Elizabeth Villanueva

evilla40

CS 428: Virtual & Augmented Reality

Student's Choice: holoride


source for image above: https://vrca.de/index.php/resource/holoride/

Description

        holoride is a German startup company founded in the end of 2018. They focus on immersive entertainment specifically for in moving vehicles. Because of this, it makes sense that the company is backed by the automaker Audi and has other automaker partners such as Ford and Mercedes-Benz. They claim that their technology is not just VR but XR, meant for the passengers of vehicles not the drivers. They turn the moving vehicles into moving theme parks. It works by using a VR headset and combining the user's view with navigational and car data. holoride features "elastic content" that adapts to the route length, type, driving style and location to create a tailored experience every ride, so it doesn't get boring. holoride takes navigational data such as travel route and time. It also takes vehicle data such as steering, accelerating, and stopping. All this data is used to make a better experience for the user that reduces motion sickness because the VR environment replicates what the user feels. The path that the user views in VR turns whenever the car turns. The view accelerates when the car accelerates. You can view something different and play a game while traveling in a vehicle.



More In-Depth:

About holoride and what they do:
        holoride is a German startup company founded in the end of 2018 by Nils Wollny (CEO), Marcus Kuhne (CXO), and Daniel Profendiner (CTO). The company likes to remind people that their name is spelled with a lowercase h. They focus on immersive entertainment specifically for in moving vehicles. Because of this, it makes sense that the company is backed by the automaker Audi and has other partners in the automotive industry such as Ford and Mercedes-Benz. They claim that their technology is not just VR but XR, meaning extended reality. Extended reality is a mixed reality environment, combining real and virtual environments with computer technology and wearables.

What's cool about it:
        holoride turns moving vehicles into moving theme parks. It's all the good and cool of normal VR games that are available for purchase in the mass market, but now in a moving car. It creates a different experience and one that could potentially cause less motion sickness.

source for images above: https://www.holoride.com/, https://www.roadtovr.com/audi-holoride-vr-car-demo-2019/

How it works:
        This technology works by using a VR headset and combining the user's view with navigational and car data. holoride takes navigational data such as travel route and time. It also takes vehicle data such as steering, accelerating, and breaking. The user's VR headset is connected to the car they are in so that the headset can read the data from the car. Using the car's feedback, holoride is able to create “elastic content” for the user to experience and enjoy. holoride features "elastic content" meaning VR graphical content that adapts to the route length, type, driving style and location of the user's drive in the car. All this helps in two major ways that makes this type of VR entertainment better than stand-alone VR games.

        First, this helps minimize any physical harm and side effects of the VR experience for the user. All this navigational and car data is used to make a better experience for the user that reduces motion sickness because the VR environment replicates what the user feels. The path that the user views in VR turns whenever the car turns. The view accelerates when the car accelerates. What the user's body is feeling in the physical world is reflected by what the user sees in the virtual world. This helps the user's senses combine both worlds that their body is receiving information from. Feeling more natural, this helps to reduce user headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Also, because the users are seated and buckled in, without having a need for their feet planted on the ground, they can avoid accidentally stepping forward to try and move in their environment, where if the user was playing a normal VR game could have caused them to bump into or hit a object, potentially causing physical harm to themselves. Another bonus of having the user seated and strapped in is preventing them from falling over out of reacting from what they are seeing in the virtual world which could also have caused them to physically harm themselves.

        Second, by using all the different data from the car and navigation, holoride is able to create a different experience every ride, so it doesn't get boring for the user to go through the same environment. The different dynamics of the ride and route affect what the user is experiencing. It is unlikely for each drive to be exactly the same in terms of driving style, which includes accelerating, breaking, steering, and the route, which includes length, time, and streets taken. This is all affected by how the driver is feeling and more significantly affected by traffic intensity. You can view something different and play a game while traveling in a vehicle, so long as you're not the one driving it.

Who is it for:
        The target demographic of this technology is for kids as they often react unpleasantly to being bored on long rides, but adults can have just as much fun using holoride. Kids love games and this technology would keep them busy while helping the driver have a more peaceful ride. Adults who use ride hailing services, whether they are the passenger or driver, might enjoy this as well. The passengers would have fun playing games on the way to their destination while avoiding potentially awkward conversations with the stranger who is driving them. However, it's not meant for the driver to use directly. The driver might just like having their passengers busy with a game instead of trying to make conversation with them.

Possible issues:
        This technology is, of course, meant for the passengers of vehicles and not the drivers. The goal of this technology is to entertain passengers, not distract drivers, by covering their eyes and giving them a fun, immersive virtual world to view instead of the real one they should be paying attention to. However, we can't prevent drivers from using this device, but that would be the same issue as trying to prevent drivers from drinking, texting, or putting on a blindfold while driving. Ultimately, we would hope that the consumer would have common sense.


source for image: https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercsathy/2019/10/10/are-you-ready-for-in-car-vr-audi--holoride-think-so/

        Another issue could be for the passengers. This issue is about physically causing harm if there are two passengers in the back with either one or both using holoride. Just like with normal VR games, there is the possibility that the user ends up hitting someone else that is in close proximity. With two passengers strapped in and not being able to move away from each other, there is a higher possibility that the passenger using holoride might hit the other passenger accidentally while playing an intensive game. This issue might prevent some games that require a lot of hand and arm movement from being made on the holoride platform.

Product availability and reviews:
        This product is still not yet available for purchase by the general public, but there have been demos of holoride's work so far available to experience. The more recent one was at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, California. The experience titled "Universal Monsters Presents Bride of Frankenstein holoride" was available for the public to try from October 14th to November 9th.


source for image above: https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/bride-of-frankenstein-holoride-vr-car-ride-1203366101/

        There are not many reviews on this out yet, but the demo from earlier in the year at CES 2019 has been well received and talked about as explained here in this article titled "Holoride's in-car VR solution is the best thing at CES 2019" . CES is the consumer electronics show and holoride was there with the automaker Audi. Users got to experience holoride by getting in the backseat of an Audi and wearing an Oculus Rift VR headset while the car was driven around an enclosed racetrack. This experience demoed at CES was called “Rocket's Rescue Run” which put users in the universe of “Guardians of the Galaxy”. The founders of holoride are hopeful that the technology is prospected to be available to consumers within the next 3 years.


source for image above: https://www.theverge.com/ces/2019/1/7/18171688/audi-disney-marvel-virtual-reality-holoride-vr-oculus-uber-ces-2019

And here is a video of holoride at CES 2019 showing people play “Rocket's Rescue Run" and what they have to say about it:



And here is a promotional video put out by the company holoride itself: