Alterface, a leader in interactive technology, has announced ‘Popcorn Universe’ at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando. This extends the company’s popcorn IP and merchandising across a whole attraction or themed area, enriching the visitor experience.
The multi-award-winning Popcorn Revenge ride at Walibi Belgium is Alterface’s first Erratic Ride, taking guests on a non-linear journey. Throughout the ride, there are various scenes featuring popcorn pirate, superhero, horror and space characters
According to Alterface, in this self-contained ‘Popcorn Universe’ the popcorn figures are very versatile and can adapt to various markets and cultures. The concept is also adaptable and can be applied to duelling rides or other kinds of attraction.
Expanding the Popcorn Revenge IP
“Expanding the IP into the Popcorn Universe is the result of listening to our customers and connecting the dots of all their suggestions. In a market dominated by superlatives, promises and often unfounded claims, we want to keep a close grip on reality” says Benoit Cornet, CEO & Founder of Alterface.
“A dark ride is not always enough to generate traffic to the park, yet everybody will agree that it is a real must to entertain families. Therefore, we are taking a ‘push-pull’ approach: use the dark ride attraction to create the emotional band with the IP, resulting in a significant increase in merchandising sales and using the outdoor part to generate visibility.”
Alterface has partnered with King Concept, an entertainment design studio in Belgium, to create the concept development and creative engineering of the Alterface Popcorn Universe. King Concept have created shows and attractions for Studio 100 across Europe. A 10,00 SqM model is currently in development by the Alterface team to accommodate 400-5000 people at a time which provides a strong return on investment.
The popcorn IP is proving a hit with the Asian market. “We have seen tremendous interest from the Asian, and more particular Chinese, market in our popcorn IP, they absolutely adore it,” says Cornet.
In addition to being scalable and affordable, Popcorn Revenge was first designed to be a game and the IP is an embodiment of it. Benoit Cornet concludes: “We see tremendous possibilities with the Popcorn Revenge IP in dark rides and other attractions. Parks need new and creative approaches to pull in visitors, who expect more than a short ride or thrill. They want to be immersed and engaged in a magical world, bringing it home to enjoy and relive their wonderful experience.”
Records set at Cupfusion
The newest ride at Hersheypark, Cupfusion, has reached the highest number of target handling across dark ride attraction. The ride interactivity is provided by Alterface and has six unique ways to play the ride.
The ride allows guests to become agents, tasked with protective the factory and ensuring the world continues to enjoy Reese’s peanut butter cups. As Rich Hill, Creative Director of Sally Dark Rides explains “the ride is a big step forward for interactive dark rides as there are more targets in this ride than any attraction in the world! We used Alterface’s technology as we typically would in any of our rides. The true test for Alterface’s system was being able to handle as many targets – practical targets, small media targets on monitors and large media targets on screens – and it performed really good.”
The detection system Alterface used for the ride is based on Salto show management technology. It guides guests throughout the ride, controlling all outputs such as lightening, audio, shooting and photo content.
Benoit Cornet explains that “it’s always a pleasure to work with the Sally team, Resse’s Cupfusion is again a wonderful example of how interactive dark rides create fun for the entire family, yet still challenger individual players.”
New growth in the company
Alterface has appointed Gillian Basso as their new Chief Information Officer. His role will be to stimulate innovation across interactive attractions, and he will work with the IP and creative departments. After receiving his PhD in Computer Science, Gillian participated in several research programmes, such as ParkAR at the Louvain university.
Gillian comments that “It’s a wonderful challenge to infuse my academic background into real applications and see it all come to life.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Gillian to our team,” says Benoit Cornet. “His mission is to keep Alterface at the forefront of interactive technology so we can continue to offer the most innovative user-centric attractions.”
Alterface recently won several awards at the IAAPA Expo in Europe for their Popcorn revenge and Sesame Street: Street Mission.