When Holoride showed off its in-car VR entertainment solution last year, it was clear the Audi spin-off was planning to turn famous Hollywood properties into interactive 3D experiences that will thrill backseat passengers. Now the company is adding a group of advisors from the movie, mixed reality, and transportation industries to bolster its push into the marketplace.
If you weren’t already familiar with Holoride, the concept is genuinely compelling: One or more VR headsets combine with an in-car computer and live car telemetry data to provide interactive experiences that respond to the car’s motions. Last October, the company offered free rides at Universal Studios Hollywood with a Bride of Frankenstein theme, letting a car’s passengers blast away at ghosts from a virtual coach that matched the real-world motions of the SUV.
As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, data is beginning to show that people in “recovering” cities are increasingly turning to private vehicles rather than public transportation for health reasons — a change that might further choke highways and stretch out drive times. While that would be bad news for passengers, in-car solutions such as Holoride could make the experience more entertaining.
That’s why it’s forming an advisory board, and its list of advisors is equal parts long and impressive. It starts with Hollywood heavy hitters — directors Anthony and Joseph Russo of Avengers and Arrested Development fame — as well as their partner Todd Makurath of Superconductor, an agency that’s been working with Holoride for some time. Holoride is adding Oculus VR pioneer Palmer Luckey to the group as an advisor on technology and product innovation, Metaio AR founder Thomas Alt as an AR/VR and innovation advisor, and XR/AI/ML consultancy founder Kathleen Cohen to advise on ethics.
On the transportation front, HyperloopTT’s Dirk Ahlborn will assist the company in mobility industry opportunities, while Anorak Ventures founder Greg Castle will advise on funding and financial prospects. Collectively, the group will add to the considerable experience already possessed by Holoride founders Nils Wollny, Marcus Kuehne, and Daniel Profendiner, who are backed in part by Audi as a minority stakeholder.
Holoride is targeting a 2021 or 2022 debut in passenger vehicles, with multiple pop-up opportunities to showcase the technology between now and then. With the new advisory group in place, there’s every likelihood of compelling content, thoroughly up-to-date mixed reality technology, and widespread vehicular support whenever Holoride systems become available to the general public.