_Frequently Asked Questions
_What is Birdly®?
How is Birdly different from other VR?
Birdly is distinct in several ways. Other VR relies solely on a headset to generate images and sounds, while Birdly takes your entire body along for the ride. The visual, aural and haptic wind sensations combine with a motion table to create a motor-sensory coupling that is extremely realistic and breathtaking. And while other VR is a solitary experience, Birdly is social — almost as much fun to watch as it is to fly. It is indeed a rare bird in the VR world.
Who is buying and renting Birdly?
Birdly is ideal as a premium attraction at destination venues such as museums, aquaria, zoos, malls, theme parks, hotels, airports, cruise lines, retailers and visitor centers. Event promoters are Birdly clients, as are corporations and adventurous individuals who host unforgettable parties. Birdly is a hit at conferences and provides a surefire way to draw a large crowd around a tradeshow booth.
Can spectators watch and participate in the Birdly experience?
Yes, and that’s one reason it’s so very special – and lucrative. Birdly is designed to work with a large panel display or projection system. Birdly always draws a crowd and spectators have a blast, posting videos and photos to social media. In a highly trafficked area, Birdly simply sells itself. A personable attendant can work the crowd and make it even more fun — MC-ing the flight and serving up flying tips and humor.
Does Birdly make you motion sick?
Rarely do Birdly fliers get dizzy or motion sick. Because Birdly incorporates a motion table that instantaneously responds to the flier’s motor commands and synchs with the low-latency VR visuals, there is no disconnect between the brain’s perception and the body’s orientation. Most VR does not ‘take the body with you’ and this detachment is a recipe for nausea. Think of the difference between driving a car on a winding road vs. riding in the passenger seat — the passenger may be queasy but the driver feels fine. With Birdly, you’re the driver. On the other hand, Birdly is so realistic that vertigo can feel very real. Most fliers subject to vertigo have an initial reaction — they may let out a scream, and then quickly realize that it’s safe and appreciate the exhilaration. It is extremely rare for fliers to ask to stop…and always magical to see faces at the end of a flight.
_Birdly® Operation & Specs
How long is the Birdly flight?
Operators can set the ride duration for the experience. Three minutes seems to be the sweet spot, allowing for 15 riders per hour per unit. A few minutes feels like a long flight, and our clients’ patrons are fully satisfied with the value proposition.
Is Birdly ADA compliant?
Birdly is enjoyable and accessible to anyone who has use of their arms and hands and is not visually impaired. Many wheelchair-bound patrons have taken to the skies, with a little help mounting the bird. Usually these fliers are especially thrilled by the sensation of flight.
What are the minimum age and weight requirements?
Roughly speaking, fliers should be at least 7 or 8 years old and 48 inches tall. It’s really a question of wingspan, but height is typically an adequate indicator. Birdly clients have established various thresholds and guidelines. Upper weight limit is 400 pounds. There is no upper age limit – we’ve seen 90-year-old fliers having the time of their lives!
How are Birdly owners staffing and operating Birdly?
Most of our clients pre-sell timed Birdly tickets, five to seven riders in 20- or 30-minute blocks. Riders show up in their allotted window and ride on a first-come-first-served basis. A single staff member can operate one or more Birdly units. Attendants help the riders on and off the machine and provide short flying tips. Good attendants can also serve as docents or MCs, directing the flier to points of interest and using the monitor to engage and entertain the crowd.
How are Birdly owners pricing tickets?
Birdly can command a premium ticket, especially if placed in a highly trafficked area where it undoubtedly will draw a crowd. Most clients charge between $8 and $10 for a three-minute ride and have 15 riders per hour. Some seek sponsors to underwrite the cost of ownership, selling tickets for less or including Birdly in a broader package.
Does D3D provide operational and technical training for Birdly?
Yes, D3D provides a full day of training at installation. This includes frontline operator training as well as a more technical course for onsite troubleshooting. The technical training requires basic computer knowledge and is typically administered to IT staff.
