Pittsburgh has the reputation for being the Silicon Valley of the east coast.
We have amazing universities like Carnegie Mellon University and great startup communities with incubators and programs across the city. A new extension of technology is branching into events and attractions all over the area. Virtual Reality, or VR for short, is sprouting up from sports to museums and places in between.
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they will kick off this coming season with a new attraction that puts you right in the thick of the action and straight into the end zone. Mandt VR provides a 360 degree video from the field during the Steeler game to put you in the stands while you never leave your couch.
Have you ever wanted to fly like a bird? What does Pittsburgh look like to a bird? At the National Aviary on Pittsburgh's North Side you get to strap yourself into a VR machine that simulates flight. Birdly, the VR simulator at the National Aviary, has you lay down on your chest with your arms spread out to the side. You flap your wings for speed and wind direction while different motors and actuators move the rest of your body as you fly high in the sky.
At Carnegie Science Center there is a new BodyWorks exhibit that lets you explore parts of the body. Depending on where you stand in the simulator or how you lay your hand on a sensor lets you explore the skeleton, organs or the skull.
Another exhibit - H2O! - is a virtual watershed where you can design hills and valleys and see how how a lake or stream is effected by the terrain.
Kennywood has been a long time favorite for thrills and excitement, however this year they added a virtual twist to one of their coasters. The Sky Rocket has almost vertical launch and a few amazing twists and turns and now you can experience it while wearing a VR headset that takes you into a futuristic Pittsburgh-like world.
The Pittsburgh Children's Museum has teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center for Animeateering; an exhibit in the attic of the museum. In the exhibit you can control many puppets with a Kinect System, and make them run, jump and dance.
Through September 10th at the museum is also an exhibit that allows kids to ride the open road on a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. The little ones can design there own motorcycle with parts and accessories and then take it on the open road.
The Styles and Customs of the 2020s at the Carnegie Museum of Art is a virtual reality experience where artists invite us to consider how a re-imagined future can shed light on our present. The virtual experience presents a digital dystopian version of our world that has been ravaged by rapid climate change, social unrest, and shifting global economics. When wearing the headset, users are transported to one of four imagined scenarios from the 2020s. This exhibit is only available until September 4, so make sure to check it out soon.
Keep your eyes peeled for more VR experiences popping up all over Pittsburgh. These exhibits heighten your senses to enjoy them in a new way.