Virtual reality is now a reality in an actual road-going passenger car. This however is applicable to only the Audi as of now, and that too the models running the latest MIB 3 operating system. The VR bit is being taken care of by Holoride and will include an HTC VIVE Flow headset and an 8BitDo Pro 2 Gamepad. Plus, you will also get a free one-year subscription to the Holoride platform. All of this forms part of what is being referred to as the Pioneer Pack which is going to cost an additional $700.
The experience has been an exhilarating one, as the author Abigail Bassett at ArsTechnica pointed out. He got to try out the HTC Vive Flow headset sitting on the back seat of the MW X5 that was being used for the demonstration. The good thing here is that the entire thing is so designed so that things in the virtual world will match the speed of the vehicle you are in. As the author stated, this has been done to reduce the chances of motion sickness. Any game you might be playing will stretch out nicely in whichever direction you look at, while all motions within the VR world are nicely balanced by the external movement of the car itself.
So far so good but things changed dramatically when watching a YouTube video. The actual display area being small and centered in the middle is one thing but what is most disturbing is that it can make you feel uncomfortable right away. The small viewing area is actually a portion within a bigger space that has a moving background. The latter is supposed to prevent the onset of motion sickness within you though that clearly wasn’t enough. Changing to Netflix failed to make much of a difference.
Otherwise, the headset is nice and lightweight while not being too uncomfortable either. Also, all of the processing takes place within the headset itself, which is also a nice quality in that does not require being tethered to an external computing unit. However, that might come at the cost of picture quality which has some room for improvement. The audio is taken care of by the arm of the glasses and won’t shut you out from what other passengers are discussing. The stock audio quality isn’t too great either.
On the whole, the VR experience as brought about by Holoride might still be a work-in-progress thing. At least it’s not fit to make it to the high-tech surroundings of the latest Audi vehicles, at least not as of now.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.