Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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HDTV Roller-Coaster

Virtual Reality meets Real Gravity
 
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I live near a nexus of major amusement parks and I've gotten jaded with every single coaster there is. Even the "shoot you straight up in the air at 50 mph" ones. Even the "hang you upside down and spin you around till you puke" ones. Even the combination movie/motion simulator rides like in Vegas. I propose a roller coaster that combines simulation rides such as "Back To The Future" and "Spaceship: Earth" with an I-MAX movie theatre, with all-out speed and height coasters like "Steel Dragon" and "Superman: Ride of Steel".

At it's heart is a standard rail-type roller coaster track. The individual cars are completely circular spheres that contain free-hanging "floor-less" seats as seen in many of todays modern coasters. Several spheres are connected together as a string of pearls might be. Though spherical in shape, each sphere still attaches to the track with conventional wheel mechanisms. Back inside the passenger compartments, there are no windows. All surfaces are painted flat black. The walls are actually a grid of high definition LCD screens that provide a 360 degree display surface. Each rider also gets a set of spatial headphones to add a realistic audio component to the ride as well as a fake "figher pilot" face mask whose "oxygen tube" is actually an aspirator that will kick on should it detect any spurious stomache contents being ejected (this will keep each compartment clean for the next rider and reduce down-time). The same face mask will have small air jets to blow air past your to head to keep you from getting too nauseus and also simulate speed increases.

The ride acts like a conventional rollercoaster in every way, from breathtaking drops to stomache turning high-g turns to loop-the-loops to inverted corkscrews. INSIDE THOUGH...you are watching a movie that is choreographed to the physical movements that the coaster is making. While the coaster is climbing the same large first hill every coaster starts off with, you actually see yourself tilting up getting ready to be launched off a rocket pad and then all of the sudden BLAM! you are launched off and sent hurtling through space, dodging massive asteroid fields and chasing comets and looping in and out of the rings of gas giants and then suddenly turning and hyperspacing back to earth and then plunging through the cloud cover and into the sea and being chased by sea monsters and then shrinking to the size of a termite and flying through the inside of an ant colony at break-neck speed, only to rocket out back out into space and hang weightless for a moment as you see the beautiful blue earth from a 200 mile orbit and then you are suddenly rocketed back to a mountain on earth as you expierience a 1st person perspective of a 60mph ride down an Olympic slolam trail which suddenly dissolves and you are riding on a towering 30 ft. wave at the Bonzai Pipeline which ends with you hurtling out toward the moon again and then you turn slowly back to earth and plunge at mind-tearing speed toward the exact spot on the earth where the coaster actually is and finally ends with you seeming to land right in the seat of your coaster. All virtually of course, you were riding the rails of the physical coaster all the time. The movie you see inside the coaster compartment could be changed every once in a while so even repeat riders wouldn't get jaded.

eyeguy, Apr 27 2004

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       The pool of vomit on the floor might obscure some of the cool HDTV effects, but a nice idea, nevertheless.
hippo, Apr 27 2004
  

       very good point. I've amended my idea accordingly...
eyeguy, Apr 27 2004
  

       I love the feeling of the wind whipping past my face on coasters, but you painted such a vivid picture for me. [+]
yabba do yabba dabba, Apr 27 2004
  

       wow, another excellent point, that's almost one of THE best things about a coaster too. I've upgraded the coaster accordingly.
eyeguy, Apr 27 2004
  

       "watching a movie that is choreographed to the physical movements that the coaster is making" might also include occasional visual cues that are opposite the physical motion to intensify motion sickness?
half, Apr 27 2004
  

       I'm not a rollercoaster kind of guy, but having been on some of the earlier video-enhanced rides, I like this idea. Lots of potential for periodic reprogramming.
normzone, Apr 27 2004
  

       Just reading that description was pretty thrilling. I really want to go on one of these. Especially if there's a Star Wars themed one. (Based on Episodes IV - VI, obviously) +
spacemoggy, Apr 27 2004
  

       oh! I want a Lord of the Rings one and then a "Speed" one and then a ummm... a uhhhhh...ahem... an "adult" one.
frootloop, Apr 27 2004
  

       Ah, I misread the title as a small place mat for putting your hot cup of coffee with built in HDTV capability. Pick-up your cup, watch a show. Still, I like the actual idea too.
WYBloke, Apr 28 2004
  

       check. +
k_sra, Apr 28 2004
  

       Just now read [half]'s idea to purposely mismatch the visual vs. the physical cues. That would certainly make for a real vomit-comet of a ride. Maybe one night out of the week you could change over to an invitation-only "X-treme" version. You would then only let on people that were expierienced riders that belonged to maybe a coaster rider organization or some such.
eyeguy, May 03 2004
  

       I’m with WYBloke—I'd assumed this had something to do with coffee and tables with short legs. Unfortunately, it would be self-defeating, because if you wanted to watch, you’d never put your cup on the coaster...and then it hit me. Of course! The coaster will show only one thing—the collected speeches of George Bush.
ldischler, May 03 2004
  

       Muted, of course.
yabba do yabba dabba, May 03 2004
  

       can you combine the ideas? Stick a hdtv drink coaster on the arm of the seat and, ok, I just realized how useless that would be. + the original idea
fishspeaker, May 05 2004
  

       wooho! my first 2-buner :)
eyeguy, May 06 2004
  

       sp: bunner :)
yabba do yabba dabba, May 06 2004
  

       I'll have you know that in my native Algonquin it is spelled "buner", from the root word "buneriwissakasee" meaning "He who walks in the way of the Croissant"... hey, wasn't Bunner one of the Ricky Nelson brothers? The one with the blonde hair, I think. I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOUR, LOVE AND AFFECTION!!! (rocks out "80's" style).
eyeguy, May 07 2004
  

       That's not Algonquin, IL, is it?
yabba do yabba dabba, May 10 2004
  

       Did I say "Algonquin"? I meant Cherokee, yeah, that's it, Mohican.
eyeguy, May 10 2004
  
      
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