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A Hands-On Review of Holoride

Personalized immersive in-vehicle entertainment for kids of all ages.


Some of my favorite memories with my children involve traveling around the United States to visit national parks, historic sites, and science museums. We had an old 15-passenger van that I had purchased for $750 from a non-profit agency and with several rows of seats, each of my kids had plenty of space to spread their toys and art supplies while we traveled.

They also had a Leapster, a small educational handheld gaming console that kept them occupied and reinforced basic academic skills for the younger children in particular, but we never had any other gaming consoles until many years later when my oldest son purchased an Xbox for his younger brothers with his first paycheck as a paratrooper for the US Army.

Our travels took place many years ago and now our lives are quite different. Just a couple of weeks before the pandemic my van finally died, the children are all grown so our road trips have come to an end, and I hadn’t given much more thought to in-vehicle entertainment until I was running the gaming track at the Augmented World Expo (AWE) last month in Santa Clara, California.

holoride drive

Upon hearing Nils Wollny, CEO and co-founder at holoride, and Christopher Bellaci, director of holoride Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, talk about turning vehicles into moving theme parks, I was intrigued with the possibilities and wondered about potential challenges like motion sickness, accessibility, etc.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to experience holoride during a trip around town in a comfortable, decked out BMW.

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How It Works

Holoride has a history of working with leading car manufacturers such as Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford to create patent and patent applications for in-vehicle XR. Their investments have put them in a position where they have the best cutting-edge technology and an understanding of how to make that technology available to the public through in-car experiences.

holoride in the car

Data about a vehicle’s motion, locomotion, and route is synchronized with the headset so the user experiences very little latency in what they see and feel. This creates the sensation that the movement of the vehicle is actually taking place in the immersive experience so there’s less likelihood of motion sickness.

About the Content

Holoride provides a platform called Creator Space as a resource to help developers, artists, and other enthusiasts build their immersive in-vehicle experiences. The toolset provides sensor data, works with existing game engines, and makes it possible to develop games from design through delivery.

The holoride ecosystem

Since creators are able to interface with the vehicle’s motion and they can customize assets, animations, etc., there’s endless potential for game variety, particularly when you consider the fact that each experience is further customized based on a particular route or journey.

RIDE Token

In November, holoride announced the release of its own cryptocurrency, RIDE. The blockchain component is part of a multi-layered tech stack on the Maiar Launchpad.

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Wollny states on the holoride website that “the RIDE token will be essential for building a vibrant and sustainable economy for the holoride ecosystem, connecting car manufacturers, content creators, brands, and passengers, and enabling them to capture value along the way.”

Gamers in particular enjoy being able to customize their experiences and make personal upgrades. With in-game currency, holoride users will be able to personalize avatars, skins, trophies, etc.

holoride cryptocurrency RIDE

Holoride will also utilize non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that can be transferred from one experience to another or even sold in a holoride marketplace. The use of cryptocurrency will encourage a sustainable ecosystem designed to reward creators, offer consumers options, and provide increased opportunities for growth throughout the XR community.

Overall Impressions

During my half-hour holoride experience, I played a game where the objective was to shoot or smash objects in space as I traveled through the virtual universe.

Initially, I was a bit concerned about inadvertently hitting a window or something, but that wasn’t an issue at all. I did use controllers to direct my shots so this involved a little movement, but it was an appropriate amount for an in-vehicle experience.

holoride holoriders

There were a couple of times when the navigation was not completely aligned with the direction the car was traveling, but this was easily adjusted. It’s also important to note that we were in a rental vehicle and using a portable device to connect the navigation system to the headset. If we were in an Audi or other vehicle with connected navigation data, it’s unlikely I would’ve experienced any misalignment. Honestly, I was shocked that it worked as well as it did with the portable device. It really did feel like I was traveling in physical reality along the same space path I was taking in the game so that was cool.

I did experience a tiny bit of nausea, but not much and this was most likely due to the slight misalignment that occurred a few times. It was nothing major and considering the fact that I used to always ride with a bucket and cold rag on trips, it was a pleasant surprise that I didn’t get sick and there was no lingering feeling after the ride ended.

Final Thoughts on Holoride

As far as the actual functionality of holoride, I was impressed by the lack of nausea and the sensation generated by the car’s movement as it aligned with what I was experiencing in the headset. Also, my 30-minute journey definitely felt like it was much shorter.

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We do in fact spend a lot of time on the go and as a mom, I’m not sure I’d want my kids in a VR headset during shorter trips around town, but holoride would definitely be a fun, interactive option for longer trips. Some families will feel differently, so passengers can enjoy even short drives.

Either way, holoride is incredibly appealing and it’s made even more so with the possibilities for NFTs and personalized content. Holoride has set a high bar for immersive in-vehicle entertainment and it’ll be interesting to see what sorts of theme park-inspired experiences the XR community can create for our traveling adventures.


Sonya Haskins
the authorSonya Haskins
Sonya Haskins is a freelance writer who specializes in VR gaming and esports. She founded VR Community Builders, a non-profit organization that supports positive, inclusive environments.