In-car entertainment enters a new age as Audi demonstrates its immersive new technology at CES.
8 January, 2019
Those immortal words “are we there yet?” are about to become a thing of the past. Never again will children, or backseat passengers in general yearn for the journey to end, but rather, will encourage the driver to take the long way.
This is all due to Audi’s vision of in-car entertainment, demonstrated at this year’s Consumer electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas – the biggest show of its type in the world. The new technology allows backseat passengers to experience movies, video games, and interactive content even more realistically than ever before using virtual reality glasses, bringing a whole new dimension to in-car entertainment and travel. The new technology literally adapts the movement of virtual content to mirror the movement of the vehicle, so if the car turns left for example, the spaceship or vehicle in the VR experience will dive left to avoid another spaceship or asteroid or whatever.
"Those immortal words “are we there yet?” are about to become a thing of the past."
"Audi is demonstrating the immersive futuristic technology with “Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run...”
Through a subsidiary, Audi Electronics Venture GmbH, Audi has co-founded a start-up company, holoride GmbH, which will commercialise this new form of entertainment via an open platform that will be made available to all carmakers and content developers in the future.
Audi is demonstrating the immersive futuristic technology with “Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run,” an in-car VR experience for backseat passengers developed specifically for CES in conjunction with Disney Games and Interactive Experiences.
Wearing VR glasses, the passenger in an Audi e-tron is transported into a fantastical depiction of outer space, with the Audi e-tron now functioning as the ship manned by the Guardians of the Galaxy. The passenger makes their way through an asteroid field together with Rocket, a character that will appear in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame this year, with every movement of the car reflected in the experience in real time.
In order to get this technology to market, Audi has co-founded a start-up named holoride, in which it holds a minority interest through the subsidiary Audi Electronics Venture GmbH – the company that developed the technology.
The start-up, holoride, will use an open platform to allow carmakers and content developers to create and offer additional extended reality formats. “Creative minds will use our platform to come up with fascinating worlds that turn the journey from A to B into a real adventure,” says Nils Wollny, Head of Digital Business at Audi, and future CEO of holoride.
There is no limit to the sorts of experiences that can be created, and perhaps best of all, since the visual experience and the user’s actual perception are synchronised, conventional movies, series or presentations can also be viewed with a significantly reduced chance of motion sickness.
holoride intends to launch the new form of entertainment on the market within the next three years using standard VR glasses for backseat passengers. In the long term, the continued expansion of car-to-X infrastructure could also see traffic events becoming a part of the experience – making stopping at traffic lights part of the fun instead of a reason for frustration. For the passengers at least.
Of course with all of this ground-breaking entertainment on the horizon, deciding who has to drive may become a matter for debate as everyone reaches for a set of VR glasses – but then, autonomous driving is also on the horizon, so that problem is potentially solved as well.
"holoride intends to launch the new form of entertainment on the market within the next three years..."
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