iFLY Brings Real Skydiving Thrills Indoors with Virtual Reality
Indoor skydiving’s largest brand iFLY World has just announced their new virtual reality experience. This project combines an indoor skydiving flight, virtual reality goggles, and skydiving video content. The result is an immersive experience that allows you to experience the thrill of skydiving without jumping from an actual aircraft.
During each flight, you’ll wear iFLY’s VR helmet which features the Samsung Gear VR headset. This allows you the visual treat of jumping over locations like Southern California, Hawaii, Switzerland and Dubai. Lets learn more about the experience!
The VR Skydiving Experience
As a flyer, you’ll first learn to fly in the wind tunnel without the VR setup in order to understand the basics of bodyflight. iFLY states: “All participating flyers must first complete iFLY’s pre-flight training course and participate in several training flights before jumping into VR.”
Once you’re all trained up, the VR helmet is added. The helmet is large and covers your entire face. The goggles are built-in to the front of the helmet. The view inside can be switched between a pass-through mode and the skydiving content. This allows you to safely enter and exit the tunnel.
When it’s time to fly, you’ll begin seeing the indoor skydiving content and enter the wind with the assistance of a flight instructor. The instructor accompanies you through the entire flight to ensure your safety.
Ben Lang over at RoadtoVR shared his experience as a new flyer trying VR indoor skydiving for the first time:
“The video starts with a view of other people jumping out of a plane in front of you, and someone gives you a countdown on their fingers which was my queue to lean out of the door and into the chamber. The instructor maneuvered me into position as I did my best to maintain the stable flying posture that I had learned earlier (though without the visual feedback of the chamber around me, I was really just winging it).
Inside the headset, the field of view was quite limited, like looking through binoculars, because Gear VR naturally has a lower field of view that some other headsets, and on top of that my eyes weren’t as close as they could have been to the lenses. The view was also showed more rumble than I would have liked (understandable, considering the phone’s IMU probably wasn’t built for such a use-case), but the footage was competently shot; as I ‘fell’, I could see the ground far below me and there were even other skydivers falling around me, motioning to me and showing off some tricks.”
iFLY is calling this project a ‘first-of-its-kind‘, though that could be argued as startup company Tunnel Vision had announced a similar project late last year. Regardless of the details, it appears that virtual reality and indoor skydiving are a great match.
The experience is now available at 28 iFLY locations across the USA. Prices start at $20 in addition to a flight package. Available at select locations only, prices may vary by location. Flyers must be at least 8 years old and weigh less than 260 lbs to participate. Participants ages 8-12 are limited to one virtual reality flight experience per day.
If you’d like to try out this experience for yourself, you can use our indoor skydiving brand listings to find your nearest iFLY location today.
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