Theme park in motion: For passengers, Holoride’s extended-reality


LOS ANGELES — Holoride, the company behind a groundbreaking extended reality (XR) in-vehicle media platform, is looking to drive the passenger entertainment experience in ways never imagined, with the wider adoption of 5G.

The German tech company — started in 2018 with backing from Audi — has developed an application that delivers unique immersive virtual reality experiences, using XR content and vehicle motions.

The cornerstone of Holoride’s platform involves safely and securely syncing XR content, in real time, with vehicle data points such as physical feedback, acceleration and steering, traffic data and travel routes, all while reducing motion sickness.

Nils Wollny, CEO and co-founder of Holoride, told Shift that the expansion of 5G wireless opens the door to a host of unique immersive in-vehicle media experiences, as the company prepares for its 2022 market launch. “With 5G and the capabilities, a lot more functionalities will live up to consumer expectations on the go that probably weren’t possible before due to the high bandwidth,” explained Wollny, who likens Holoride’s platform to a theme park in motion.

The wider adoption of 5G technology will also allow for the design of more efficient headsets for XR media experiences, Wollny said. “It will take a lot of the [computing] power out of the device and have it on the edge or in the cloud, and being streamed to the device. Then those [headsets] can be lighter, more comfortable, slimmer, easy to wear.”

A core component of Holoride’s strategy, with the expansion of 5G, is a revenue-sharing partnership with content developers, giving them access to Holoride’s Elastic SDK, the toolset that powers the company’s media platform. In May, Holoride announced that it will integrate nonfungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital ownership certificate, into its media platform, using blockchain technology to assure its automotive and content partners that the revenue is being distributed fairly.

The company also envisions NFTs enhancing the users’ experience as they collect digital pieces featured in the in-vehicle content.

Holoride has already established partnerships with Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Porsche, in addition to Audi, as the tech company prepares for market launch. But Wollny is quick to note that the key to expanding the scope of immersive in-vehicle experiences, with the wider adoption of 5G, lies in the ability to get more car companies, the XR tech industry and content providers to realize the full potential of a media platform such as Holoride.

“We have great partners on board, but now we need to get this ecosystem going, and we spend a lot of time on how we kick this off,” said Wollny. “Transparency … is one of the major aspects we are working on to really help build more confidence, more trust for every ecosystem partner involved, but it’s still a massive, massive task.”

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