Energy Upgrade California wanted to create a unique way to educate people across the state about the importance of energy conservation. In collaboration with Momentum, Gen City Labs created a Virtual Reality experience to help communicate the impact of an individual’s energy use on the California environment. Within the virtual experience, guests were hang glided over the California landscape and were posed with a series of questions about their personal energy use in which they could answer though a physical computing integration. Once a question was answered, the landscape below would visually evolve in real-time to show the impact of that decision on the environment, whether positive or negative. The experience toured California for 6 months, had over 10,000 riders and 450,000 impressions.
Gen City Labs implemented the UI Design, Front End Development and Technology Integration on this project.
While this is not our first time integrating Oculus Rift and Racermate’s CompuTrainer, it is first time we have turned this setup into a pedal-powered flying machine. Using pedaling as an input method for answering yes/no questions also presented an interesting design and technical challenge. We found the solution to both in using the CompuTrainer’s wheel velocity reading to control hang glider altitude in virtual reality. In other words, the faster the user pedals, the higher they fly. We were then able to add “decision points” along the glider’s path where users could fly over a threshold to answer “yes” and below to answer “no.” The end result was a smooth ride with a control scheme so intuitive that everyone could pick it up on their first try.
Hardware: Racermate CompuTrainer®, Oculus Rift
Game Engine & Software: Unreal Engine 4, Adobe AfterEffects, Sketch, web technology