Galactica is a virtual reality rollercoaster opening at Alton Towers in April

Gaze at pretty fictional planets while you barf
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We want to go to Alton Towers. Again. The UK theme park has just announced that its first virtual reality rollercoaster, Galactica, is opening in April. Based on its Air ride, which sees people strapped in facedown, Galactica uses custom Samsung Gear VR headsets from Figment VR to transport riders into a space themed experience, encountering frozen and molten planets and wormholes.

Holy hell. This could be the coolest thing we try in 2016. Or it could be a one way ticket to vom town.

Read this: HTC Vive goes up for pre-order on 29 February

During the three minute ride, the virtual world revolves around a fictional space tourism company, Galactica, in the year 3016 and begins before you've taken off on the Galactanaut ship.

The 'route' takes you to the outer edges of the solar system, to visit the fictional volcano planet Nero 5 and frost covered Kepler 9 and apparently witness the birth of a new star. According to Galactica's site, more destinations are coming soon too and you're guided by Eve, a fictional AI.

Galactica is a virtual reality rollercoaster opening at Alton Towers in April

Air has been modified for the Galactica experience so to help with motion sickness, shoulder straps are in place to stop heads moving about to the left and right. Plus there's a custom tethering system and sensors on the ride itself monitor each Gear VR headset.

We've seen space themed Gear VR apps before and it can be a magical experience but who knows what the motion of being on a goddamn rollercoaster at the same time will do. Essentially, the ride becomes another controller to add motion to the VR experience.

Like The Void, which can most easily be described as a VR theme park, and to an extent home VR set ups like the HTC Vive Pre, Galactica is based around making the virtual reality world as immersive an experience as possible.

There's only one thing for it - we'll be queuing up at Alton Towers this April.


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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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