Ground-breaking VR technology to bring karting into the 21st century
The UK’s premier augmented reality karting experience made its debut in London’s trendy Shoreditch district in August 2021. The Chaos Karts platform is designed to fully immerse you in a supremely fun augmented reality videogame experience that feels and drives as if you’re inside the game itself.
Chaos Karts is introducing something remarkable and as yet unheard of in the karting world. They’ve taken the traditional karting experience and overlayed a remarkable augmented reality (AR) technology that takes karting, gaming, and the enjoyment of both experiences to the next level. (Like, Ready Player One levels. For real.)
Players are each given their own physical kart to drive within the warehouse. The digitally rendered track and visuals are computer-generated graphics projected by a complex array of projectors and sensors distributed throughout the track environment. Since the visuals and track are beamed directly into the warehouse space by the projectors, no headsets are required to view the track. Each player is able to see the same projection in real-time with their own eyes, and they are able to drive the projected circuit as if it were a real track.
The track can accommodate up to 8 players at a time. Players can steer and maneuver around the track at max speeds of 20 mph, very similar to a traditional go-kart. The great thing about Chaos Karts is you don’t need to wear a stinky helmet that’s been used by other kart drivers before you. You don’t need to wear a helmet because there are no physical obstacles on the Chaos Karts track and all karts feature modern, state-of-the-art anti-collision technology already built-in.
To start the AR experience, teams select the track they’d like to race. They can choose from several circuits, including an Outer Space circuit and an old school Daytona Beach circuit. Players can race their way through different racecourses or circuits during a session and sample out of this world graphics and environments they wouldn’t otherwise experience on a traditional karting track. Aside from interacting with the track itself, players can also interact with and use projectiles, obstacles, and power-ups to help them win against other players. You can find out more about these fun power-ups here.
In their official statement, Chaos Karts founder Tom Lionetti-Maguire said: ‘We are so excited to be launching this brand-new attraction, and especially to be doing so this summer. Creating a real-life version of a videogame has been an obsession for some time, and we are delighted to have cracked it. Every time you play it, the adrenaline, the pure elation of it… it still surprises me every time.
‘The gamification of experiences is a phenomenon that is here to stay, and this is the purest distillation of it. It’s a game and an experience, wrapped up in a whole load of silliness, with a sprinkling of nostalgia for good measure. Chaos Karts is a gamer-changer. All this and opening in time for a summer of fun that we so desperately deserve is frankly a dream come true!’
Racing in a Real-Life Video Game
Aside from challenging opponents in a battle of speed and driving prowess, players can earn points as they navigate their way around the circuit, collecting digitally projected tokens such as jewels or coins, which earn them points then added to their overall score.
The smart karts track this information and communicate in real-time with the scoring system. Points are then logged and tallied to keep track of players’ standings within the race. Chaos Karts has mastered the digital projection technology, which enables players to interact and compete with other opponents in real time.
Each kart comes with a front-mounted ‘gun.’ Players can use the gun to shoot obstacles or projectiles at other drivers. The kart controls and the gun controls are physically within the cart, but the obstacles and projectiles themselves are virtual. The karts ‘react’ to these projected graphics as if they were real obstacles or projectiles.
The Chaos Karts experience was engineered to look and feel like a live-action version of supremely popular videogame kart racing games. If you ever played these as a child (or as an adult), you absolutely know how much fun and engaging the game can be.
Chaos Karts is positioned to bring this exciting videogame experience into the augmented reality world in a very exciting and interactive way.
Power-Ups and Competing Against Friends and Family
Because the technology behind Chaos Karts is very new, it will be interesting to see just how similar or different the VR augmented karting game will be from its popular videogame inspirations.
As you’re racing around the course, don’t forget to keep your eye out for ‘power ups’, which can give you an advantage over other players. Useful power-ups to look out for are the laser gun, the hammer, the bomb, and there of course speed boosts to utilise as well.
Gather all your mates and head down to Chaos Karts today to check out this amazing, new, and one-of-a-kind augmented virtual reality experience for yourself.
Chaos Karts is open and can be found at Fleet Street Hill in Shoreditch, London, and be accessible to anyone over the age of 13 and with a minimum height of 153cm. Tickets are available for sale from £30 per person.