Six Flags Over Texas Debuts New Virtual Reality Coaster
Today we visited Six Flags Over Texas for a special media event! We took a ride on North America’s first fully-integrated Virtual Reality coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas and boy did it exceed our expectations!
The new experience, which Six Flags plans to roll out at 9 of its parks, pairs new technology by Samsung Electronics America with the thrill of a traditional roller coaster. Riders board the train and are then given a virtual reality (VR) headset to wear. Once the headset is snugly strapped on (trust us, they are snug) the Samsung device reads a QR code on the back of the headrest in front of you which calibrates the device to your position on the coaster train, ensuring exact synchronization of the movement to your location.
The synchronization between the coaster and the VR is spot on. We really felt as if were flying around a war-torn cityscape in a fighter jet, battling aliens! The VR pairs precisely with the movements of the park’s Shock Wave coaster, which was built in 1978. We spoke with Sam Rhodes, Director of Design for Six Flags about how the precise synchronization between coaster movement and VR headset was possible:
“…a little black box. It’s actually gray, but we still call it a black box. It mounts in the middle of the train and there’s a cable that goes to a little pickup that picks up the rotation of the wheels.” Rhodes went on t0 explain, “By doing that, it knows exactly the position of where it is on the coaster at any point. Then it sends a Bluetooth signal to the Samsung Gear VR headset. What’s cool about that is if the person sitting in the front is going down a lift and the person sitting in the back is going up a lift they actually have a different respective view. The box actually calibrates to where you’re sitting in the ride so it knows if you’re sitting in the front seat or the back seat.“
The New Revolution Virtual Reality Coaster experience will be available as an option to Season Pass holders riding the Shock Wave this week as part of the park’s Spring Break festivities. The thrilling new experience opens to the public on March 26.
Watch our media preview coverage below! Watch as we take a ride on The New Revolution and our exclusive interview with Six Flags Director of Design, Sam Rhodes.
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