Live ParkMicrosoft's Kinect technology has taken on a life of its own since its introduction 14 months ago. What started out as an amusing new way to play games is now being utilized by doctors and carmakers.
And now, theme park designers.
South Korea's "Live Park" opened its doors late last year, with several attractions centering on the fusion of motion capture technology and user avatars. And it's even weirder than you can imagine.
Trumpeting the park's "4D avatar technology" (something it claims was "previously only imagined in movies"), Live Park aims to be a more active experience than what it calls the 'passive' way theme parks have operated previously.
Users create an avatar, which becomes the main character in a 10,000 square meter (about 2.5 acres, for the metrically-challenged) interactive experience. Using RFID wristbands, customers move through the park's 65 attractions that cover seven thematic stages. Kinect sensors recognize their gestures, voices, and faces.
Among the wonders that await them is "The Ender Mirror," where users create their avatars and take pictures using 'smile' recognition, "Live360," a 360-degree stereocopic theater where users play a video game with their avatars, and the "Syno Star Performance," a hologram stage where users can 'perform' alongside their avatars.
Can't make it to South Korea? Don't worry. The park is already looking to expand into new territories. It's targeting China and Singapore, but Live Park creator d'strict says it is talking with a "Hollywood entertainment powerhouse" to bring the park to L.A. and Las Vegas as well.
Game-related theme parks are gaining momentum. Last year, China opened up 'World Joyland' a park heavily inspired by World of Warcraft and Starcraft.