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FRONTGRID AND IFLY TO LAUNCH THE UK’S FIRST VR PARAGLIDING ATTRACTION

Adventure leisure and virtual reality attraction experts Frontgrid Ltd (Frontgrid) has today announced it has entered into an agreement with iFLY Indoor Skydiving to launch the UK’s first fully immersive VR paragliding attraction, ParadropVR.

With 37 centres around the world in the UK, Europe, Asia and USA, global experiential entertainment company iFLY is the world’s largest indoor skydiving company.

The deal with Frontgrid will see the UK’s first ParadropVR attraction launch at iFLY Basingstoke this summer, offering customers an opportunity to experience flying under canopy as well as the exhilaration of indoor skydiving.

Fully immersive VR attraction ParadropVR lets visitors to fly through a virtual mountainous world, collecting points by flying through targets on their descent. Participants control both the physical and virtual gameplay using a full range of motions, including dips and sudden decelerations.

The ParadropVR attraction will be iFLY branded with Frontgrid providing the gamified virtual reality (VR) content and integrated mobile app.

ParadropVR will be offered as an extension to iFLY’s indoor skydiving offering, and will be marketed to leisure visitors  as well as experienced canopy flyers and groups.  

iFLY UK CEO Simon Ward said:

“We’re excited to be launching the UK’s first Paragliding VR experience at iFLY Basingstoke”.

“Our goal has always been to make the dream of flight a reality by giving our customers ‘wings’ in a safe and fun environment. Flying a performance paragliding canopy offers a unique way to experience the thrill of flying, and we’re pleased to be working with Frontgrid to offer this new attraction.”

“With a range of levels from beginner to advanced, the iFLY team were immediately impressed by the compulsive experience offered by ParadropVR”.

Frontgrid co-founder and CEO Matt Wells said:

“With the first ParadropVR launching at Universe Science Park in Denmark next month, we’re delighted to be announcing our first UK site.”

“ParadropVR will introduce a new, high energy social experience to iFLY, who recognise the potential for growth in adventure-based activities and opportunity presented by VR attractions. Groups will be able to play against each other and watch the action on screen, as well as sharing scores on the ParadropVR mobile app.

“We’re pleased to be helping the world’s largest indoor skydiving company open-up new revenue streams, and look forward to introducing ParadropVR to new audiences.”

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Trend watch: what will 2018 bring for the attractions industry?

What will 2018 bring for the attractions industry? Here are our thoughts on key trends to watch out for this year...

 

VR goes mainstream

 

Virtual reality is becoming less of a novelty and more a necessity. And when you look at the bottom line, it’s easy to see why. From theme parks to museums, zoos to FECs, leisure operators in all sectors face broadly the same challenges; attracting visitors, ensuring they have an amazing experience, and maximising ROI.

 

As VR technology matures, a greater focus on content is improving the visitor experience. VR headsets are coming down in cost. Operators are realising that replacing content can revitalise an existing ride, at a fraction of the price of building one from scratch.

 

So is VR now an established mainstay of the attractions industry? It's certainly heading that way. Of the 1,114 companies showcasing new products at the IAAPA Attractions Expo last year, over 60 of them were promoting VR as part of their range. With new projects being announced every week, VR-based attractions are here to stay. 

 

Adventure, everywhere

 

60% of Brits say they wish they were more adventurous, and 55% say they have never been on an adventure. That’s according to research carried out by Merlin Entertainments, who are set to open the £20m Bear Grylls Adventure later this year. The mammoth 8,000 square meter attraction is currently under construction at the NEC in Birmingham and is the latest to capitalise on the trend for bringing adventurous experiences to urban environments.

 

Not all venues have the space or budget to pull off such a large-scale project. But thanks to VR-based attractions like ParadropVR, smaller operators can offer adventurous experiences in a broad range of venues. 

 

All about IP

 

From The VOID's Star Wars experience at London Westfield to Paddington at Europa-Park, 2017 saw the launch of a number of exciting VR-enabled IP collaborations. 2018 will see yet more VR partnerships providing fans with new and exciting ways to interact with their favourite brands.

