Universal’s patent, titled ‘Ride Vehicles Restraint System with Forced Air System’, details a ride restraint that can blow air towards the face and body of the rider in different directions.
Universal attractions such as the Simpsons Ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man merge immersive screens and elements with movement, sometimes resulting in motion sickness.
“It is common for ride vehicles and amusement park-style attractions to include other features that enhance the ride vehicle experience for passengers,” the patent notes.
Universal patent details ‘forced air system’
“Further, it will be appreciated that passengers enjoying the ride vehicle experience may respond differently to motion of the ride vehicle as it travels along the ride path.”
“Indeed, in some instances, a passenger may be susceptible to kinetosis induced by certain ride vehicle motions and/or other elements of the ride system experience,” it adds.
In order to reduce motion sickness, the patent says “ride vehicle systems may include a forced air system configured to discharge an air flow toward passengers”. This will be achieved by directing the air flow through the ride restraints.
The ‘forced air system’ is “configured to generate an air flow, direct the air flow internally through the restraint, and discharge the air flow toward the passenger via a discharge port of the restraint”.
Universal parks aim to mitigate motion sickness
John Gerner, managing director at theme park consulting firm Leisure Business Advisors LLC, said: “This is a visitor satisfaction issue and its potential effect on revenue.”