Home Automotive Finding Vegas VR nirvana in the backseat of a ’67 DeVille at CES 2023

Finding Vegas VR nirvana in the backseat of a ’67 DeVille at CES 2023

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Driving around the congested streets of Las Vegas during CES can be nauseating even at the best of times. But do you do that with your vision obscured by a virtual reality headset? Sure, it’s a recipe for disaster.

I don’t have the strongest stomach. Pack dramamine wherever you go.Therefore, there was a lot of anxiety during that time. CES 2023 We agreed to experience the morning traffic on The Strip from the backseat of our car while wearing our VR headsets.

But it’s not just a car, it’s not just a VR system either. The car was his 1967 Cadillac DeVille and was remarkable in many ways, but in this context its utter lack of technology. (Worryingly, there were no seatbelts either. Thankfully, I didn’t need them on this day.) The headset is HTC VIVE flowpaired with Holoride new mod kitfor a $199 add-on you can get an in-vehicle VR experience in literally any car.

Image credit: Tim Stevens

Holoride’s first launch was in partnership with Audi. Integrate company technology on that car last year.

Holoride CEO Nils Wollny said that while more OEM partnerships are on the way (“We can’t announce this yet”), the retrofit kit will immediately significantly expand the product’s market reach. says. Wollny says it’s “an easy way for someone who wants to ride a holo ride to equip their car so they don’t have to have the latest Audi.”

All you need is a pack that includes a place to mount your Holoride device, an accelerometer, a high quality GPS and a wireless module to connect to your HTC Vive Flow. Just stick it on your windshield, turn it on and you’re good to go. Data from that module drives the various app experiences Holoride provides. All experiences include some sort of visual cue to prevent motion sickness.

Holoride Retrofit Pack CES 2023

Image credit: Tim Stevens

I sat in the spacious backseat of my Cadillac and sampled what the Retrofit Pack had to offer.

I started with Pixel Ripped 1995: On the Road. This is his Holoride-specific spin-off of indie VR darling. Here we are playing a 2-D platformer on a virtual handheld game system (“Gear Kid Color”). Sitting in the virtual backseat of the virtual car, the virtual parents are exchanging idle banter in front.

By actually driving through traffic, the game simulates the world around you: an endless pastoral neighborhood. It doesn’t look like a huge excess of Sin City. The game is basic but fun.

Cloudbreakers: Leaving Haven, a Holoride-exclusive roguelike shooter, pilots a giant robot through a digital cloud and blasts waves of geometric enemies. Around and below you, vertical and horizontal sweep lines visually represent the street. The in-game action swings left and right as the car turns.

The good news is I didn’t feel any nausea while playing those experiences and more. I got more carsick after 10 minutes in the back seat of a taxi on the way.

The bad news is that for now, no title seems compelling enough to justify $19.99/month or $180/year to access Holoride’s services. He added that he added titles to his library in 2019, adding new content every two weeks at an expected rate.

Many of these simple experiences may not be the answer.In my eyes, the killer app here is media consumption. After finishing the game, you can mirror your phone in VR and jump to your favorite streaming app. Holoride software re-renders virtual landscapes like giant theater screens floating against moving backgrounds.

What’s next? Wollny says he’s working to get smartphones out of that equation. [and watch] On a virtual 180 inch screen. “

Retrofit kits are a great way to bring this technology to more people and for Holoride to reach more customers.

But Wollny said adding an OEM partnership is still very important as Holoride is working to make the integration as seamless as possible.

With more and more cars equipped with accelerometers and high-quality GPS, adding support often requires some software.

“We’ve made the barriers for automakers to integrate our solution as low as possible because it’s a compelling solution for automakers, for passengers,” said Wollny. TechCrunch“And that’s an additional revenue stream for the mobility data they have. They give us data and we do revenue sharing with them.”

More recurring income and a happy backseat stomach sound like a proper win-win.

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