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French museum launches VR surfing experience

Cité de l'Océan in Biarritz, France – a museum dedicated to the deep blue – has unveiled a new exhibition using Oculus Rift to give visitors a virtual surfing experience.

Created in partnership with the museum, YouRiding, the city of Biarritz, ESTIA recherche, IFORM and CoreExpert, VirtualSurf combines YouRiding’s action sport game technology, Microsoft’s Kinect detection software and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

The virtual reality experience is custom-made for the museum, and enables the player to surf three famous waves – La Côte des Basques, the Belharra off St-Jean de Luz, and Mundaka on the Basque coast.

Standing in the board starting position while wearing the headset and facing the Kinect, the rider moves their body forward to accelerate or back to slow down and can lean left or right to turn accordingly. At the end of the wave, the player receives a score and can watch their run afterwards.

The game is playable for surfers of all qualities and according to Cité de l'Océan, “could help achieve better performance in reading waves and riding barrels, without the fear of experiencing a brutal wipeout.”

The experience is available for anyone taller than 140cm (4ft 6ins) by reservation at the Steven Holl-designed surf museum, which also recently launched its new Polar Base exhibit, looking at the ice-caps and the important role they play in relation to the ocean.

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Cité de l'Océan in Biarritz, France – a museum dedicated to the deep blue – has unveiled a new exhibition using Oculus Rift to give visitors a virtual surfing experience. Created in partnership with the museum, YouRiding, the city of Biarritz, ESTIA recherche, IFORM and CoreExpert, VirtualSurf combines YouRiding’s action sport game technology, Microsoft’s Kinect detection software and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The virtual reality experience is custom-made
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The virtual reality experience is custom-made for the museum, and enables the player to surf three famous waves
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