Virsabi delivers Virtual Reality experience of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere
Felix Baumgartner’s incredible feat of jumping into the stratosphere from a helium balloon is now available for anyone to try in a Hyper Reality experience. The experience is open to visitors at Red Bull Media World in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne.
How we jumped from Virtual to Hyper Reality
More than 12 million people watched when Felix Baumgartner jumped into the stratosphere on 14 October 2012. Now, guests of Red Bull Media World can come close to the experience and try Baumgartner’s jump in a breathtaking Hyper Reality experience.
Virsabi has developed an installation that takes users through six cinematic and immersive scenes and gives people the most comprehensive feeling possible of what Baumgartner went through himself.
Armed with a pair of Virtual Reality glasses, a Hyper Reality Chair, a MIDI controlled fan and two modes of haptic feedback, the audience becomes fully immersed.
You enter the hangar for preparation, you are with Baumgartner in the capsule, you stand in the door ready to jump, and you fly beside him as the two of you drop towards Earth at a staggering speed of 1,357.64 kph before he deploys his parachute.
Gaze-point and gestural input
Beginning with detailed high-end 3D graphics delivered with the power of Unreal Engine as well as spatial 3D sound, people are immediately transported into the story and drama of the jump.
To make the experience interactive, we combined the Oculus Rift headset with a Leap Motion sensor that enables motion tracking of the users’ hands and allow for gestural inputs. No physical hand controllers are needed, as the motion trackers recognize your hands and makes space suit clad hands move around the capsule and activate virtual buttons to proceed.
A Multisensory experience
The specially designed chair has a Buttkicker transducer under the seat and elevates the journey from a visual to a multisensory experience. It is equipped with modes of haptics that compliment the sound and visuals.
Furthermore, a powerful fan overhead let you feel the vibration of Felix’ capsule as well as the wind in your hair as he jumps.
Push boundaries and do the impossible
With this project, we were inspired by the incredible feat that Felix Baumgartner achieved in the Red Bull Stratos project. If him and his team could go literally above and beyond, so could we!
With passion and determination, we pushed the technology as far as we could and strived to make this VR-experience as memorable as watching Baumgartner jump in 2012.
- The Stratos VR Experience combines high-end graphics and spatial 3D sound with gestural input and two modes of haptic feedback.
- The chair is custom made, weighs a few hundred kilos and only requires an ordinary plug-in. The Buttkicker unit in the chair transforms low frequency audio into vibrations with a strength and frequency that matches the bass.
- Detailed 3D graphics are delivered utilizing the power of Unreal Engine.
- The experience uses the Resonance Audio-plugin for enabling spatialization of the sound sources as well as simulation of acoustics.
- The fan that simulates the airflow is controlled through Unreal’s MIDI plugin.
- The experience resets automatically between each ride, detecting when the Oculus Rift has not been worn for a short while.