Christophe Lucchini

Exclusive interview with CEO and co-founder of CL Corporation will open your eyes on the future of Virtual Reality.

 

Think of CL as a consulting firm recognized in the world of entertainment, interactivity, simulation, and research.

CL Corporation has been serving the world of the attractions industry for almost 20 years, creating high-quality products for many amusement parks, museums, malls, and industrial and research centers.

Its employees can be considered Entertainment Designers, artists who create experiences that excite the mind, experts who know what theme parks aficionados desire, real professionals in their fields.

Christophe Lucchini was already ahead of his time when he decided to create CL Corporation about 20 years ago, but today we can say, without any doubt, that he is one of the key figures in the industry of fun. His mind is a ticking bomb, always coming up with the most innovative ideas. He even took Virtual Reality to the next level when he came up with HRT, which stands for Hybrid Reality Technology.

We spoke to CL and, among other things, we asked them about the industry of fun and their partnership with Red Raion.

 

Why did you decide to create a company specialized in attractions design? Tell us how CL Corporation started.

CL Corporation was founded by two engineers, Christophe Lucchini and Laurent Mahy, both specialized in automation and industrial mechanics.

After a first experience at the World Expo in Seville, 1992, Christophe Lucchini and Laurent Mahy were able to see stars in the eyes of the visitors who tested their attractions, so they decided to focus on the world of entertainment. This passion for the leisure and entertainment industry has led to the creation of CL Corporation, with the philosophy of making visitors’ dreams come true and meet the craziest requests in terms of immersion and simulation.

 

Virtual reality is everywhere and in the last few years, it has become the hottest trend in the industry of fun. You have taken VR one step further with HRT (hybrid reality technology). Can you explain to our readers what HRT is and how is it different from virtual reality?

Virtual reality is now present in all attractions and is, as you have stated, the fashion of the entertainment industry. With the commercialization of VR headsets, the general public perfectly knows how it works, what it means to dive into virtual reality and be able to be transported in any world. But these viewers also very well know that it is not the world around them at that moment, which diminishes the immersive and the “wow” effect that we seek in each of our inventions. It is for this reason that we have created a new technology, the “HRT”. HRT® (Hybrid Reality Technology) allows visitors to wear a VR headset, while still being able to see the reality around them. Therefore, visitors see through the visor. They can see their friends, family, and all the people around them.

CL Corporation’s “Scary Hotel” VR Explorer is the perfect ride for horror addicts

When they enter the attraction, they immediately discover the setting we have created. The platform and sounds within it are dynamic, when it detects visitors’ presence the attraction triggers itself and the light effects become part of the scenography. That’s when the VR film begins. This way, visitors don’t realize they’re in a virtual world

Viewers are involved by the dynamic platforms and sounds, created to trigger the attraction itself. They do not know that they are within a virtual world since the scenery is only recreated in a virtual way! After a first try at the IAAPA show in Berlin, we saw that the visitors were extremely delighted and surprised by this technology, which we are very proud of.

 

CL Corporation has a strong presence in Asia. As a matter of fact, the company opened an office in Singapore in 2014. Why did you decide to focus on the Asian market?

After several market studies in different parts of the world, we took several commercial trips back in 2012 to explore the markets and officially present our company, our products, and meet the local entertainment stakeholders.

Asia stood out for several reasons: many projects in line with the industry, Asians’ interest in buying European products with a particular response to the French ones, and so on.

We easily targeted local partners in order to make it there. This combination of positive goals is the result gained from the creation of an office in Singapore back in 2014!

 

What’s new that you’re going to showcase at EAS 2018? And what are you expecting from this partnership with Red Raion during EAS 2018?

During EAS 2018 we will show “Birdy”, the only flying theater that creates the surprise effect on visitors when entering the dome! We are also going to show our new attraction “Run The River”, the Rafting VR simulator with which we have attracted a lot of people during the IAAPA Hong Kong 2018.

With Red Raion, we established a partnership in 2017. At that time we were looking for a studio specialized in the creation of VR films and that’s exactly what we found in Red Raion. It goes without saying that we must find strong partners, to allow our customers to regularly change their VR content, and therefore allowing their visitors to return to that particular attraction. We expect this partnership to be able to sweep more widely within the market and detect potential projects.

A customer who is looking for a VR attraction and comes to visit us necessarily needs a VR film. On the other hand, a customer who is looking for VR movies, obviously needs a VR attraction to exploit them!

 

What is the most requested attraction designed by CL Corporation and why do you think your clients enjoy it so much?

We highly recommend our flying theater “Birdy” and our rafting attraction “Run The River”, simply because:

  • Flying theaters are still rare in this market and this impressive attraction is highly appreciated by park visitors because it triggers impressive sensations and the contents can be easily adapted. Furthermore, some customers do not want to wear VR headsets and prefer projection.

CL’s flying theater, “Birdy” was showcased at EAS 2018

  • VR is very popular now, and the attraction “Run The River” is an impressive combination of technologies because this attraction can also be adaptable for water park! Wearing their swimsuits, visitors who are equipped with VR headsets, will board a raft and live an ultra-realistic adventure thanks to our VR film in real time, with synchronized movements and water effects!

“Run the River”, CL’s rafting VR simulator

 

How do you work in order to integrate hardware and content? Why is it so important for you to trust the partner that creates your contents?

The creation of VR movies and integration into our attractions is done in three distinct phases.

  • At first, we think of an attraction never made, never seen and which we would be delighted to be able to ride if we visited a park.
  • Then, we write a scenario in broad outlines. We need to rely on our partners who are professional content creators, to guide us, rewrite the script, render the general atmosphere, and create bits of animation. This is an essential point to crack the overall scenography of the attraction and to be able to present the customers with a unique and complete attraction.
  • Finally, we produce the film, thanks to our partner, who has fully understood all the special effects of our attraction, to fully exploit the full potential of it.

Once the film is finished, we integrate it into our attraction where our specialists, the Motion Designers will program the movements and the special effects.

The customer has a finished product, that is both software and hardware, plug and play, which perfectly exploits the full potential of both.

 

In your opinion, what will be the next disruptive technology that is going to change the market?

We currently think that haptics will be the immersive support of the future.

Parks and recreation areas’ visitors want to escape, discover the world differently, feel it and therefore touch it…

The effects of water, wind, smell, and movement are already ways to achieve this. But touching with your own hands… to feel real sensations on the body… That’s our goal!

 

What are the future plans of CL Corporation? How are you going to surprise theme park fans around the world?

Our goal has been the same for years: to transport visitors elsewhere, make them want to discover this world differently, hear their laughter and their cries of fear.

The future for CL Corporation is to invent new systems year after year, so as to allow people to feel like they could teleport anywhere. For the time it can happen with attractions known as “Hyper Reality Experiences”!

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