Holoride launches VR games in Audi cars

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After years of effort, Holoride turns cars into mobile theme parks by putting virtual reality into Audi cars.

I tried it with us GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event, where Holoride CEO Nils Volney spoke on a panel about the crazy ideas of the future. Once such a crazy idea is Holoride. I used an HTC Vive Flow virtual reality headset in the back seat of a car, as his people explained to me.

“It’s been almost seven years, but three years as a separate company. We’re really focused on commercializing this,” Walney said.

I played a game called Cloudbreakers: Leaving Haven. I put the headset on and use a typical game controller to maneuver in space and fire a weapon at some colorful flying enemies. You can also watch a movie by syncing the headphones to your smartphone, watching the equivalent of a 180-inch screen.

Cloudbreaker: Leaving Haven tells the story of Dev and his android friend Skyjack as they fight for survival in the year 2119 on an Earth ravaged by a changing climate and marauding artificial intelligence from beyond the stars. I had to peek under the headset to make sure my fingers were on the right buttons. I also had to do a quick color calibration to get started.

Nils Volney is the CEO of Holoride.

What was cool was that the game used real-time traffic data from the vehicle combined with dynamic content. When the car turned around, the image I saw in front of me also turned on the VR screen. This allowed me to feel at one with the movement of the car and I didn’t feel sick. Willy thinks of it as “augmented reality”.

I had endless ammo while shooting these flying aliens. It was a short 15 minutes, but I had to start watching a streaming video movie and it worked fine. The other people in the car could hear it since I didn’t have audio headphones on. But you can use Bluetooth headphones.

Munich, Germany-based Holoride has been working on this technology for some time, and it had to be integrated with the traffic data in the Audi car to make it work, Wollny said. The platform will be launched in mid-November in Germany with selected Audi vehicles. I recommend that you do not wear the headphones while driving.

Wollny thinks of games and apps as a new media paradigm called “elastic content.” Combining the immersive qualities of virtual reality with real-time vehicle data, Holoride is an always-in-motion virtual space, or Motorverse, where drivers can enjoy interactive and passive content that responds to both them and the vehicle’s movement. Wollny said.

“Despite the incredible advances in automotive technology over the past few decades, the passenger experience and in-car entertainment have remained largely the same,” Volney said. “With the introduction of Holoride, we are not only elevating this stagnant experience; we’re redefining how you spend your time on the go. I couldn’t be more excited for motorcyclists to finally experience the thrill of the Motorverse for themselves.”

The integration of Holoride into the Audi select series cars is a continuation of Holoride’s shared history with the German premium carmaker since Holoride split from Audi. As of 2019, both Audi and
Holoride have showcased their ongoing partnership at various occasions, including CES 2019, IAA Mobility 2021 and SXSW 2022, where Holoride’s car integration with Audi was officially announced.

“By integrating Holoride into our models, we are redefining in-car entertainment,” Giorgio Delucci, head of digital experience and business at Audi, said in a statement. “By combining a vehicle in real time
data and virtual content, we create an entirely new customer experience. A crucial cornerstone of the digitalization of the car is the transformation of the interior into a third living space. In this very private space, life and work merge. Holorid is another piece of evidence on our road map.”

Holoride starts at $690.

At launch, Holoride users will be able to immerse themselves in Cloudbreakers: Leaving Haven from Schell Games, the studio that brought Among Us to VR. It was produced in partnership with Superconductor, the creative agency founded by Hollywood talents Justin Lin (Fast & Furious franchise) and Anthony and Joe Russo (Marvel Cinematic Universe). The Russo brothers also served as Holoride’s creative advisors.

Brent Friedman and Jeremy Breslau, the two veteran writers of hit film, television and game franchises, wrote the unique universe and story of Cloudbreakers. Using Holoride’s elastic content, players guide Dev, his robot scavenger Skyjack and IONE through the hostile skies of Stratus, collecting scrap and blasting AI clockwork as they simultaneously travel to their real-world destination.

In addition to bringing new excitement to passengers’ rides, Holoride can also create a more comfortable experience for users. Vomiting is greatly reduced thanks to the use of steering, braking and acceleration data technology to match what riders see in the headset with what they feel outside the Motorverse, and with almost no lag, the company said.

Holoride launches with the Pioneers’ Pack, containing everything you need to get into this exciting new platform (minus the car) and priced at $690 (EUR 699). The package is available in Germany at shop.holoride.com from today.

Holoride will allow many people to play in a car.

Unfortunately, the Audi car is extra. The Pioneers’ package includes:

  • HTC VIVE Flow: lightweight and easy-to-wear VR glasses that support Holoride’s entertainment service
  • 8BitDo Pro 2 Gamepad: offers a familiar user experience in a classic controller design
  • Safety belt: connected to the seat belt, the belt provides safety in unexpected events while driving
  • A one-year subscription to the Holoride platform

After the first year, Holoride subscriptions will be available for a monthly fee of $19.74 (€19.99 per
month) or annual advance payment. Both options unlock access to a growing catalog of content.

In addition, the Holoride browser and powerful phone mirroring feature bring your online life to a 180-inch virtual screen. Built into a motion-synced environment, it allows riders to stream their favorite shows and stay connected through their social apps.

Founded in 2018, Holoride’s founders include Wollny, Marcus Kuehne, Daniel Profendiner and Audi. Wollny thinks of Holoride as a step forward into the metaverse, or Motorverse, as users take the power and potential of the immersive web3 experience with them on the road.

At the center of it all is RIDE, Holoride’s proprietary cryptocurrency, which is designed to fuel the content ecosystem, drive engagement and create value for all users. The RIDE token connects automakers, content creators, brands and passengers for a new in-car economy.

The company expects to launch in the US and additional markets in Europe and Asia in early 2023.
Another upcoming game is Dynablaster, a classic bomber game that was a blockbuster early PC game on machines like the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga, is back with a new 3D look. More titles to come.

“We’re making it as convenient as possible to get into the Motorverse,” Wollny said.

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