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Fit Trend to Watch: Location-Based VR Experiences

Location-based VR experiences are springing up all over the world. What are LB VR experiences? They are out-of-home VR attractions that people visit like they would for arcades, movies, or theme parks. Why should we keep location-based experiences and attractions on our radar? Because they’re thrilling, get us and our family and friends off the sofa, and it’s fun to try new things!

Facebook and Oculus

Companies like Oculus’ very own Facebook are looking toward investing in location-based VR experiences. Why? Because it gives people a way to give VR a single player or group test drive without having to buy a gaming rig, a headset, and games first.

Variety reports that Colum Slevin, Oculus head of experiences said, “We love the idea of an audience being able to go to a destination, and have an experience, and love that experience and continue that adventure at home”.

At OC5, the Oculus Quest standalone headset was revealed to be compatible with a VR game like Dead and Buried Arena (Gunfire Games). LB VR experiences typically function in larger and more open spaces.

The wireless and arena-scale 80×60 foot revision of the cowboy-themed FPS game definitely looks the part of LB VR. But will Dead and Buried become one of the LB VR and out-of-home attractions partnering up with Oculus and Facebook?

The following quote by Oculus’ head of experiences makes LB VR a future reality that’s still being decided. Slevin said, “This is something we are working really closely with a number of partners on, how we can tie a location-based experience to an in-home experience.”

U.S. military makes use of VR to train soldiers. The simulated Virtual world provide opportunities for teams to work together to prepare them for the chaos of combat.

Will creating strategic partnerships with gaming studios that make games usable with the Oculus Quest increase headset sales and turn more people into VR fans? We’ll be standing by to see how it all unfolds. Keep yer’ practice up by shooting western ghouls in the original Dead and Buried until then.

Survios VR Arcade

Positioned in Torrance, California at the Del Amo Fashion Center is the Survios VR Arcade . The location of it is a point that’s south of their headquarters and close enough to Los Angeles and freeways for people to visit it easily. (I only know this because I’m a local.)

The studio behind the location-based VR arcade is well known to the VR community for developing powerhouse game titles like Sprint Vector, Electronauts, and Creed: Rise to Glory. Their arcade is a place for guests to play games from Survios and other active titles like Beat Saber (Beat Games), Arizona Sunshine (Vertigo Games).

Out-of-home attractions like the Survios VR Arcade are a prime example of a studio that’s making bold moves to promote VR to the masses. When The L.A. Times says VR arcades and location-based experiences are what’s hopefully going to save America’s malls , studios like Survios are answering that call with VR tournaments and fight nights.

Who doesn’t like a challenge to punch a living and breathing opponent for the chance at a PS VR set up? There’s no jail time needed for a virtual knock out — players only need to feed their curiosity and have some kind of agility, strength, and gaming technique. Also, what better way to show off their shiny new boxing game than hosting a fight night?

Google Is Going In VR. Google has fully embraced the virtual reality experience and it is dedicating a lot of resources to it. In fact, Google Cardboard was once considered to be a side project for the company before it became a hit. Some people say that Google Maps' street view, which launched in 2007, was an early example of virtual reality. In recent years, Google hired a lot of people specifically for virtual reality and they are researching all aspects of it.

Will VR tournaments and special events get more people interested in out-of-home VR? Are studios going to get the hint and follow Survios example? Oh, so many questions. We’ll have to let Quarter 4 headset and Survios game sales speak for themselves.

Attractions and Theme Parks

Location-based experiences are becoming popular across the world. There’s an attraction starting in Japan with a Sega and Spaces backed Terminator: Salvation VR experience. The United States is also going to see The Void, ILMxLAB, and The Walt Disney Company design a Ralph Breaks VR experience and are expecting to release other cinematic LB VR experiences along the way.

Theme parks are also getting LB VR makeovers too. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Andretti Indoor Karting & Games attraction in Orlando, Florida has a VR rollercoaster called the Gear Coaster. Guests sit down and wear VR headsets to go on simulation coasters found at Coney Island in New York, or at Ocean Park Hong Kong.

Guests sit in seats that swerve around curves and move up and down slopes! Theme parks are getting smaller and are now having faster lines than the actual parks they’ve built their rollercoasters after. They can also be swapped out for new ones instead of being rebuilt for millions of dollars.

When looking for something new to try, don’t forget to check out this theme park with a VR water slide ! VR Scout reports that the location-based VR experience is in Germany and their mobile headsets are waterproof! Thrilling isn’t even the right word for this. It’s bonkers amazing!

Facebook is estimated to have more than 400 employees working on developing VR. Other companies known to have VR in development include Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Hold onto your trunks and suit bottoms! The VR publication says that Ballast VR is behind the Space Glider waterslide at Galaxy Erding waterpark. Guests pick which Space, Snow, and Sky worlds and go down the slick 520-foot long waterslide .

Guests aren’t going to be going to shoot straight down from great heights. Rather, they’ll go on a mixed uphill and downward waterslide. The headset, slide, and guest are tracked with special sensors. Not only is this a tech and sensory packed experience — it’s breaking all electronics rules by adding water!

Will multi-sensory location-based VR experiences supported by big-name films and theme parks across the world increase VR sales and home use? Homes won’t have the machinery or waterproof devices that these attractions do. But will the quality and ability to transport guests into exotic and thrilling worlds be a magnet pulling these guests to VR?

Wrap Up

VR technology, machinery, and gaming experiences are throwing us for a loop! There are so many surprises in store for VR owners and those without a headset to encounter. Out-of-home and location-based VR experiences are, to me and other VR supporters and innovators, the perfect introduction to Virtual Reality.

Do you think location-based VR experiences, games, and attractions will get more people off the sofa? Will this lead to more community members by the end of the year and well after that? Sound off in the comments or tag us on social media.

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