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Cover Story World Pavillion


village life is realised with the use of virtual reality. Visitors get to wear VR- glasses which show a 360 view of a real village in Ghana; “they walk around freely, and it feels as if they are actually walking around in the Ghanaian village,” says Mark. The third experience is a moving one; the journey of a boat refugee. The World Pavilion decided to add this sensitive topic to their programme to show visitors the background of the refugees, and what drove them to make this risky journey. Visitors get into a real refugee boat whilst wearing VR-glasses. With the use of virtual reality, they will see what those people have to go through during their dangerous journey. “We feel honoured that we get to realise these kind of projects. Close to


home, with an educational and social touch. Another example of such a special project is the Risk Factory: an interactive education centre for safety awareness in the Netherlands. It’s an interesting project, as it’s not particularly focused on interactives, which we have talked a lot about so far. During a visit to the Risk Factory, children learn how to act in a safe way in critical, unsafe situations. Some examples of the scenarios are fire hazard, internet use, traffic safety, peer pressure, contact with emergency services and the importance of hygiene. These real-life scenes change the perspective on risks. Great thing is; there are now plans for many more of these centres!” says Mark.


Upcoming projects Besides the earlier mentioned Smurfs GameChanger, Lagotronics Projects is working on several other new projects and experiences: they’re supplying the full turnkey package for an interactive Dark Ride due to open in a German theme park in 2020. “It has a nice story about a Knight and his castle,” says Mark; guests travel with the knight through the castle and with a special type of interactive device they can light the castle up. “It uses a lot of decoration and scenery, together with physical targets and great storytelling,” he says. “Not only are we delivering the interactive system for the ride, but also the development and design of story and theming.” Another upcoming project is CORPUS China, the second of its kind.


Developed by Reco Productions, CORPUS in the Netherlands is an educational attraction where visitors make an interactive journey through the human body. It offers guests a unique experience where they find out exactly how the human body works, and how important ‘healthy living, responsible nutrition and plenty of exercise’ are. Now it’s going to expand to China, and just like for CORPUS in the Netherlands, Lagotronics Projects is going to install all audiovisual, lighting and show control equipment. Mark explains the concept: “You go up the escalators, starting off in the knee, go through the entire body, then up through the head until you reach the brain. It’s a true show experience.”


Risk Factory 28


CORPUS


Having worked on the original, together with its second incarnation in China, Mark predicts that CORPUS will be a “very well known-brand in the future.” A very different project again, Lagotronics has created the interactives for a


new ride at Fort Hays in North America, which is due to open in 2020. Fort Hays is not really a theme park, more an outdoor leisure attraction and, located in a valley, the ride is much like a zipline. “It’s got two people in seats hanging from it and as it swings from left to right, it has interactives that enable you to play different hunting games (a traditional approach for people there). Always pushing the boundaries, this is the first time that Lagotronics Projects has created interactives on a ride of this kind. “It’s these type of projects that make our job so exciting and challenging,” Mark adds.


A bright future for Dark Rides “Nowadays there are two types of Dark Rides, interactive and non-interactive. Both have their unique charms,” says Mark, but for the experience to be fully immersive, it must have a good story to go with it. “Interactive Dark Rides started off with just physical targets, but even in the early days we tried to bend that a little, introducing an element of storytelling. We also introduced different types of gaming into the ride using different devices, like a wand, torchlight or a photo camera. We want to keep them child friendly to make the ride more suitable for family entertainment. Later on, the interactive video equipment in Dark Rides was introduced. The combination of these two was obvious to come: both physical targets and media screens, integrated in a Dark Ride enhances the visitor experience even more. Theming, storytelling and famous IP’s are increasingly being used in interactive Dark Rides, which completes the picture.”


Virtual and Augmented Reality Looking to the future Mark explains that the company is working on experiences using virtual and augmented reality. During their ride or trip, guests have the possibility to interact with the virtual environment or scenery, for example by using hand gestures or controllers. This way they create their own experience by making things happen and seeing things that aren’t actually there. This, says Mark, will add an “extra layer to the experience.” The technology is still in production and when it is ready, it’s going to be a stunning and unrivalled piece of technique, according to Mark. What is clear from talking to Mark is that Lagotronics Projects’ technology


can be used for so many different types of attractions – making it a ‘go-to’ supplier for operators worldwide. “During the past 40 years we’ve completed so many attractions and experiences all over the world. The magic for all these unforgettable memories starts with a great team to develop and realise these great projects. Our people make the difference: they work with sincere passion, fun and are highly knowledgeable. That’s what I’m the most proud of. We’ve had ‘40YearsOfFun’ together, and much more fun ahead of us!”


AUGUST 2019


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