Thursday, April 15, 2021

World’s first VR paragliding experience opens in UK

 

Visitors to Brighton’s Palace Pier are among the first in the world to try a unique virtual reality ride that lets riders paraglide over scenery at high speed.

ParadropVR™ combines cutting-edge VR technology with a suspended paragliding harness that moves up and down, giving riders a three-minute taste of a sport that’s usually only available to a few, highly trained adrenaline junkies.

With jets blowing air into their faces to add to the sense of speed, riders steer their paraglider through steep mountain valleys, rendered in realistic high definition graphics. As they do so, the ParadropVR™ harness they are strapped into rises and falls to mimic the soaring, steep ascents and sudden drops of real paragliding. ParadropVR™ – provided by Immersivity Ltd and operated in partnership with Brighton Palace Pier – is developed by Frontgrid, a manufacturer of virtual reality experiences.

Immersivity Chief Executive Officer, Martin Howe, said: “This ride is the real deal. In just a few days we’ve seen just how much people love it. Some are screaming once they’ve got the headset on and are lifted into the air. Others are just left breathless and exhilarated by the experience.

“While this is our first installation – it is already proving that ParadropVR has the potential to be a real hit wherever it goes. And we’re already looking for other sites.”

As well as shrieking at the jaw-dropping scenery flying past, ParadropVR™ riders can test their skills against others, scoring points every time they successfully fly through a target. High scores will go on to a global scoreboard – and available through an app.

A spokesperson for Brighton Palace Pier, which is operating the ride in partnership with Immersivity, said: “We’re tremendously excited by the chance to offer our visitors this spectacular experience. It not only complements the thrilling rides we’ve got here, but also adds something really different. We know that in time ParadropVR™ flights will be customizable, so we can’t wait for visitors to be able to fly over Brighton and Brighton Palace Pier.”

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