Q: When you started working on this in 2015, when it was being incubated at Audi, what did you see on the horizon? What sort of reception did you get?
A: When we started the journey, I am pretty sure not everybody was thinking this was a good idea.
More like it was a crazy idea. People were not really familiar with virtual reality and not aware of the concept that content can be motion- and location-aware. Now with the metaverse taking shape, suddenly we’ve received a lot of momentum.
Did you look at this with the assumption that self-driving cars were near and that everyone would be a rider?
I was looking into the autonomous age and wondering, “How will people spend time in cars and in which situations?” If you think of media consumption, it’s obviously a big topic, and there’s not a lot of real contribution to the experience from car companies. But if you consider the car as a spatial device that is very receptive for things happening around it, then we started asking, “Can we use this and pair it with something else, all the immersive computing technology?”
Does this change the dynamic in which car companies don’t have much control over in-car entertainment?
People carry their personal devices with them, but maybe car manufacturers should extend the car to the personal device inside of always trying to squeeze the smartphone to the center screen and mimicking what people already have with them. We’ve created something unique, and it captures some of the value that’s being created. That’s our business model.
What was behind the decision to make Holoride an independent company?
We were showing it to movie studios and gaming companies, and they were all excited by the concept. They planted the seed.
They said, “It’s great that Audi is doing this and experimenting, but how does it scale beyond a few models or brands?
“How does this become an interesting audience for us?” So for the benefit of the industry, we spun it out into a space that turns the car into one of the most exciting places for content consumption.
How does it work? What data is Holoride collecting?
All manufacturers need to provide certain data points like acceleration, braking, steering angle, GPS position.
What a car manufacturer needs to do is provide these data points via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi in the interior of the car, and our application gets permission and can read and interpret it in real time.