Theme parks under threat from technology, says DrCoaster

Advancements in virtual reality could threaten the future of theme parks, according to a Queensland researcher.

The Queensland University of Technology’s Malcolm Burt, known as DrCoaster, said because the brain could be tricked into believing it was on a ride, thrillseekers could one day pay a subscription to access amusement parks from their lounge rooms.

Mr Burt said facilities around the world were “rushing” to incorporate virtual reality into their rides.

“Virtual reality allows parks to offer different versions of the same attraction without the traditional expense of physically creating new rides,” he said.

Mr Burt said although the technology provided a safe way for people to experience an adrenaline rush, there were some drawbacks.

“For example, it won’t help the global obesity epidemics and theme parks are usually something you experience with family and friends,” he said.

“Virtual reality has the potential to isolate.”

Mr Burt will visit Hong Kong, London, Europe and America over the coming weeks to see how the technology is being rolled out at amusement parks.

His PhD is focusing on what is needed to create the ultimate virtual reality theme park ride.


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