If there is one complaint that many Universal attractions receive, it is that many can cause motion sickness.
Many Universal attractions utilize the technology of screens to immerse Guests into attractions. Still, at times, those screens combined with movement can cause some pretty terrible motion sickness depending on the Guest. Examples of this are The Simpsons Ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and Transformers: The Ride 3D.
Considering so many attractions have screens, and motion-sickness is very common for many, it looks like universal is finally looking to remedy that problem. Orlando Business Journal reported that Universal had filed patents on new technology that would reduce motion sickness (or kinetosis) on attractions, and it seems the solution is having air blow in specific angles on the Guest’s face and body.
The patent, dubbed “Ride Vehicle Restraint System with Forced Air System,” features a ride restraint that can push air toward the face of the rider in various directions.
A 2017 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information compared the effects of airflow, vibrations and a combination of the two with regard to visually-induced motion sickness. The study included 82 participants split into four groups with various methods, of which the airflow method “significantly reduced” motion sickness, said the study.
With Universal Orlando Resort opening a brand-new theme park, Epic Universe, this new patent could be revolutionary. Since Universal needs to create an entire theme park worth of attractions, being able to use screens in a way that does not make Guests sick could drive a lot more traffic to the theme park.
Just because the technology is coming out after many attractions have already been made does not mean that Universal cannot update existing attractions to include this new discovery. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has updated its speakers, lights, and other interactive elements since its debut.
From what we can see in patent photos, it seems that the majority of the changes would occur on ride restraints, so it would theoretically just be the restraints that would need to swap out. That is if the new restraint can attach properly to the old ride system.
It will be interesting to see when Universal utilizes this new patent technology, but Inside the Magic will be here to provide updates along the way!
Do you get motion sick on Universal attractions? Let us know in the comments below!