Holoride, the in-car vir­tu­al real­i­ty start­up that spun out of Audi at this year’s Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show, is final­ly let­ting the gen­er­al pub­lic try its tech­nol­o­gy with a new expe­ri­ence in Los Ange­les, Cal­i­for­nia. On select days between Octo­ber 14th and Novem­ber 9th, vis­i­tors to the Uni­ver­sal City­Walk in Hol­ly­wood can try a new Bride of Franken­stein VR expe­ri­ence for free while trav­el­ing in the sec­ond row of a new Ford Explor­er.

In the expe­ri­ence, rid­ers will buck­le into the back seat, strap on a VR head­set, be hand­ed a con­troller, and then spend about five to 10 min­utes rid­ing around the Uni­ver­sal City­Walk area while blast­ing ghosts and help­ing the Bride of Franken­stein deliv­er a pack­age to her rean­i­mat­ed hus­band.

The goal is to make pro­ce­du­ral­ly gen­er­at­ed VR expe­ri­ences that match the motion and length of each car ride

The whole idea behind Holoride is to cre­ate a dynam­ic back­seat VR expe­ri­ence that match­es the move­ment of the car — using data that comes off a mod­ern car’s sen­sors and com­put­ers — and also lever­age nav­i­ga­tion­al infor­ma­tion to make sure it lasts just as long as the ride you’re tak­ing. When the start­up debuted the con­cept at CES, it posi­tioned the idea as “a per­fect­ly motion-syn­chro­nized jour­ney through vir­tu­al worlds.” (This motion-match­ing is also sup­posed to cut back on motion sick­ness, though your mileage may vary.)

But where the CES demo was done in part­ner­ship with Audi and Dis­ney (using Avengers IP), this new expe­ri­ence in Los Ange­les was cre­at­ed in con­junc­tion with Uni­ver­sal and Ford. This helps demon­strate how Holoride plans to be hard­ware and con­tent agnos­tic, accord­ing to CEO Nils Woll­ny.

“We want to change the pas­sen­ger expe­ri­ence of vehi­cles glob­al­ly, in as many vehi­cles as we can, so that pas­sen­gers are able to expe­ri­ence sto­ries, worlds, char­ac­ters they love no mat­ter which brand they’re sit­ting in,” Woll­ny told The Verge in an inter­view ahead of this week’s announce­ment.

Anoth­er dif­fer­ence with the Bride of Franken­stein expe­ri­ence is that the rides around Uni­ver­sal City­Walk will hap­pen on pub­lic roads, instead of at a race­track like they did at the CES demo. This nat­u­ral­ly means there won’t be as much high-speed or dynam­ic dri­ving. But if Holoride’s idea is ever going to become part of the ride-hail­ing (or even per­son­al car own­er­ship) expe­ri­ence, it will need to cre­ate com­pelling expe­ri­ences in nor­mal traf­fic.


Audi and Dis­ney want to spice up your Uber ride with VR

“The thing that excit­ed us was this idea of a pro­ce­dur­al expe­ri­ence, the idea that you could build a sto­ry cre­at­ed around every­day trav­el,” Greg Reed, vice pres­i­dent of tech­nol­o­gy part­ner­ships at Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures, told The Verge. “It real­ly sets it up as an expe­ri­ence that could fit in a vehi­cle you own, a ride shar­ing vehi­cle, or pub­lic trans­porta­tion. Again, this idea that you’re adding an expe­ri­ence like this to every day life.”

Holoride’s Bride of Franken­stein expe­ri­ence will run between Octo­ber 14th–16th, Octo­ber 21st–23rd, Octo­ber 28th–30th, and Novem­ber 4th–9th, all dur­ing the hours of 12PM PT and 8PM PT.

Images: Holoride/Universal Pic­tures

Source link