Citytrip is a new exhibit that combines Oculus Rift VR-goggles and a stationary bicycle to give you the impression of exploring an exciting alien city without even moving an inch. You can pedal and steer just like any other bicycle, or if you really go for it you can fly through the air, hopping from building to building with each ring of your bicycle bell. There are very few limits – explore the city on the ground or navigate the twisting aerial pathways and cycle along the top floors of skyscrapers, it’s all up to you.
The installation at the New Institute in Rotterdam was a collaboration between FRONT404 and Andrius Sta that came about when trying out demos and games that already existed for the Oculus Rift. While the virtual reality of the Oculus Rift was definitely immersive, moving around using mouse and keyboard just didn’t feel natural, and quickly ruined the fun.
A bicycle seemed like a more realistic and involved form of motion control to the team, which would serve to further reduce the barrier between user and virtual environment. It’s also a familiar way of moving for most people, which makes the experience more intuitive and accessible for everyone.