Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Frontgrid develops more compact hardware for its ParadropVR experience

ParadropVR Pod has been installed at Adventure Parc Snowdonia in North Wales, its first location in the UK.

The under-canopy VR flying experience has been created by combining motion-based engineering hardware, called ParadropVR Pod, and exciting game content, to give the sensation of flying.

Image courtesy of Frontgrid.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia attracts more than 150,000 tourists and locals a year to take part in the modern take on adventure activities — ranging from an artificial surf wave to an indoor aerial assault course.

CEO Matt Wells said: “After 18 months of product development, it is very exciting to see ParadropVR Pod live on location and people coming off the ride and saying simply, ‘WOW!’

“From a customer experience point of view. There is simply nothing like it. It’s exhilarating to play, you can choose your own character and take part in a global league. As the experience is multiplayer, you can literally fly with your friends and see them in the VR environment. It really is the forefront of competitive socializing.”

The Pod hardware compliments the existing ParadropVR Rize hardware which Frontgrid, the creators of ParadropVR, have had in market since 2017. Pod has been designed to be a more compact version of the product with a different game series and emphasis.

Wells said: “ParadropVR Rize is in ten countries around the world and counting and is a proven business model. It is a spectacle attraction and a transformational solo experience, which is all about being the hero of your own journey and flying across diverse environments — while experiencing a large range of motion facilitated by the hardware.

“ParadropVR Pod has a different emphasis; it is designed to be more compact, is operatorless, and being multiplayer has more of a focus on gameplay. It’s positioned to be at the forefront of the esports phenomenon as it evolves.”

Image courtesy of Frontgrid.

ParadropVR Pod has different game content. Three games make up the Discover series, which has its own narrative. An inventor thinks the world needs waking up. So he sets a team of adventurers loose over the mountains equipped with high tech canopies and AR googles to discover their environment. The goggles mark out trails of rings and collectibles, and flyers use these to collect points along the way.

Wells said: “Our existing content means that venues can offer a leading virtual reality experience by purchasing the hardware and an annual content subscription. However, another space that we see as a big opportunity is for them to commission custom content. This could range from branding the canopies, to creating new characters, to putting features in games, to building their own destination relevant environments. This opens up a whole new category of VR, exploring locations from the sky, effectively what we are now calling location-based flying.”

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