You can now slide down Europe’s tallest building in VR.
Visitors to London’s “The View from The Shard” experience (1020ft) are getting an added bonus on their visit this month, with The Shard opening up two VR experiences on the viewing deck.
You can strap on an Oculus Rift VR headsets and hurtle at 100mph down imaginary open-air tubes corkscrewing around the skyscraper. Or you can take a nerve wrecking step across a girder on top of London’s sky line using body motion tracking technology paired to a HTC Vive.
Both experiences were built in Unity and contain a mix of high-resolution 360° HDRI images and a full-scale CGI model of the shard.
Daniel Cheetham, the CIO of Happy Finish, who produced The Slide experience, expressed excitement at the experiential possibilities of VR converging with real-world environments.
“We can now use virtual reality to totally immerse someone in an experience that would have previously only been available to the imagination,” said Cheetham. “We can elicit emotional responses that feel absolutely real—with The Slide we directly evoke fear, joy and exhilaration equally by making people believe they are truly sliding out of the Shard on an adrenaline-fueled ride.”
Meanwhile, Adrian Leu, Chief Executive of Inition, producers of Vertigo explained how VR can let you take actions in your environment that you’d never be able to do without.
“Try to balance on a narrow girder, take a construction elevator to the top or just take in the view from an open platform at dizzy heights while wind rushes around and the city noises envelop you,” said Leu. “It’s all in the power of virtual reality to fool your senses and to transport you in time and to a place which otherwise you would only dream to visit.”
Some hilarious social media posts have already made their way onto the web, and we’re guessing this one in particular is probably someone’s first experience in VR…
The experiences are for ages 12 and up, run until August 4th, and can be purchased with the £26 “View From The Shard” tickets as an additional fee.