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iFly Montreal | Virtual Void Jump



It’s hard to bring virtual reality any closer to real life than what the iFly Montreal center has been offering since September 22. Added to the indoor freefall experience is a virtual reality helmet. Instead of soaring in a wind tunnel along Highway 15, you fly over mountains, waterfalls and canyons in Hawaii, Dubai, California or the Swiss Alps.

The experience called iFly 360 VR is not perfect, the images jump a lot due to the strong air circulation and maintaining your balance in a wind tunnel requires some skill. But it is a rather breathtaking experience, much less intense than one might fear and which has nothing to do with an extreme sport. The proposed experiments are short, around two minutes, and anyone under 130 kg and over 6 years old can access them. The cheapest package including virtual reality, offered on less busy days, is $89.95 at iFly Montreal, formerly known as SkyVenture.

“It’s still a sporting activity, but since it’s an initiation, you don’t need to be overtrained,” explains Guillaume Cauvain, sales director for iFly Canada, which has four centres. »


Jean-Christophe Ouimet (left), General Manager of iFly Montreal, accompanied by Guillaume Cauvain, Sales Director at iFly Canada

The virtual reality side has really been a new concept in its own right that is revolutionizing our entire product.

Guillaume Cauvain, Sales Director for iFly Canada

Technological challenge

Of the approximately 100,000 people who attended an iFly center in Canada this year, 35% were under the age of 15, specifies the kinesiologist by training, and 80% were in their first experience and were under the supervision of an instructor. As for virtual reality, it is offered in the 80 iFly centers open worldwide, with the exception of those in the United States.

Filming these scenes by installing a camera at the end of a long arm on a drone at altitude, in sometimes turbulent environments, was quite a technological challenge, explains Mr. Cauvain. The iFly team in Paris piloted the project. “The drone tended to be unbalanced, we had to call in an extreme drone operator to obtain these images. »

Built for the moment from real images, the concept could easily be declined with other experiences filmed all over the world, even with computer-generated images in imaginary environments, enthuses Jean-Christophe Ouimet, general manager of ‘iFly Montreal and instructor.

The limit is our imagination!

Jean-Christophe Ouimet, General Manager of iFly Montreal and instructor

He demonstrates this concretely to the representative of The Press, who believed that the core of the indoor freefall experience was laboriously maintaining your balance in the pulsing air. He propels himself five meters into the air, rockets back down like a superhero and spins like a trapeze artist.

“I have a lot of experience…”, modestly specifies the 33-year-old instructor, parachutist since 2007 and former Canadian champion in the discipline of Dynamic 2 Way with his partner Coralie Boudreault.

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