Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

New uses for augmented reality

Developed in co-operation with Hanwa of Japan is a new state-of-the-art haunted house fusing a video game with live adventure.

Before entering the attraction, guests are equipped with a backpack and video gun (pictured above) featuring an infrared camera, LCD display and trigger. They must then progress through the house looking for “ghosts.” Augmented reality allows guests to see characters that aren’t really there, on top of scenery that is (as below). As soon as a ghost is spotted on the gun’s screen, players shoot to collect points.

The attraction has been developed with family entertainment centres in mind, or as an upcharge activity at a standard amusement park. Hanwa will provide the hardware on a turnkey basis, while Total Immersion supplies the augmented reality software.

With Vekoma, Total Immersion is offering an augmented reality upgrade of the manufacturer’s Mad House, in partnership with The Smile of Experience (Hester Klosterboer). Comprising a swaying gondola inside a themed rotating drum, the Mad House is already known to disorientate guests, who are convinced they are turning upside down.

Now a show or pre-show sequence can be added to make the experience even more engaging, including effects such as snow, falling objects or disappearing guests. These virtual components are merged into a live video stream in real time.

A new mobile phone application is also in development using augmented reality to guide guests around a theme park, enhanced with animations to promote shows, retail offers etc. Total Immersion also continues to work with various park operators providing interactive queue line entertainment.

An interesting development in the publishing industry occurred when InStyle published its December issue in the USA, and became the first magazine in the world to use augmented reality. Readers were able to hold a copy of the magazine up to their computer’s webcam and view a message from cover star Taylor Swift, as well as experience interactive advertising content.

Pictured below: Riders are promised added effects on Vekoma’s Mad House thanks to a colloboration with Hester Klosterboer.

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