Oculus lets motorcycle enthusiasts take a virtual trip to Sturgis
Are you suffering from garage fever, biker dudes? Itching to hit the open road on a throaty American-made motorcycle, hug the curves, catch some scenery, feel the horsepower?
Subzero temperatures and record snowfall have made that impossible in most of the country this endless winter. What’s a gearhead to do, except wait for the thaw?
That’s where virtual reality steps in, with executives from Minnesota-based Victory Motorcycles hatching a promotion that uses Oculus Rift to give motorcycle enthusiasts a trip to Sturgis without leaving a trade show floor.
The simulated ride through the Badlands comes complete with 3D, 360-degree images of Needles Highway, a famous stretch of desert road in South Dakota, throttle control, sound effects and a “tactile transducer” to recreate the vibrations of a speeding bike.
The project, produced by digital agency space150, means to put butts on seats at high-traffic trade shows, which executives say is one of the best ways to move product. It rolled out at the recent Chicago International Motorcycle Show and will repeat, with additions and tweaks, at future events. It may also become part of a museum exhibit in New York.