What are the site requirements for Birdly?
Each unit requires roughly 10’ x 10’ of space and uses one standard 20A power outlet.
What content experiences are available for Birdly?
New York City and San Francisco are commercially available today. More cities are in the pipeline, and we can produce additional cities by request. And we are working on other exciting full-body VR experiences – think dinosaur (pterosaur) and underwater (manta ray).
_Buying, Leasing & Renting Birdly®
What is a common Birdly business model?
Many Birdly owners charge as much as $10 per rider, generating about $1,000/day per unit at capacity, and more with private functions in the evenings. With private events, Birdly can fairly easily generate north of $20K per month per unit. A recent Birdly owner reported 91% occupancy in the first three months over 10-hour days. With a lease, clients can fully operationalize the cost of Birdly and generate profits immediately. Clients who purchase Birdly generate a healthy ROI within the first year, whether through ticket sales or brand exposure.
What is included in the Birdly package? Are there options?
The Birdly Serial Edition includes the robotics, VR headset/headphones, one virtual experience, installation and training. Options include a custom transportation case on casters to move Birdly around the facility or out into the community for events, flat panel screen and stand to engage Birdly spectators, and a spare parts inventory kit.
Does Birdly come with a service package and warranty?
Yes, D3D provides one year of service – both emergency and preventative – as well as a full warranty on all components, excluding the head mounted display (which are available commercially). After the first year, D3D provides optional service packages as well as optional warranty extensions.
What does Birdly cost to purchase?
The list price for Birdly is $189,000 USD, which includes hardware, software, installation, training and service. Contact D3D for street pricing, limited special discounts, and volume discounts. Shipping (from Switzerland), taxes, duties are not included and typically range between $2,500 and $3,500 to North America. The optional transport case lists for $5,000 USD. Optional monitor and stand lists for $2,000 USD. Optional spare parts inventory kit lists for $3,500 USD.
What does Birdly cost to lease?
D3D offers lease to ownership as well as traditional lease terms over 24-60 months. By way of example, a fully loaded Birdly leased over 60 months (to ownership) costs roughly $3,750/mo.
What does Birdly cost to rent?
D3D offers rental of Birdly for events between one and 10 days. A single-day rental within North America is $5,000 USD plus technician fee ($1,000/day) and transport (ranging between $2,500 and $3,500 per event). The technician fee includes a D3D technician to setup, operate and strike, including all of his/her travel and accommodations. Contact D3D for multi-day rental discounts and international pricing — multiple-day rental packages can dramatically reduce the per-day cost.
What is the lead time for new Birdly orders?
The lead time is presently 8 to 10 weeks between the execution of the purchase agreement (and receipt of down payment) to delivery.
Is sponsorship a good model for Birdly?
Birdly is very sponsor-able. Many clients are creating sponsorship packages to cover custom production and/or one or more Birdly units. Additionally, we can embed “Easter eggs” (micro experiences) into a city experience as a way to promote sponsors. An example would be a billboard on a rooftop that a flyer could punch through, arriving in a micro VR environment. For instance, a Swiss airline sponsored a unit in Europe – flyers see a billboard advertising the airline while flying around NYC. The billboard twinkles to signify a hidden experience and flyers can head directly into the billboard to be teleported to the Matterhorn for a thirty-second micro-experience, soaring over the Swiss Alps and sharing the sky with a 747.
May I sell ads or recognize sponsors within the Birdly experience?
Integrating sponsor recognition and advertising around the virtual city is natural, fun and easy – and provides a unique exposure for a brand or cause. All of the static billboard and building banners are interchangeable graphic files, allowing clients to sell ads within the virtual Birdly environment. And remember that there are crowds watching the screen as well, so brand exposure is broad. Birdly generates memorable impressions for sponsors in terms of onsite exposure and on social media as the spectators post images and videos. Sponsors love to be in the buzz-worthy VR space, and Birdly is the apex of high-quality and unforgettable VR.