The digital disruption of virtual reality and the future of the steel roller coaster : an initial industry analysis
- Authors: Louw, Candice , Louw, Brenda Lotriet
- Date: 2018
- Subjects: Digital disruption , Virtual reality , Roller coaster
- Language: English
- Type: Article
- Identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/276349 , uj:29569 , Citation: Louw, C. & Louw, B.L. 2018. The digital disruption of virtual reality and the future of the steel roller coaster : an initial industry analysis. , ISSN: 2223-814X
- Description: Abstract: In the overlapping realms of digital design, engineering, tourism/leisure and thrill seeking, roller coasters are sought after attractions capable of drawing millions of visitors to amusement and theme parks located all over the world. More recently (from 2015) however, numerous new and existing roller coasters have been retrofitted to accommodate a Virtual Reality (VR) experience overlay – evidence of the infiltration of the digital disruption in yet another industry. Subsequently, in this paper, we firstly endeavour to examine the global footprint of the European Steel Roller Coaster Industry (ESRCI) as an export of the European economic region, while secondly, determining to what extent Virtual Reality (VR) has already infiltrated the industry. As a result, an exploratory study was conducted to identify the operational roller coasters of 23 European-based steel roller coaster manufacturers, also noting the country in which each roller coaster is operating. The results were used to establish a global footprint of the ESRCI, while an indication is also given to whether any of these manufacturers’ operational roller coasters have already been retrofitted with VR. Initial findings confirm that although the concept of the VR enhanced roller coaster is still fairly new (introduced in 2015), the effects are already wide spread with 8 of the 23 ESRC manufacturers having been affected by VR additions to one or more of their operational roller coasters within the 3 year time frame (2015 – 2017). While VR product development and integration strategies are still in the early stages, as it currently stands, VR is identified as a key role player and complementary technology for further consideration in the roller coaster industry going forward. Moreover, by adopting a manufacturer and industry centric point of view on the subject matter, this paper provides a point of departure for examining the current usage and trends of VR in the ESRCI, which may be transferrable to the roller coaster and amusement industries at large. This, in turn, may advance future discourse in the understanding of whether VR poses a threat to new roller coaster infrastructure development, is a complimentary asset to existing roller coaster infrastructure or is merely a passing fad.
- Full Text:
Virtual reality enhanced roller coasters and the future of entertainment – audience expectations
- Authors: Burt, Malcolm , Louw, Candice
- Date: 2019
- Subjects: Virtual Reality , Roller coaster , Amusement park
- Language: English
- Type: Article
- Identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/402718 , uj:33715 , Citation: Burt, M. & Louw, C. 2019. Virtual reality enhanced roller coasters and the future of entertainment – audience expectations.
- Description: Abstract: Roller coasters are often acknowledged as the icons of amusement and leisure with their towering structures forming an integral part of any theme or amusement parks’ prestigious ride infrastructure. As with any infrastructure roller coasters come at a high cost, but inevitably also become outdated. By leveraging the power of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, there is an opportunity to integrate innovative, creative and captivating new VR experience overlays with existing roller coasters, thereby generating new interest in older ride infrastructure. While VR additions to roller coasters are still a fairly recent introduction (as of 2015), the adoption rate is high. Despite this observation, very little research has been conducted pertaining to the VR enhanced roller coaster experience – and even less so from an end user’s perspective. This is a shortcoming in current research literature which merits further investigation. As a result, in this research, we examine existing literature (pertaining to the core elements of best-practice VR experiences) and original data gathered from VR roller coaster thrill seekers (pertaining to their likes, dislikes and expectations of current VR enhanced roller coaster experiences). Based on our findings we present a model, Burt’s VR Entertainment Primer, which identifies six categories (Description of VR Experience, Rules of Entertainment, Queuing & Headset On/Off Boarding, Audio/Video Experience, Hardware Experience, General Findings) with supporting elements that should be taken into account in order to develop a successful VR enhanced roller coaster experience overlay. Due to the generic, user-centric nature of the model, it may possibly also extend itself to the VR amusement and entertainment industries within a broader context, thereby supporting the innovative application and assessment of VR in entertainment overall.
- Full Text: