In-car entertainment will never be the same again. At the recent SXSW conference in Austin, Holoride announced its new VR system which will be compatible with new Audis with the third generation of modular infotainment toolkit (MIB 3) from June 2022. The Holoride product will then launch in the UK and Germany from autumn this year, with additional markets to follow.
Using a variety of motion sensors around the vehicle, the headset will provide an immersive experience for passengers, making repetitive games of “I spy” a thing of the past.
The makers promise to turn cars into “moving theme parks”, but who are Holoride, and what can we expect from this new VR innovation?
Here’s what we know about Audi and Holoride’s bid to take VR on the road.
Who Are Holoride?
The relative tech newcomer, Holoride, is a business spun from Audi. Co-founders Nils Wollny, Daniel Profendiner, and Marcus Kuehne have all held key positions with the car giant, working in digital business, self-driving cars, and product marketing respectively.
Although the VR entertainment system will launch into Audi models and Holoride has strong links to the German company that still owns the majority of shares, Holoride’s system is brand agnostic and it’s anticipated that other car manufacturers will also adopt the technology in the near future.
Working alongside Swedish software developers TerraNet, Holoride has built the sensors and software needed to process a vehicle’s exact position and turn this information into VR responses.
Among their ranks of Holoride’s advisors are Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and Avenger’s directors the Russo Brothers. The company previously worked alongside Disney Games and Interactive Experiences to create the VR experience “Marvel Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run” back in 2019 at the SpeedVegas racetrack.
What Can We Expect From Holoride?
The exciting Holoide system uses a combination of augmented reality along with elements of the physical world for the entertainment of passengers in the backseat of the following Audi models:
- A4, A5, A6, A7, and A8
- Q5, Q7, and Q8
- Audi e-tron, e-tron Sportback, and e-tron GT
The experience promises to be synchronized with the motion of the car. You might fly above a rainforest, take part in virtual meetings with your co-workers, or enjoy the latest immersive VR game, all without leaving the comfort of the car.
Holoride aims to use subscription services to keep its elastic content fresh so that every journey will be a new experience. The length of the journey, driving style, and location will all factor into the content delivery.
At the moment, Holoride is working with Schell Games, AVORE Immersive Games, Magnopus, SpiceVR, Future House Studios, TRIPP, PRELOADED, FreshFX, MEDIASQUAD, and VRWERX to produce a content library.
At the moment, the first headset equipped with the system created by Holoride will be the HTC VIVE Flow.
By creating a VR world in the backseat of the car, the makers plan to monetise this time that would otherwise be spent staring out of the window. With this in mind, the company has developed its own cryptocurrency token called RIDE.
One crucial feature of Holoride’s system is its ability to handle a problem that has previously dogged VR manufacturers, motion sickness. Through the precise synchronization between virtual and real world, there’s very little latency meaning motion sickness is reduced, even in users who are particularly prone to it.
As we move towards the day when driverless vehicles become a common sight on our roads, the opportunities and applications for Holoride’s system will be open to all travelers within the car.
Will You Come Along for the Ride?
As VR finds its way into more areas of our lives, will you don a headset in your car? With the weight of Audi behind them, it’s likely that Holoride will become a popular feature in the vehicles of the future taking the metaverse experience on new, exciting journeys.