If you despise having to stare at screens all day, cherish a few childhood memories, or possess a human soul, you might want to sit down for this one.
Galaxy Erding — Europe’s largest waterpark, located in southern Germany — has rolled out a virtual reality-equipped water slide. It’s called “VRSlide” and yes, it is an actual slide that will transport riders from one place to another. Only, before the ride each visitor dons a headset apparatus (which includes a Samsung Galaxy S8, and is capable of being submerged underwater up to nine feet), which allows for twisting and turning through a range of pre-set VR “worlds” — ranging from snowy paradise to volcanic islands.
vr (4 images)
Ok … (deep breath). Waterparks are not beautiful places. They can be, but generally they were built just in time for summer 35 years ago and have been filled with urine, shrieks and half-deflated two-person tubes ever since. Few would suggest that "the view" is contingent to the waterpark experience.
Still, does that mean we need to be somewhere else entirely while zipping down the slide? How often is a water slide longer than 30 seconds, anyway? Of course, this is just one slide, halfway across the world. The tech is too expensive to make it to most American waterparks, let alone those heavy-on-the-chlorine, mom and pop beachtown joints we might recall from youth. It's not going to ruin a generation. The tech is also (I'll admit it) kind of cool.
But it's also a bummer. At least IMAX and 3D at the movies work to heighten sensory details we're already experiencing. Slapping a phone in front of your face while heading down a water slide just trades in a perfectly fun experience for something assumed to be better.
You can quote us on that.
Images from Ballast VRSlide
h/t The Verge