It's been a while since any of us have been able to experience our favorite tourist attractions.
One of these, the Seattle Space Needle,has since reopened in coordination with COVID-19 safety policies. We are excited to see our friends back in action and are hopeful to see our VR bungee jump come back soon.
Prior to COVID, the Space Needle had over 300K participants for our Virtual bungee jump, called Stratos VR. The solution allowed participants to bungee off the top of the Space Needle and used a photo realistic landscape with dynamic elements to create an experience unique to each visitor. Stratos VR was in operation for 18 months, for 10 hours a day and hosted an average of 1,000 thrill-seekers a day. With those numbers, it became one of the most prolific VR tourist experiences in the world!
You can read all about Stratos VR on this page along with the 2 other great collaborative solutions we built (custom Photo Animation and AR mementos).
So what makes StratosVR so special?
Maybe because of its photorealistic setting, overlooking one of the most beautiful cities in the US, but we are biased here. Here's a couple of images showing a blend of the real and the virtual.
But Stratos VR could have been so successful because it falls in line with what VR is all about: DICE. And what might that be you ask? VR is all about doing things that are a combination of the following:
1) Dangerous: To jump safely from the top of the Needle would require experience that not a lot of us have. Plus, what if something went wrong? Needle*less to say, this isn't a safe Space for bungee jumping.
2) Impossible: We happen to know the wonderful folks at the Needle. And we can tell you now they would not allow an actual bungee jump off of Seattle's favorite structure.
3) Counterproductive: And what does investing all the resources, training, and time to bungee jump from the Space Needle produce? A pretty cool story bro. But, is that #worth?
4) Expensive: Bungee jumping safely off of the Space Needle would be an expensive endeavor and require major closures and costs.
The DICE acronym, from the head of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) Jeremy Bailenson, stands for Dangerous, Impossible, Counterproductive, or Expensive and rare. Bailenson talks about this acronym as the reason for making anything in VR more extensively in his book, Experience on Demand, which we highly recommend if your just diving into VR.
But if we were to add one more thing to the great Bailenson's VR must-haves that has also led to the success of Stratos VR it would be this: 5) Individualized: Stratos VR offered unique experiences with procedurally generated, ever-altering ambient events that occurred during the jump. Not just that, but Stratos VR used a photo of your face to create a unique avatar and digital memorabilia. All said and done, we hope you get the chance to come back to the Space Needle or go for your first time. And we hope to see your avatar take the jump with us sometime soon.