Stinger Report's Next-Gen Amusement Highlights; Holographic Amusement next?

The latest Stinger Report covers some interesting aspects of the amusement industry and what it is attempting to to do next. Big amusement parks always are looking for (and need) something bigger and more attractive than a local arcade or FEC and it appears that a number of developments will bring on interesting attractions in the future.

Some of the more interesting news however is that of one company’s development of aholodeck22.jpg non-invasive 3D display that does not require glasses known as ‘Holography’. Of course anyone who has watched Star Trek: The Next Generation knows that the ultimate future of entertainment will be holographic entertainment, but it certainly will be a long time before that will make it to the home – so the first logical step is to bring it to the amusement sector. The company that has developed the technology, known as SeeReel Technologies, is set to soon demonstrate their new technology to the masses. Read on past the post break for more details on this as well as other big attractions that are in development for amusement parks (including the new Harry Potter theme park, The Simpson’s Ride, NASA’s latest simulator, GUNDAM the ride and more).

The SeeReel Technologies Holography Display is described in the following from The Stinger Report (#567):

Using 3D disruptive display technology, offering a new approach to electro-holography for TV and projective displays full HD resolution. European based developer, the concept was envisaged 60 years ago, but now the advent of (affordable) new technology has made it an achievable product.

Special technology allows the tracking of the viewing window and real-time encoding of the sub-hologram. The technology has been launched into a crowded market, high on claims but limited on flexible application. However, the new Holography system is claimed to be able to be applied in consumer and large audience applications, making it perfect for amusement. Sources linked this technology to the proposed 3D cinema system under development by the Spielberg operation.

While there are no pictures of the new technology in action, The Stinger Report is next in line for a public screening and be sure to check in with Arcade Heroes about any moreelement.jpg developments with this technology. As you may know coin-op manufacturer’s have attempted something like holographic gaming as with Sega’s Holosseum/Time Traveler cabinet (which did not use true holograms but it was a step in that direction) although it was not terribly successful in paving the way for similar technologies at the time. Once holograms can be used in entertainment though, you can easily bet on it being the biggest thing that will hit entertainment and change the way we play forever.

In other amusement ride news, you may have heard about the closure of Universal Studios Back to The Future motion ride which will soon be replaced with a cheaper ride(with bigger name recognition)and will be called Simpson’s The Ride. The Stinger Report points out that due to some penny-pinching that the Simpson’s Ride “is nothing more than a film replacement with aesthetic theming values.” The project is currently codenamed ‘Fish’ and it sees the IMAX dome redeveloped by planetarium experts Spitz who are also working on the Electrosonic design of the ride’s environment.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has installed their latest $60 million attraction (it makes you wonder where their priorities are when you read about them complaining about the lack of funds in the news) known as the Shuttle Launch Experience. According to The Stringer Report:

It is an interesting mix of 4D, motion simulator and surround-sound. Over 30 riders view the experience of the launch on a giant 84-inch HD screen while sitting in motion seats that represent the rumble and thump of launch and cruising at 17,500 miles-per-hour.

According to some real astronauts that tried it out, it’s the most realistic simulator they have experienced next to the real thing. I think it remains to be seen as to whether or not this will pump people up for NASA’s mission. Frankly I think that will only happen once humans return to the moon or finally visit Mars. But I digress…

Disney is currently re-working a veteran simulator ride called Star Tours 2 which is scheduled for 2008. Little else is known about it at this time.

Recently some big news made the rounds about the new Harry Potter Theme park, due to open in 2009. Key scenes from the book/films will be recreated and according to TSR:

It was reported that the Wizard World new environment will feature immersive rides and interactive attractions – “…as well as experiential shops and restaurants that will enable guests to sample fare from the wizarding world’s best known establishments”. Also planned is a state-of-the-art attraction that will bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in an exciting way that guests have never before experienced. A 4D theatre and an interactive ride attraction have been leaked as being in development. It will be interesting to see how much Universal R&D will look towards the highly successful ‘MagiQuest’ concept (with its RFID wands) – the three facility operation seeming to have proven the interest in an interactive magic experience.

(Emphasis added)

It’s pretty much guaranteed that this will be huge once it opens. It will be even more attractive if they manage to pull off an interesting wand system – I can imagine how kids would react to that especially if they are able to recreate some of magic effects through this system.

Interested in Gundam at all? Then you already know that Japan is the place for all thingsdomegundam.jpg Gundam, including the ultra-cool dome arcade version of the game. On top of that, TSR reports:

Another of these big brand attractions is from leading Asian amusement division Banpresto, part of the toy giant Bandai. Installed in the Fujikyu Highland theme park in Japan, ‘GUNDAM CRISIS‘ is a ride attraction set to open in July 2007 offering a realistic glimpse into the highly popular GunDam Mobile Suit sci-fi universe. It was revealed that ‘GUNDAM THE RIDE’ is a themed experience housed on a stage setting representing the hangar of the mobile suit robots of the series; actually being life-sized for the first time in the world, with the Gundam entire body which reaches to total length 18m.

Gundam fans, try not to wet yourselves over the news.

Sega’s GameWorks is still working on redeveloping themselves into a major attraction point. We have already discussed in past posts about the installation of OutRun 2 SPX as well as Virtual Bowling in a few of their locations and the upcoming Let’s Go Jungle Special. Keep an eye on them in the future.

Special thanks to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report.

Parts in blue taken from coverage in the leading e-Newsletter

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Explore posts in the same categories: Arcade Coverage, Arcade Games, Arcade Simulators, Big attractions, Gundam, Holographic coin-op, motion-based games

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