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Virtual reality is everywhere this year. Soon, people will be able strap into a headset and be totally immersed in an experience unlike anything TV can deliver. Taking you to new places - real or imaginary - companies like Sony, Samsung, HTC, and possibly even Apple, are going to be in your face like never before. Companies are betting millions, if not billions, on consumers falling in love with the technology, but there's only one problem with the idea of total VR immersion: no matter how amazing the visuals being burned into your eyeballs are - or how high-fidelity the sound is - you’re still going to have the physical sensation of being planted on a couch or standing in your living room. To make something like playing a Call of Duty game or watching an alien apocalypse video really immersive will require an innovative new apparatus to give people the sensation of physically doing what they're seeing. Or, you can just strap into a roller coaster with a headset and see if virtual reality can make you puke in real life.
Six Flags will see its first virtual reality roller coaster open this month, with goggled riders witnessing an epic Avengers-style alien invasion from the viewpoint of a fighter jet cockpit. Powered by Samsung Gear headsets, which are in turn powered by Oculus tech, The New Revolution coaster is set to open in North America March 26th to season pass holders.
Meanwhile, an even more epic VR coaster has opened at the UK’s Alton Towers in Staffordshire. The Galactica (which sadly is not related in any way to the famous Battlestar) takes you through a solar system trip from a space station to an asteroid field. The lucky people at Wired actually got to ride it. Check it out:
As cool as this is, I don't think adding aliens and asteroids to the experience is going to make anyone who doesn't like roller coasters any more apt to strap in.