Discover Germany, Issue 53, August 2017

Page 66

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Consumer Electronic & Technology Trends 2017 VR rollercoaster ride at Europa-Park.

Coastiality App.

Coastiality ride ‘Alpenexpress’.

The future of virtual reality – An immersive 360-degree rollercoaster ride MackMedia is a pioneer for transmedia entertainment and the digital storytelling brain of Germany’s largest theme park Europa-Park. One of the company’s latest innovations consists of the breath-taking virtual reality (VR) Coastiality rides and an accompanying app. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: MACKMEDIA

The idea of creating fantastical worlds has always been the motivational engine for theme parks across the globe. Therefore, merging virtual reality with a real-life experience to offer a complete body and soul adventure is the holy grail of today’s entertainment sector. Thanks to MackMedia, that dream is finally coming true. Together with VR Coaster and Mack Rides, the company has developed the world’s very first VR rollercoaster ride. While riding on a real-world rollercoaster and feeling the thrilling rush of wind, the centrifugal forces at power with every twist and turn, visitors see an incredible flawlessly designed 360-degree fantasy world through a Samsung Gear virtual reality headset. The perfectly synchronised 360-degree animations unfold a story in front of the amazed viewer’s eyes, which is supported by the real-life sensory experience. It 66  |  Issue 53  |  August 2017

is a breath-taking adventure, literally and figuratively. At Europa-Park, visitors can choose between two worlds, a wild mining cart ride and a flight on the back of a dragon, or they can become true sky explorers high above the clouds. Far more than 650,000 passengers have already tried the rollercoaster upgrade in Europa-Park – whilst worldwide there have been far more than 2.5 million people who have chosen to ride a VR coaster. With the free accompanying app, Europa-Park enables any smartphone user to immerse themselves in fantastic 360-degree worlds whenever, wherever. The start-up company, VR Coaster, and the Coastiality App by MackMedia, have together won the prestigious German Computer Games Award, which is not only an honour but also testimony to the outstanding technical quality.

“Europa-Park believes this technology is ground-breaking for the theme park industry. We see our pioneering work in this field confirmed daily. The visitor numbers are clear indicators of its popularity,” says Michael Mack, managing partner of Europa-Park and CEO of MackMedia, who heads up the project. The triangle of success consists of the rollercoaster manufacturer Mack Rides, MackMedia, which develops the creative concepts, and VR Coaster, responsible for the creation of the virtual reality experience. They offer a complete package to upgrade rollercoasters worldwide and open a portal to a new era of innovative entertainment. The future awaits us. Are you ready to come on-board?

German Computer Games Award: best innovation 2017.