Virtual reality has been everywhere in the news recently.
Someone is using a VR headset and a stationary bike to cycle across Britain from south to north. Samsung is partnering with NBC to present the Olympics in virtual reality. A Brooklyn orchestra is harnessing virtual reality to let fans listen to a cantata in outer space.
With all of these virtual reality innovations, there are also more ways for action sports fans to enjoy their outdoor passions in case they can’t actually, you know, leave their house or office. Here are our favorites:
Virtual reality skydiving
Though skydiving and BASE jumping are thrilling pastimes, they both carry considerable risk.
But as showcased in a video released Tuesday, Samsung and the iFly indoor skydiving franchise are working with the T3 innovation agency to use virtual reality to create an indoor skydiving experience that actually feels like jumping out of a plane.
"This is the kind of stuff some people won't ever get to do," T3's chief innovation offficer, Ben Gaddis, told MarketWatch of their new collaboration. "iFly takes that experience far — it replicates the feeling. [Until now] you didn't get the sensory feeling that makes skydiving so special."
Climbing Mount Everest in Virtual Reality
While writing this story in early August, the high temperature for Mount Everest’s summit was -2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beyond sub-zero temperatures in the summer, storms and avalanches contribute to deaths on the world’s tallest mountain every year.
But you know what doesn’t come with increased chances of dying in avalanches and freezing temperatures? VR climbing.
That’s why Sólfar Studios announced last year that it was developing a virtual reality program that allows buyers to scale Everest, without the danger.
Cycle through the solar system with IMAX
If cycling the length of Britain from your living room seems too mundane for you, you can head out to the IMAXShift cycling studio in Brooklyn to replicate the feeling of cycling through the solar system.
Utilizing the high tech capabilities of the IMAX system, IMAXshift is a bit like the cycling class of the future, featuring immersive visuals and a surround sound system to create a full sensory experience.
But if you want to experience a little bipedal interstellar travel, it’s going to cost you more than a sweaty session on the stationary at your local YMCA: Each individual ride at IMAXShift costs $34.
Surf Tahitian barrels without leaving home
Tahiti is beautiful, and getting to surf there is a dream for many surfers.
But with flights from Los Angeles to French Polynesia hovering around $1,500, the dream of pulling into Tahitian barrels will remain just that for most people: a dream.
Last year, the World Surf League teamed up with Samsung to create a VR experience of what it feels like to surf Teahupoo for those who can’t pull in there themselves. And the best part? It won’t cost you anything.
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