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HOLD (NOT TOO) TIGHT

This ride gets faster or slower depending on how scared you are

  • Hannah Yi
By Hannah Yi

Video Journalist

This article is more than 2 years old.

When you buckle in for a roller coaster ride, you surrender yourself to the precipitous falls and dizzying loops. But what if there was a ride that could slow down when you started to feel scared or nauseous?

Dutch industrial designer Daniel de Bruin has created a one-person ride called the Neurotransmitter 3000 that speeds up or slows down based on biometric data it gathers from the rider’s body.

The rider wears sensors that measure heart rate and muscle tension. Those vital signs are then processed to determine how fast the ride should be. A resting heart rate of around 80 beats per minute (the average person resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 bpm) launches the ride into full speed (one full revolution every two seconds). A higher heart rate keeps the machine rotating, but hitting a heart rate of 130 bpm or passing a muscle tension threshold—the ride also measures muscle tension based on how tightly the rider grips the seat—act like a brake that brings the ride to a halt.

De Bruin says the goal is to continue experimenting with how people can emotionally connect to big machines like his ride.

“Normally in a thrill ride you have to surrender yourself to the man behind the buttons. But now your body is in control,” de Bruin told Quartz. “But at the same time it’s hard to control your vital data.”

Watch our video to see the ride in action.

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