 

Last week’s announcement of a new partnership with Marvel will see Merlin Entertainments invest a further £1 million in a brand new immersive attraction at Madame Tussaud’s Blackpool featuring Thor, Spider Man and Hulk.

 

Which will be the next project to get fans talking (and ticket sales soaring?) Answers on a postcard, please.

 

Personalised experiences

 

Until recently, going on a ride meant sitting passively and being taken around a track. The latest VR-based attractions let users control their experience, deciding how and where to interact with the content.

 

Not any more. VR-based attractions make it possible to offer something truly unique and personalised, with no two participants having the same experience. As well having huge benefits in terms of repeat rates, the potential for education and inspiration is massive. Why serve-up the same experience for everyone, when they could be engaging with the content they find most interesting?

 

Expect to see more VR developments maximising the potential of open world content this year, especially museums and destination-based attractions.

 

Matt Wells is Co-founder and Chief Executive of Frontgrid. Our world-first, totally immersive attraction ParadropVR will be launching at Universe Science Park next month – get in touch to find out more.

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Frontgrid Announces Sale of First ParadropVR™ Attraction Following Successful #EAS17 Launch

We’re thrilled to announce that following a successful launch at Euro Attractions Show 2017 in Berlin last month, Universe Science Park in Denmark will be the first venue to install our unique VR attraction, ParadropVR™. 

Universe Science Park is an educational amusement park which boasts an existing and very successful virtual reality (VR) area. After meeting with Frontgrid at EAS, COO Jonas Luttermann knew that ParadropVR™’s fully immersive, user-controlled attraction would take Universe Science Park’s existing VR offering to a whole new level. Following a series of conversations, an order was placed - and ParadropVR™ is due to launch at Universe Science Park in Spring 2018. 

Developed by Frontgrid and produced by our partner Simworx, ParadropVR™ simulates flying a paraglider, with up and down motion that incorporates sudden drops and smooth deceleration to create a realistic feeling of gliding through the skies.

The four-person, gameified unit is destined to be a key attraction in the VR section of the park. Spectators at Universe Science Park will be able to watch all the action with TV screens installed on each unit; to boost repeat business opportunities, a scoreboard will display how well guests have fared on the attraction compared to fellow visitors at the park. 
 
Commenting on the decision to add Paradrop VR™ to the venue, Universe Science Park’s COO Jonas Luttermann said: “We are proud to bring the world’s first ParaDrop VR™ to our park. It will be a key attraction to expand our VR attraction, and we’re sure the fully immersive, physical experience will be mind-blowing for our visitors."

We are delighted to be working with our exclusive UK VR partner Simworx on the attraction, which will be up and running by Spring 2018. 

If you would like to learn more about ParadropVR, get in touch.
 

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Frontgrid Launch World-First Virtual Reality Attraction at EAS 2017

Frontgrid will be launching a world-first virtual reality attraction at the Euro Attractions Show in Berlin later this month. 

We are delighted to have partnered with Simworx to create and bring to market the first of our experiences, and to be launching ParadropVR™ at EAS 2017 in Berlin. 

ParadropVR™ (patent pending) is an IP protected, truly immersive virtual reality attraction that simulates flying a paraglider. ParadropVR™ allows the user to fully control the gameplay and movement, with up with up and down motion that incorporates sudden drops and smooth deceleration to create a realistic feeling of gliding through the skies.

The ride also features an interactive game element controlled by the participant, with points awarded to each individual rider as they make their way ‘back down to earth’ via a series of targets through which they must fly to score maximum points.

With a modular design that provides high hourly capacity and low operating costs, ParadropVR™ is ideal for operation in a wide range of venues. Multiple theming and content options are available as well as an integrated mobile app, making it a suitable for theme parks, FECs, museums, shopping malls and destination attractions -  as well as the events and mobile sector.

ParadropVR™ is a totally new concept and we’re hoping it will create significant interest among operators when revealed at the show. A press conference to officially announce the launch of ParadropVR™ will take place at EAS on Wednesday, September 27th, in the press room at the Messe Berlin Exhibition Centre.

If you’re visiting EAS and would like to learn more about ParadropVR™ we’d love to see you - let us know