Virtual Reality Meets Indoor Skydiving
Skydiving is a thrilling experience that many people have on their bucket list. However, for some, it can be challenging to overcome the fear of jumping out of a plane and free falling thousands of feet. For those who aren’t ready to jump out of a plane, indoor skydiving is a great alternative.
The one downside to indoor skydiving is that it doesn’t replicate the same amazing views. However, with recent developments in virtual reality, the views of the sky can be brought indoors.
Tunnel Vision is a brand new experience that gives a new spin to indoor skydiving. The experience was first launched by Virgin Experience Days at Twinwoods Adventure, Bedford, UK. The experience combines a virtual reality headset with indoor skydiving.
By combining virtual reality and an indoor wind tunnel, Tunnel Vision is able to create an immersive experience to stimulate the physical sensations of free falling.
Each headset is custom made and provides high definition 4k, 360-degree video. The headset is controlled by a private Tunnel Vision app that is both managed and updated by the company. As soon as you enter the wind tunnel and make the first “jump” the 360-degree visuals begin. When the simulated flight ends, the software automatically shuts down to reveal the actual environment.
Adding the virtual reality component to indoor skydiving allows more people of ages to experience what it is like to jump out of a plane without having fear for their safety.
Like any new product, Tunnel Vision experienced a few challenges before it was released to the public. One main concern was to ensure that the Virtual Reality headset would stay secure despite the intense winds speeds inside the wind tunnel. To solve this issue, the Tunnel Vision team created a head-mounted display that uses a ratchet system to secure the virtual reality headset to the helmet.
Another concern that was arose was the safety of the participants. Due to the virtual reality headsets, participants’ sight would be obscured. To tackle this issue, all jumpers must have an instructor with them at all times. The instructor helps to assist with spatial awareness as well as entering and exiting the tunnel.
As of right now, Tunnel Vision is only available in two locations in the entire world. You can find this experience at Airborne San Diego in California and Twinwoods Adventure in the United Kingdom. According to Cody Russell, one of the founders of Tunnel Vision, there are plans in the making to expand the Tunnel Vision experience to 8 wind tunnels across Europe over the next few years.