“Virtual reality can become a mobile office or learning space. With “Elastic Content” we can take things to an entirely new level, both technologically and creatively.”
Armin Pohl, CEO Mackevision
A virtual reality that adapts precisely to the car’s movements. What sounds like science fiction is now a reality. Thanks to an exceptionally creative collaboration between two innovative companies. The Munich-based start-up holoride is responsible for the technical implementation and Mackevision for the visual worlds of experience.
And these worlds are incredible.
In the back seat behind her parents, a young girl impatiently wrings her hands during the drive. You can almost hear her asking “Will we be there soon?” And you just know that this journey could quickly become a trial of patience for both parents. Yet surprisingly, all is quiet on the back seat. Instead, the girl has put on her virtual reality googles and the car ride transforms into a flight through space. Left and right, enemy fleets fly by and fire at each other. Her own spaceship accelerates and then abruptly comes to a standstill.
She takes off her VR headset for a moment and sees a red traffic light. The car has stopped. So has the spaceship. The traffic light turns green again, the car accelerates – and in the virtual world the spaceship hurtles off on its hunt through space. “Cosmic Chase” is the name of the adventure world developed by Mackevision.
While this might sound just like a normal computer game at first, it is more than that. Far more. Rather than simply simulating a world, the game transfers the car’s own movements one-to-one.
“The application uses the vehicle’s movement acceleration, braking or cornering – to trigger different scenarios in the game,” explains Nils Wollny, Managing Director of holoride. He says: “We have created a direct connection between the games sector and the automotive industry.” This is also one of the reasons why holoride chose Mackevision as a partner for its content: “Mackevision is a leader in CGI and stands for phenomenal visual quality,” explains Wollny.
The collaboration has proved to be the perfect choice: “The cooperation has produced great results. Two complete demo versions were ready after only eight weeks.”
This speed that was quite unexpected. “We had no experience at all in this area,” explains Söhnke Christiansen, Executive Producer at Mackevision. The revolutionary aspect of holoride’s new technology is the way it transfers real vehicle movements to virtual reality.
“The major challenge was to integrate the vehicle’s motion data into the application in such a way that this corresponds to the simulation. The vehicle movement then actually amplifies the immersive experience,” explains Christiansen.
This was far from just the only task: “We developed the game in close collaboration with the holoride team.” Mackevision delivered the idea, concept, game mechanisms and virtual implementation. According to Christiansen, the limits of this development have not yet been reached: “In the future, GPS will enable the holoride technology to translate every reaction of the car into a corresponding response in the application.”
Next Level Immersive Experience
Although this mainly sounds like fun and entertainment, the application also has a very practical benefit:
“60% of people cannot usually watch movies in vehicles because they get sick,” explains Wollny. This problem occurs a lot less often with the immersive experience of holoride. “Since the movements of the car are identical to those in virtual reality, there are significantly fewer problems with travel sickness,” says Wollny, “Quite the opposite. It actually helps many people.”
This revolutionary technology has the potential to alleviate the boredom of being confined to looking out of the window while driving by transforming the journey a true experience.
The application is intended to more than a pure gaming platform. It offers a vast range of possibilities and conceivable scenarios.
“Mackevisionis a leader in CGI and stands for phenomenal visual quality.”
Educational programs such as the second experience “Dive Drive”, developed in collaboration between holoride and Mackevision are another example.
In this underwater scenario, you travel the world’s oceans in a submarine and learn a wealth of information about marine habitats. This is only the beginning: the future sets no limits on what imagination can create. Not even on a journey into the past. Travelling through the corresponding landscape the way it looked 100 years ago is another possibility.
InCar Experience with Elastic Content
This is just one of many conceivable scenarios. Mackevision CEO Armin Pohl is certain: “The vehicle interior can be transformed into a media experience.” Especially with a view toward the mobility concepts of the future such as autonomous driving. This offers completely new opportunities for travellers – and for innovative companies such as holoride and Mackevision.
“Virtual reality can become a mobile office or learning space”, Pohl believes, “Using holoride’s “elastic content”, we can take things to an entirely new level, both technologically and creatively.” In addition to gaming, learning and relaxation scenarios, this could give rise to revolutionary new options for the marketing sector: “I am thinking about in-car shopping and personalized advertising while driving.”
In a nutshell: In-car experiences offer almost unlimited possibilities. Although Pohl is well aware: “We are still at the very beginning.” But that is about to change. holoride may be available in series vehicles as early as 2021.
The project has already gained momentum. Literally
PM: Konstantin Thiesen
Sales: Söhnke Christiansen
Concept: Steffen Bärenfänger, Daniel Fraass, Julian Jacobi
Game Design: Daniel Fraass
Realtime Lead: Nikolaus Kinder
3D: Malte Lauinger, Mano Büttner
Animation: Frank Spalteholz, Sebastian Hofmann
PM: Michael Lee
Realtime Artists: Boa Kim, Hannah Yoon; Raye Lee
Realtime Developers: Brina Jo, William Kim, Kei Park
Mackevision produced its first elastic content for the holoride presentation at the CES in Shanghai 2019. The company created two tech demos: “Dive Drive” and “Cosmic Chase”. These let people experience the potential of this new content category and provided the first impression of what will be possible with holoride in the future. Mackevision is among the first to utilize the software development kit which holoride has made available to content developers worldwide. Together with SinnerSchrader, the company has already taken on the concept development and creation of the holoride image film. SinnerSchrader developed the brand’s look and feel, conducted motion sickness studies, developed holoride’s digital presence and supported the trade fair appearances and presentations. SinnerSchrader and Mackevision are part of Accenture Interactive, the world’s fastest growing digital agency.
The German start-up holoride is developing a completely new content category for passengers by combining extended reality content with data points from the vehicle in real time. These data points include physical feedback such as acceleration and steering, traffic data as well as the route and time. The holoride technology enables a new level of immersion in any type of XR (extended reality) content, creating a breathtakingly immersive experience while also significantly reducing the symptoms of travel sickness. The entertainment tech start-up was founded at the end of 2018 in Munich by Nils Wollny, Marcus Kühne, Daniel Profendiner and Audi Electronics Venture GmbH, which holds a minority stake in the start-up. holoride has been hailed “Best of CES” (Las Vegas, January 2019) and named “The 100 Best Inventions of 2019” by renowned TIME Magazine (November 2019) and is part of the global innovation platform “STARTUP AUTOBAHN powered by Plug and Play”.
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