In-car VR arrives for Holoride’s new Audi

Zoom / In-car virtual reality that adapts content to the vehicle’s movement through space is now a thing, thanks to Holoride.

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Virtual reality gets closer to the passenger seat near you, at least as long as you own an Audi with the brand’s latest operating system, anyway. Audi spinoff, Holoride, announced this week that it will begin offering a Pioneer package for less than $700, which includes an HTC VIVE Flow headset, 8BitDo Pro 2 Gamepad, and a one-year subscription to the Holoride platform, for those who own an Audi 2023 or later ( With the MIB 3 system. I got a quick taste of the weird in-car VR experience around my L.A. area, and despite my tendency toward motion sickness, I was able to play a video game and watch a bit of Netflix before heading out.

Like my team, who tried out Holoride during CES in 2019, I’m not a fan of virtual reality, even though I’m on board (and regularly use) augmented reality glasses for work; The Nreal AR glasses I use have made a huge difference when I have to output 10,000 words in a day, reducing computer fatigue and repetitive motion pain. So when the engineers from Holoride strapped the HTC Vive Flow headset to my face, it wasn’t an uncommon sensation, but it was more visually restrictive than I feel comfortable with, especially in the back seat of a moving vehicle. The team handed me a familiar game console, and we were off duty, despite my nerves at potentially falling ill in just minutes in the back seat of a BMW X5 the team was using for demonstration purposes.

visuals

When you first strap, you adjust the eyepieces of the HTC Vive Flow headset in the same way you would a binocular diopter. I only wear glasses when I’m reading or working at the computer, but I’ve had a hard time finding a reasonably clear picture in the glasses. I don’t wear my glasses when I’m wearing the Nreals, but in retrospect, I probably had to use them under a relatively lightweight Holoride headset because the images weren’t quite as sharp.

I tried cloud breaker, a video game where you lead a robot named Skyjack through floating junk and AI guards, collecting points and killing the guards as you go. When the car stopped, the movement in the VR space around me slowed down. As the car accelerated, the guards and junk came towards me more quickly. When the car turned my view changed without delay.

The movement of the vehicle in real time was reflected in the movement of scrap, floating poles and guards in the game developed by Schell Games. Whichever direction I looked, I could see the game area stretched out in front (or behind), thanks to GPS data coming from the car. The mapping system gives about one square mile of data to the headset (when you have a GPS connection), according to the engineers I’ve spoken with, so it can create these virtual worlds that align with the physical world to prevent or mitigate motion sickness.

Since all the data is processed by the glasses, the visuals aren’t as amazing as some of the other non-car-based VR experiences, but it’s still vivid enough and 3D enough to read text and see details of some of the characters.

cloud breaker Very intuitive. Drag something towards you, slash it several times with a sword or shoot with laser beams, and you get points. Do not hit the floating top or get badly injured by the guards, the game will continue while you are driving. I enjoyed it so much that after my death, I restarted the game and played it again.

I was surprised at how easy it was to jump straight into the immersive experience, even though I was driving in the back seat of an SUV. My mind and body had no trouble adjusting to the movement, and as long as I stayed focused on the gameplay, I didn’t feel a twinge of nausea. I’ve noticed on the slow, bumpy roads around my neighborhood that there is a slightly disembodied feeling I would have experienced whenever we went through bumps or potholes. The game didn’t replicate this kind of vertical movement very well, although it didn’t make me overly uncomfortable.

Holoride is betting that the future of in-car entertainment is more immersive than a seatback screen.
Zoom / Holoride is betting that the future of in-car entertainment is more immersive than a seatback screen.

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Netflix and YouTube experience

That all changed when the engineers suggested I switch to YouTube and Netflix. The engineer next to me paired my Android phone with the headset and showed me how to access both platforms. Once there, I picked a random YouTube video to watch for a while, and the experience for me was almost immediately uncomfortable.

The video screen is small and centered in the middle of your vision, with a soft cyan animated background that rolls along behind the screen to help your body adjust to the vehicle’s motion. After a few seconds of watching a short video, streamed from my paired Android phone to the headset, I started to feel dizzy with the onset of motion sickness. I quickly turned to Netflix to get an idea of ​​what that experience was like, and my motion sickness got worse. The longer you watch, the worse it gets.

One of the things I noticed before I took off the headset is that a light background that repeats the car’s motion can make it difficult to see the details of dark videos. It’s a bit like watching a TV set in front of a window, which can wash out colors and blur details.

Audio in both the video game and video came through the arms of the glasses for the purpose of display, providing the ability to hear other occupants in the car, but it doesn’t necessarily give the best audio experience. You can connect HTC Vive Flow to other Bluetooth headphones to enhance the sound.

#Incar #arrives #Holorides #Audi

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