Reaching Technological Zen in the Backseat of a 67 DeVille at CES 2023

Navigating the crowded streets of Las Vegas during CES can be a nauseating experience, but donning a VR headset while doing so? A recipe for disaster.

I’m not one for motion sickness, so I was apprehensive when I agreed to experience riding in a car on The Strip while wearing VR during CES 2023. But with Dramamine as my trusty companion, it was sure to be an adventure!

This 1967 Cadillac DeVille was remarkable, yet lacked modern tech – it didn’t even have seatbelts! But with a $199 retrofit kit, we could pair the HTC VIVE Flow headset and experience in-car VR like never before.

holoride demo DeVille CES 2023

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Holoride and Audi partner to launch Holoride’s tech into cars, beginning last year.

Holoride CEO Nils Wollny told me that the retrofit kit will enable a massive expansion of their product’s market reach. He mentioned it as an “easy way” for people to enjoy Holoriding in their current car, regardless of make or model. More OEM partnerships are also on the horizon, though he could not announce them yet.

Mount the Holoride device—a puck-shaped piece with an accelerometer, GPS, and wireless module for HTC Vive Flow connection—on your windshield. Turn it on and you can enjoy a variety of motion sickness-preventing app experiences powered by data from the module.

Holoride retrofit pack CES 2023

Photography by Tim Stevens adds a unique touch to any project. His shots are creative, evocative, and awe-inspiring. Whether capturing the power of nature or the beauty of everyday moments, his work is second-to

Sampling the retrofit pack’s offerings from the generous backseat of my Cadillac, I couldn’t help noticing its broad stretch of vinyl that had clearly seen some interesting experiences.

I began with Pixel Ripped 1995: On the Road, a Holoride spin-off of the indie VR classic. As a Gear Kid Color player in the back seat of an imaginary car, you’ll experience 2-D platforming while your virtual parents chat up front.

Cruise through traffic and enter a simulated world of endless idyllic neighborhoods – not the flashy excess of Sin City but complete with street layouts to match reality. Enjoy basic, fun gaming that’s far more exciting than staring at gridlock.

In Cloudbreakers: Leaving Haven, an exclusive Holoride rogue-like shooter, you pilot a giant robot through digital clouds and blast wave after wave of geometric enemies. As your car turns, the game action swings left or right to match the sweeping vertical and horizontal lines representing streets below.

The good news is, I never felt nauseous during any of my VR experiences. In fact, I got more car sick in 10 minutes of a cab ride than the 30-minute virtual reality session with a Cadillac headset.

Media consumption is the real game-changer here. With Holoride’s software, you can mirror your smartphone into VR and enjoy streaming apps distraction-free with no motion sickness – like a giant theater screen floating across a moving background.

Wollny is striving to remove the need for a smartphone with their next step. They plan to launch an app where users can stream and download movies or TV shows, allowing them to enjoy content on a virtual 180 inch screen.

Holoride’s retrofit kit is a great way to bring their tech to more people and expand their customer base.

Wollny said Holoride is still focused on OEM partnerships to make integration effortless.

Modern cars with high-quality GPS and accelerometers need only a software update to gain support.

We made it easy for car manufacturers to integrate our solution, as it’s both attractive to passengers and provides additional revenue through data sharing. We give them the data they need in exchange for a rev-share.

More recurring revenue plus contented customers: a definite win-win.

Read more about CES 2023 on TechCrunch
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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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