October 16, 2019
Tech startup holoride has teamed with Ford Motor Company and Universal Pictures to create an immersive VR experience called “Universal Monsters Presents Bride of Frankenstein holoride.” The complimentary ride is being offered during select dates from October 14 to November 9 at Universal CityWalk Hollywood. “They are rolling it out at the theme park, but it could be featured anywhere because it is GPS-based,” explained ETC’s Phil Lelyveld, who recently previewed the ride with colleague George Gerba. “It adjusts to the location and the route. So it could be a touring experience, could be offered at store openings, etc.”
“Because it is experienced inside a real car, it will be interesting to see how well people follow instructions about restricting their arm movement,” he added. “It is very tempting to reach out, which can mean hitting the windows, ceiling and the other passengers.”
Guests step inside their 2020 Ford Explorer and receive a VR headset and joystick-like device. Once underway, they are joined by a virtual Bride of Frankenstein who leads guests on an adventure to deliver a message to Frankenstein.
“Riders will encounter virtual monsters and obstacles as part of a fully immersive VR experience with sound effects and visuals adapted to the vehicle’s movements,” reports Benzinga. “Holoride uses navigational data like travel route and time along with driving data from the vehicle — like steering, acceleration and stopping — to adapt the experience to match the movement of the vehicle.”
“We are partnering with Ford and Universal to bring holoride’s immersive, elastic content to the general public,” explained holoride CEO Nils Wollny in a press release. “Riders will be able to experience firsthand what the future of in-vehicle entertainment looks like through the lens of the compelling story of the Bride of Frankenstein.”
“This partnership with holoride and Ford highlights NBCUniversal’s ongoing commitment to collaborating with the most innovative technology companies and consumer brands to create unique and forward-thinking immersive experiences for our audiences,” added Greg Reed, VP of Universal Pictures Technology Partnerships. “Building on Universal Pictures’ vast experience in developing award-winning AR and VR content over the last few years, we are excited and inspired as ‘everyday travel’ begins to emerge as a new content platform.”
Holoride is hoping to bring this tech to market in the future. “It might appear on your next car’s list of options, or you might be able to buy a VR kit directly from the manufacturer and plug it into your vehicle,” reports Digital Trends. The startup is “leveraging its partnership with Ford to gather data from future customers about what they look for (and, significantly, don’t look for) when it comes to in-car VR.”