Startup puts virtual reality in the back seat of the car

Startup puts virtual reality in the back seat of the car

Startup puts virtual reality in the back seat of the car

Using a VR headset while riding in a car sounds like a recipe for nausea, but one startup is betting it’s an experience people will pay for. holorideAn Audi spin-off, is launching a $700 hardware and software suite Wednesday that syncs games and videos with the car’s motion.

why does it matter: Virtual reality is still looking for its market. A car might seem an unlikely place to her, but there are plenty of teens whose parents drive there, and Holloride thinks they might be ready for a virtual reality adventure.

How it works: Holoride obtains data from the vehicle via Bluetooth and uses turns and turns on the road as an in-game action or, when playing video, for image stabilization.

  • Most of the cost of Holoride is for the HTC Vive Flow headset and game console, with the rest going to Holoride’s one-year service.
  • To work with Holoride, cars need to share certain driving data. Currently, this is supported on a range of Audi models, but the goal is for the system to work with a wide variety of car models. On the phone side, the system is compatible with the latest Android phones.
  • Holoride will be available in mid-November in Germany and the company expects to launch it in the US in early 2023.

first person: I had the opportunity to try Holoride last week and found it very relaxing. It was fun to see the shift in gameplay as the car spins around in my neighborhood, although I’m not sure how long I’d be interested in playing “Cloudbreakers,” the first-person shooter the company has dedicated to incorporating car action.

Between the lines: Company officials said they expect the main use to initially be watching mirrored videos from an Android phone.

  • Because the headset adjusts its screen based on the car’s motion, Holoride executives say watching video on the device is less likely to make the car dizzy than reading or watching the video on a regular smartphone.
  • In addition, the video image on the VR headset appears much larger than it does on the phone.
  • “This allows you to have a 180-inch TV in the back of the car,” said CEO Nils Woolney.

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