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Is Virtual Reality the Future of Family Attraction?

Virtual reality is becoming more and more popular each and everyday. Can you keep up? Discover more about VR, and why it could be your next business venture, here!

Virtual reality truly has blown up in recent years! Having become a home commodity in 2016, VR is now accessible to the masses. This is why your family attraction must keep up with the demand.

We, at the Family Attraction Expo, want to make sure you’re always up-to-date with the latest industry trends. With your FREE ticket to the show, you’ll find ways to please, and possibly surprise, your customers with your new and inventive offerings!

By keeping you in-the-know about virtual reality, and the applications of VR throughout the entertainment industry, we aim to help you build your family attraction industry for the better. Find out how VR could be your next step, here...

This young girl wearing virtual reality glasses looks like she's having a lovely time

The History of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality technology has been around for longer than you may think. The first attempt to encourage the senses further than just 2D imagery was in panoramic paintings during the 1800s. Then, in 1838, stereoscopic viewers, or the first virtual reality glasses, allowed people to view two 2D images, one with either eye, to create a 3D illusion in the brain.

A few decades later, in 1929, the first flight simulator was introduced for aerospace purposes. Then, the 1950s saw the introduction of Morton Heilig’s Sensorama; a small individual theatre, which showed short films alongside noises, feels, smells, and a vibrating chair, for the full 4D experience.

Something a little more familiar to the modern person is the virtual reality headset, the first of which was invented in 1968. That said, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the name “Virtual Reality” actually came about.

One of the next attempts to create a VR headset was by Sega in 1991. Unfortunately, the product was never released, as the company were worried it was so realistic that people would become injured!

These days, the growing developments in VR technology mean that virtual reality is becoming more and more accessible. Very soon, it could be a common part of the average household! For more information about the history of VR, check out The Virtual Reality Society’s site.

Types of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality comes in a number of different forms, whether it be a real or imagined environment. Some of the most commonly used virtual reality examples include:

  • Non-Immersive Reality: this type of VR is used in products like flight simulators, where a widescreen TV simulates an experience. Although it doesn’t play on the user’s senses, it creates a reality unlike what’s really outside.

  • Semi-Immersive Projection Systems: these are a pretty new implementation of VR technology, and are quite similar to the world of flight simulation. Usually, a semi-immersive system will use an array of large screens and television systems, with high performance graphics, to produce an immersive experience. By increasing the width of the cinematic view, the user feels a sense of immersion.

  • Fully-Immersive Reality: this is the type of VR that’s been very popular in recent years. By using a powerful computer to detect bodily movements, it can react to these to adjust the visuals. For the true experience, two monitors and a sound system are required.

  • Augmented Reality: this isn’t an unreal experience, more like a very real experience, depicting the world around us in computer form. This is commonly used for showing how a city or town may have looked hundreds of years before now - you can explore the map of an ancient village in this way.

This man wearing a virtual reality headset looks very focused on whatever he can see in the VR game

Virtual Reality Applications

Virtual reality games are one of the main uses of VR technology. Within the world of family attraction, this is ideal, as you can entertain your guests via a unique, immersive experience that they may never have explored before.

Some fantastic examples of using virtual reality within this industry could include 4D cinemas, immersive game rooms, flight simulators, and more!

That said, VR isn’t just used for entertainment purposes, but for use in numerous professional industries. Some of these include military and healthcare training programs, engineering, scientific visualisation, construction, architectural walkthroughs… the list goes on.

The Future of Virtual Reality

With the growth of the virtual reality market will come increased accessibility to the everyday person. This means that virtual and augmented reality technologies are set to hit a value of over £120 billion by 2020. With this in mind, what changes and new developments can we expect for this future?

Well, virtual reality could help many disadvantaged children to receive education in remote areas. Not only this, but students who already have access to modern education could benefit too. By using VR, children with learning difficulties can become fully immersed in the world of learning, helping to avoid distractions and boost learning capabilities.

What’s more, in the future, surgeons will have the opportunity to practice without lives on the line! By using VR, surgeons can practice on things that aren’t real humans, but mimic certain medical conditions that require surgeries. This could help to aid medical advancements, to save lives in the future.

Virtual reality could even provide people with an immersive holiday experience, without even having to leave their home!

This VR headset on grass is an arty way to show off the virtual reality headset in all its glory

Virtual Reality: a V(ery) R(eal) Future

At the Family Attraction Expo, we’ll be showcasing a couple of fantastic virtual reality exhibitors. By getting your FREE tickets to the show, on 6th & 7th November at the NEC, Birmingham, you’ll have the opportunity to experience Roto’s 360 degree swivelling VR chair, and Hugonnetexim’s roller coaster simulator! This way, you’ll get to envisage what VR could do for you and your family attraction company.

Have a fantastic VR product or service you’d like to exhibit at our show? Then feel free to get in touch with our Event Director, Oliver Hayes, at, or call +44 (0)117 929 6087. We can’t wait to welcome you through our exhibition doors!