The IAAPA trade show in Orlando, Florida is a yearly event geared toward Amusement parks, water parks, bowling alleys and arcades. Professionals from around the world come to show off the latest and greatest in high technology. Robots were popular this year, both as life-sized costumes and as a food server for restaurants. Unlike R2D2 and C3PO, the robots of tomorrow are function without the humor.
Virtual reality ruled the tech universe. Games that included a headset and motion seats were all the rage. Adults lined up by the dozens to get their turn at fighting dinosaurs, zombies and aliens. Flashy lights and lots of color was everywhere. The bigger the better when it came to sculptures. Nothing says, “This place is cool” like a life-sized dinosaur or giant bull.
Large, loud, colorful and action packed seemed to be the theme. If you could be transported to another galaxy (or under the Sea) then the manufacturers had done their job. A really popular game was a 2-person sponge bob ride where people sat on a boat that was shaped like a jet ski. One person had the experience of driving the boat (wearing VR head gear of course) while the person in the back fought off all the bad sea creatures.
The only problem is that all that super cool technology comes with a hefty price tag.
Single person player games started just under $30,000 while 2 person games ran closer to $60,000.00 and up.
Need a roller coaster? There were designers there for those on hand. Want to open a giant water park? No problem there either. Just bring an unlimited budget and the skies the limit!