Holoride, the division of Audi that was spun off as a virtual reality start-up at the 2019 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show recently decided to showcase its in-car VR experience to the general public in Los Angeles. The company decided to let members of the public enjoy a new Bride of Frankenstein VR experience for free while traveling in the second row of a new Ford Explorer on a few selected days between October 14th and November 9th at the Universal CityWalk in Hollywood.
As part of the experience, riders can strap themselves into the rear seat, and use a VR headset in combination with a controller to spend about five to 10 minutes riding around the area while killing ghosts and helping the Bride of Frankenstein to deliver a package to her reanimated husband. The company’s goal was to create VR experiences which are perfectly matched to the motion and length of each ride in the car for a dynamic backseat VR experience. This experience is customized using data drawn from the car’s sensors and computers in addition to navigational information so that the experience lasts for the duration of the ride. When Holoride first introduced the concept at CES, it was pitched as “a perfectly motion-synchronized journey through virtual worlds.” The demo at the show was carried out in partnership with Audi and Disney while the experience in Los Angeles was conceptualized in collaboration with Universal and Ford. Thus, Holoride’s intention is to be hardware and content agnostic, based on statements by its CEO, Nils Wollny.
Wollny said in an interview to The Verge that the goal was to change the passenger experience of vehicles globally, to give passengers a chance to experience stories, worlds, characters that they love irrespective of the brand of the vehicle that they use.
Another difference between the two demonstrations was that while the CES demo was carried out on a racetrack, the Bride of Frankenstein experience was offered on public roads. This means that the Hollywood experience did not offer much high-speed or dynamic driving, but was carried out in normal traffic.
Greg Reed, vice president of technology partnerships at Universal Pictures said in an interview to The Verge that the idea that excited them the most about this was the concept of creating a procedural experience by weaving a story around everyday travel. This could be in relation to any vehicle -one that is owned, a ride sharing vehicle, or even public transportation.
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