Holoride, the Audi-backed startup, is ready to take its in-vehicle virtual reality entertainment system into the mainstream.
The company unveiled Wednesday at CES 2023 in Las Vegas a device about the size of a smart speaker that can be retrofitted into any vehicle to make it VR ready. The product marks a turning point for a company that has been reliant on partnerships with automakers for its growth.
Today, Holoride's in-car VR technology is only available in certain 2022 model year (and newer) Audi vehicles. This new product would greatly expand its market reach — if consumers opt to plop down $799 for the package.
The retrofit pack weighs less than a half a pound and mounts via a suction cup on a vehicle's windshield. The hardware is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that lasts for 14 hours on one charge and an included USB-C to USB-A cord that plugs into the vehicle. Up to two headsets can be connected to the Holoride retrofit simultaneously, allowing two passengers to enjoy Holoride at the same time in the car.
Image Credits: Holoride
The pack includes the retrofit hardware, HTC VIVE Flow headset, a one-year subscription to the Holoride platform and a safety strap. The Holoride retrofit is also available as a standalone purchase for $199.
"The release of our Holoride retrofit kicks off a new chapter in Holoride's journey. Our vision of delivering a manufacturer-agnostic entry point into the 'Motorverse' has finally arrived," Holoride CEO and co-founder Nils Wollny said in a statement. "Now, any vehicle can serve as your gateway into Holoride's adaptive virtual experiences where each new ride becomes the blueprint for your next immersive adventure."
Holoride retrofit works similar to its existing technology. The product connects to a VR headset via Bluetooth. Holoride's software taps into a vehicle's movement and location data. The virtual reality content syncs with a vehicle's movements in real time to prevent motion sickness.
The company also announced an update its VR catalog, which includes educational apps like Einstein Brain Trainer and titles such as Cloudbreakers: Leaving Haven,from Schell Games and the Russo Brothers-founded creative firm Superconductor. Holoride announced that subscribers will now have access to a new game, Pixel Ripped 1995: On the Road (PEGI7), from the studio ARVORE. The full lineup also includes a custom web browser and an Android mirroring feature for smartphone screens.