s research has also garnered the attention of various VR amusement attraction vendors across the U.S. and Europe, as well as Six Flags. If all goes well, perhaps we could all be enjoying theme parks with a dose of virtual reality some day soon.