Space Needle Launches The VR Bar
Seattle’s Space Needle offers guests free 360-degree VR experiences, which include jumping off from the tall building in a bungee rope and much more.
Space Needle in Seattle Opens New VR Installation
Seattle’s Space Needle just launched a free virtual reality installation called ‘The VR Bar’ that offers visitors up to four extraordinary ways to experience the most iconic landmark in Seattle. In partnership with Graffic and Panogs, the Space Needle created a shiny bar that provides visitors the experience of walking the Space Needle’s outer Halo, bungee jumping from 520’ in the air, and flying a seaplane above the Lake Union, all in Virtual Reality. Every visitor must pay the price of admission in order to access the experiences, and included with the price, there is also The VR Bar, which is available to all visiting the Space Needle’s Observation Deck.
“Since the Space Needle opened for the 1962 World’s Fair, the tower has symbolized innovation and endless possibilities,” said Space Needle Chief Marketing Officer Karen Olson. “Today, we’re taking that pioneering spirit above and beyond with digital experiences designed to give guests new and exciting ways to interact with Seattle’s most iconic landmark.”
Panogs is a photographic agency that works mostly on VR storytelling, it refers to the project as one of its most technological challenges in Virtual Reality to date.
“In less than 30 days, our team was set with the task of developing an authentic and thrilling bungee jump experience,” explained Gavin Farrell, Panogs co-founder. “Two of our biggest challenges was navigating the best way to record footage on such a uniquely designed structure, and how to keep the cameras stabilized during the bungee jump fall. While drones are typically used to capture aerial footage, our team dropped a camera from the Space Needle’s 520′ Observation Deck, which captured a more realistic descent.”
Panogs worked with a mechanical engineer in order to design the camera drop-system, and it also partnered with Advance Visuals to develop AutoGimbal, a gimbal designed to stabilize the cameras during the bungee free fall.
After the 360-degree videos were finished, Graffix customized a one-of-a-kind Virtual Reality installation for the experiences. Graffix created a user experience that is directly aligned with the Space Needle’s brand by focusing on The VR Bar’s software development and user interface.
“We were challenged to create a unique interactive exhibit that would facilitate a virtual reality user experience in an environment where there are a varied set of users,” said the Graffix President Chris Richardson.
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