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Jaycon and Universal Go from 8 Bit to AR with Mario Kart Ride

A child interacts with a Super Nintendo World California mystery block, the way Mario would: by punching the bottom to get points!

Adults and kids everywhere agree: Universal Studios has leveled up.

Universal Studios Hollywood in California pushed the limits of theme park experiences with the grand opening of Super Nintendo World.

Giant bricks with question marks, piranha plants, and green pipes create a new yet familiar environment.

The crown jewel of the park addition is Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, an innovative Augmented Reality (AR) attraction. The red Augmented Reality (AR) headset submerges you in wall-to-wall action. Guests can feel the rush of the racetrack competing against all of the iconic Nintendo characters at top speed.

Jaycon and Universal Creative teamed up to create a cutting-edge Augmented Reality (AR) experience for theme park guests. “We’re happy to be a part of the Mario Kart team, and we’re excited for others to experience it,” said Jay Chandiramani, CEO of Jaycon.

“Augmented reality (AR) brings our favorite environment and characters to life, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

Jaycon is a global design and manufacturing firm with locations in Vietnam, China, and Florida. The company worked with Universal Creative from concept to the completion of an Augmented Reality (AR) headset and visor for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.

The Super Nintendo World smart bracelet and AR headset were shown off at various conferences as they are the staple technologies behind Super Nintendo World in California

Tasked with designing and making the optics, plastics, electronics, a custom lightweight cable assembly, and a custom magnetic attachment system, Jaycon was key to making this project a reality. Strict standards and rigorous testing ensured these headsets are able to withstand the wear and tear of thousands of daily users.

“This has been an incredible experience for adults like myself and kids like my little one,” said Derek Blankenship, COO of Jaycon.

Another image of a child interacting with a Super Nintendo World California mystery block, the way Mario would: by punching the bottom to get points!

Universal approached Jaycon with a challenge to create a theme park ride that is fun and interactive, like the video games that inspired it. But, as a team, Jaycon and Universal accomplished so much more.

“We’re proud of the hard work that goes into interacting with our childhood games like this,”

Derek Blankenship noted.

“You feel like a kid again.”

Super Nintendo World Hollywood is the second location Universal Studios has opened worldwide. The first was in Osaka, Japan, the birthplace of Nintendo. In December 2020, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned plans for the franchise.

An empty Super Nintendo World at night following a busy day at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California.

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