2019 could well be the year that we find out that VR and mobility are two techs that go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and to hell with the haters. At least, if CES is anything to go by. Thanks to Audi, Holoride, and Disney, just because you're not driving, doesn't mean you should keep busy in the car. How about a sci-fi adventure for the ride?
That's the premise of the first tech demo from Holoride, startup backed by Audi that offers a in-ride VR entertainment provided by none other than Disney. The first reports have already come in from those invited to the demos, in which they step into an Audi E-tron, strap on an Oculus Rift, and immerse themselves in a VR game based on Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
"Wait..." I hear the seasoned VRnauts say, "what about motion sickness?" Anyone who's even tried to read a book in a moving vehicle can probably relate to this, but reports of the demos from The Verge, TechCrunch, and CNET all report little to no nausea, saying that the immersion of the VR shooter made them completely lose track of their speed on the road.
Get a glimpse of the future of mobility VR entertainment in the video below:
The Holoride team have thought very carefully about the issue of motion sickness, but they believe that by syncing up the virtual reality experience to the real-life movements of the car, the risk of motion sickness would be even less than in riding regular reality. Daniel Profendiner, one of Holoride’s co-founders, has described how stopping at a red light, for example, could be reflected in a VR game by having your spaceship held up by a tractor beam for example. The idea is to use the map and track data collected by a smart car to shape the VR experience as you move.
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Of course, this is easier done around a racetrack demo area than live on the road, but as cars become smarter and we roll ever closer towards a driverless future, the demand something to do while we're not compelled to keep our eyes on the road will rise, especially for long, non-touristic journeys.
Although Holoride is supported by Audi and the demo made in partnership with Disney, the company has made it clear that it wants to offer an open platform to allow any auto manufacturer as well as content developers to create whatever content they desire: VR for every car.
And if disgruntled individuals keep on attacking self-driving cars? Maybe such a virtual veil overlaid over this uncomfortable environment will keep your mind of the haters as they see you rolling. Or at least turn them into zombies, robots or adoring fans. The future's always sunny when you've got your goggles on.
What do you think of the idea of VR entertainment for passengers? Is it something you'd like to try.