New ‘Ride and Realm’ technology from Holovis transforms theme parks into a choose-your-own-adventure

in Entertainment, Events, Haunted Attractions, Technology, Theater, Theme Parks

Earlier this month at IAAPA 2017, Holovis unveiled a next generation Ride and Realm concept that creates personalized experiences that go beyond the physical ride.

Holovis is an experiential design company that specializes in leading edge technology. Some specific examples of the technology the company works on ranges from complex projection systems, interactive dark rides, app based technology and projection mapping. Projects you might recognize from the company’s popular past include “The Battle for Cedar Point” virtual reality mobile app gaming experience, and 3D theatre experiences in the British Museum, and the Harbin Lesong Plaza in China.

With the company’s immersive and projection based past projects, Holovis has become a virtual reality powerhouse. And at IAAPA 2017 the creative company unveiled its newest project, Ride and Realm.


This new attraction concept gives guests the tools to be able to choose their own adventure and to personalize the experiences they have based on these interactions.

Sound familiar? The concept is quite similar to what Disney has been talking up for their upcoming Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge theme park lands, in which guests’ choices will matter, influencing the overall experience.

Holovis’ concept takes an interactive dark ride and transforms it into a “choose your own adventure” experience through mobile technology. This new interactive experience is all based on your interactions and what you do during the ride, which causes the experience to change throughout.

What is so special and interesting about this new concept is that this experience doesn’t end at the end of the physical ride. After experiencing the physical ride, you then download an app on your smartphone which allows you to continue to experience the story of the ride throughout the park or resort you’re visiting.

Proximity beacons, geofencing and WIFI triangulation allows players to navigate the attraction space using a live, digital map. Clues to guide guests on the scavenger hunt and help them level up can be unlocked in a number of ways, from using Augmented Reality to engagements with live actors, on-screen mini games, interaction with park wide digital signage and through achievements that can be logged, such as riding other attractions.

“On your phone you’re given objectives to go find things. You can go and interact with actors and physical objects. And then once you complete those objectives you bring those back into the ride by scanning the phone or prop and the ride changes again,” said Peter Cliff, Creative Director of Holovis. “You can unlock new scenes, new characters and discover new things in the story.”

An example of the new concept explained by Cliff was a Zombie experience the company has developed with the system. “You download the app and are given objectives. You have to find a doctor and once you go find the doctor you receive a notification telling you that you’ve achieved one of your objectives.” As you continue with the experience this interaction between your smartphone continues throughout the rest of the game.

Although, guests experiencing the game will mostly interact with live actors, with the phone as a secondary element. The actor will give you your next objective or goal to complete within the experience and your phone will serve as an aid in the experience. “It’s cool interactive engagement without the need to always be on your phone,” says Cliff when describing the app’s integration into the experience. 

However, the phone integration will also bring to the experience selfie facial tracking software and augmented reality. The fact that puzzles and other objectives can be completed on the phone also makes it so guests can continue the experience at home, which will continue to impact the in-park narrative of their experience for the next time they visit the park. Some samples of this integration can be seen in the interview with Peter Cliff listed above.

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