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KATAPULT AT IAAPA 2017: MAKING VR A REALITY

Phil Higgins, Katapult Innovations Director at IAAPA 2017

Katapult made 4000 mile journey to check out the annual IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) Expo. Which is the world’s largest attractions exhibition.

Phil Higgins, our Head of Innovation, was all too keen to sample the latest in theme park innovations. Orlando Florida, the Mecca of theme parks, was the location and Phil trekked around 9 miles of attractions’ exhibitions. Trying out everything from hotdogs to the latest in VR technology.

VR technology was the BIG talking point in this years IAAPA Expo. Nearly every other stand was exhibiting different ways to utilise VR in a theme park. And the VR/AR seminar was so busy that Phil couldn’t even make it past the doors to attend. However although many organisations were showcasing creative ways of using VR Phil was left feeling as though something genuine was missing.

 

IS VR REALLY THE FUTURE?

 

A conflict between VR and the authentic experience had whilst at a theme park arose. When you decide on taking a day-out to a theme park you’d naturally take a bunch of mates, run around the park, and when on a ride take in the perspective of being flung upside down staring straight into the clouds with the wind whipping past your cheeks. There’s something quite isolating about strapping on a VR headset and emerging yourself into a separate reality.

A remedy to the hollow VR experience could be storytelling, Phil suggests. A whole immersive journey from the moment you step into the theme park. Something not unlike the Thomas Land at Drayton Manor.

 

FIND KATAPULT AT THE LATEST ATTRACTIONS’ EXHIBITIONS

 

This was the 6th year that Katapult has attended the Expo in Orlando and once again Katapult managed to mingle with former clients and forge new ties in this Amusement Park who’s who. Katapult was also part of the BALPPA (British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions) team that took part in the Charity Run. Phil and Katapult will be at the next IAAPA Expo, not to mention the EAS (Euros Attractions Show) and any BALPPA events in the coming months.

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