you play a dedicated birthdau level. What is throughput like?

It depends, of course, but we do have a ‘rush hour’ mode for particularly busy times which only allows customers to pick the shorter games. One game is on average 1-1.30 minutes, so throughout could be 30-45 people an hour, or perhaps more.

Where are you based and how many employees do you have?

We are based in Finland, but we are global - we have customers in over 60 countries. We now have around 20 employees, and we also work with a number of trusted subcontractors. We also work with resellers globally and many of our partners are trampoline park manufacturers, who design the parks to include our products from the start. Products also fi t perfectly as retrofi ts to existing locations.

What is your role at Valo Motion? I’m CEO but I’m also deep in R&D. My background is creating products - my background is in academic research and business - Valo Motion was started off the back of my postdoctoral research, which looked at how to motivate people to move using technology, and with games in particular. I looked at how to gamify climbing because I’d been climbing for 15 years, and created the fi rst prototypes in 2016. It soon became evident that the industry needed this kind of product - I got a lot of interest from climbing gyms, and so I was able to form Valo Motion.

How has COVID-19 aff ected your customers, fi nancially and otherwise? What products do you supply to help them in safeguarding guests as they reopen? FECs, trampoline parks, climbing gyms - they’ve all been hit hard. Restrictions have created fi nancial uncertainty for some of our customers which has of course affected our sales, but I consider it a success that we’ve not had to lay anyone off, we’ve been able to hire more staff and keep on developing new products and investing in R&D. Some operators have been using the downtime to renovate their venues and install new visitors for after the virus has passed, so it’s not as bad as it could have been.

Can your games be adapted to meet COVID-19 restrictions?

Well obviously it affects throughput, but Valo Jump can be made completely touchless - players look at the screen and jump to control the game, so aren’t touching anything. You’re alone on a trampoline, so you’re already social distancing. For Valo Climb we recommend customers only run one game and set up a system of handwashing and disinfecting.

Attraction technology and trends like interactivity and immersivity are only growing in popularity - what is it about these sorts of attraction that allows them to continue to stand out?

Interaction is more and more important - people are WINTER PART 1 2021

used to consuming high quality digital entertainment content. Until recently a lot of attractions have been quite analogue. With immersive technology, you can create a new and unforgettable experience that you can’t experience at home. The digital aspect of immersive technology means that new games can be added very easily to existing hardware, which adds to repeatability for players - every time they come in, there might be a new game, whereas before they might have had to wait a year or more for new attractions to be installed at their local venue.

Can you share some common challenges that operators might face when planning their equipment mix and best practice ways to overcome them?

People are used to consuming high quality digital content with computer and mobile games at homes. There is a need for operators to offer experiences that can match the expectations of what we call the ‘Fortnite generation’ - to get them to come again and again to play them. In our view, it is important that digital attractions are not only fun but highly active too! I think best practice is to look for attractions that cannot be experienced at home and also something that offers high repeatability. Visitors are coming back more frequently because attractions have more to offer that can be experienced in couple visits or offer something new each time.

What can the industry expect from Valo Motion for 2021 and beyond? Do you have any expansion plans or new products or concepts set to launch?

I think everyone will be trying to get over the COVID-19 situation and get it resolved sooner rather than later. For Valo Motion we will be continuing to create new products and concepts - we are defi nitely working on a new product that I can’t talk much about, but it will combine movement and games in a similar way to our current products. We’ve also been trialling global competitions between different locations and building a global leaderboard, and when restrictions are lifted and guests can gather in venues again we hope to organise more local events.

41 There

is a need for operators to off er experiences that can match the expectations of what we call the 'Fortnite generation' - to get them to come again and again to play them.

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