Samsung, one of the frontrunners in the nascent virtual reality space, wants to blend the best of the real world and the virtual world into one. The South Korean technology conglomerate has teamed up with Six Flags Entertainment to launch nine roller coasters powered by Gear VR headsets in North America.
As part of the partnership, the Samsung and Six Flags Entertainment will give riders a Gear VR headset and make them ride an actual roller coaster. But instead of showing what's happening in the real world, they will be fed with an interactive, immersive footage from virtual world that would leverage the physical g-forces created by Six Flags Entertainment's fun ride. People will be able to interact with the virtual world. On some roller coasters, for instance, people will be able to fire weapons in the virtual world.
Six Flags Entertainment is thrilled and says that it will double the number of new coasters and rides that it did last year. "This remarkable technology is a definite game-changer for theme park rides and represents everything our brand stands for--delivering the most thrilling and innovative rides and attractions in the world," said John Duffey, Six Flags President and CEO.
Samsung began selling its first consumer Gear VR headset last year. The headset works with only high-end Samsung smartphones and phablets. At MWC last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Oculus VR, whose software powers Samsung's Gear VR, is bringing 'Dynamic Streaming' and 360-degree, immersive video to Samsung's virtual reality headset.
Samsung may have found a simple way for users to try and get a taste of virtual reality, a technology space that is still in its early stage.