ROCO lets users create their own virtual roller coaster rides
Although few people would describe roller coasters as boring, they can get a bit "samey" over time if you always ride the same one. That's where ROCO comes in, as it lets users create their own unique virtual roller coaster ride, every time they use it.
Manufactured by Swedish tech company INNTQ, the ROCO unit itself consists of two side-by-side seats (with seatbelts), a touchscreen control unit, and a 75-inch 4K stereo-sound video screen. The setup is designed for use in locations such as shopping malls and entertainment venues, and doesn't require any staff to be present while it's in operation.
Users start by paying US$4 with a debit or credit card, then using their finger to draw the desired track layout on the touchscreen. ROCO subsequently takes them on a two-minute computer-animated ride along that track, providing all the appropriate sights and sounds while also tilting, raising and lowering the seats accordingly.
Should things get too intense for more sensitive riders, they can press a red stop button (below the touchscreen) at any time. And although users do determine all of the turns and straightaways, it should be noted that the system's software automatically sets the elevation for each section of track.
"The basic premise is to create varying and differently shaped hills to generate the best virtual velocities, which is translated into angular rate of change," ROCO designer Daniel Johansson told us. "This is to match the physical construction of the platform, such as the distance from the point of rotation of the seats to the head position of the players, to create a good experience […] The ride should be comfortable enough for everyone, while maximizing the feeling of riding a coaster."
The whole rig weighs 735 kg (1,620 lb), can support a maximum rider weight of 120 kg (265 lb) per seat, and is powered via a standard electrical outlet. It can be moved using a pallet jack, and automatically updates its software/firmware via an internet connection.
Instead of selling ROCO units, INNTQ plans to supply them free of charge to partnering businesses, then sharing in the revenue generated. Interested parties can contact the company via its website.
ROCO can be seen in use, in the video below.