Image: Flight Without Limits
Ever wanted to soar through the air in a wingsuit, but fear the risk? Consider a VR base jump simulator.
The Void’s premium VR arcades combine virtual worlds with physical objects, creating a unique tactile VR experience. Almost two years ago, the pandemic and financial difficulties brought an end to VR arcades which had previously been growing rapidly.
A return for The Void is already in the works. However, one of the founders of Void will no longer be part of the new lifecycle. James Jenson recently developed a new location-based VR experience: a wingsuit simulator.
“The Jump” simulator allows base jumping in virtual reality
It is estimated that the extreme sport of wingsuit base jumping is practiced by less than a thousand people worldwide. For most people, flying along mountains is not an option simply because of the high risk.
With “The Jump”, you can now experience this feeling without any risk. The VR experience takes you into a mini hangar where you don a real wingsuit and jump out of a flying plane – in virtual reality.
James Jenson and his team worked with real grassroots riders to make the experience as realistic as possible. The developers modified a Valve Index (review) for the VR experience and integrated it into a full-face helmet. The wingsuit is equipped with motion trackers and fills with air during the experience to simulate the air currents of a free fall.
Of course, you hang from a device with your arms and legs outstretched, but you have the same freedom of movement as in a real base jump. But first, you’ll have to jump out of the virtual plane, which will take some effort.
You are walking towards a ledge in physical reality. In the VR headset you see the interior of the plane and how its cargo hatch opens. Wind currents provide the necessary realism as you slowly move your toes over the edge and, finally, jump.
Photogrammetry scans add realism
In addition to the jump from the plane, The Jump also includes a wingsuit flight in a mountain range, where you will fly over rocks and cliffs. To make the VR experience as realistic as possible, the developers used photogrammetry scans of a real base jump station in Utah.
Check out what the whole experience looks like in the following video. Mike Cussel from YouTube channel Virtual Reality Oasis tested The Jump.
So far, there’s only one way to experience The Jump and that’s in Salt Lake City, Utah. However, if successful, the founders would like to expand the VR experience to other locations. A branch in New Jersey is already in the planning phase. The price for a virtual base jump is $119.
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