Holoride, an Audi-backed German startup on Wednesday (4 Jan 2023) at CES has announced the expansion of its upgraded in-car VR entertainment system, Retrofit, to tap into the growing potential of the metaverse. First debuted at CES in 2019, the innovation is designed to make a boring commute more entertaining for passengers in the backseat.
This new version has taken motion sickness into account, and comes with a small mounted tracking device and a VR headset. Mounted to the windshield, the former uses artificial intelligence to analyze the car’s motion in real time, while the latter detects the wearer’s head movement, creating a smooth VR experience where in-game movement mimics the car’s motion.
When debuted at CES in 2019, the technology only worked with certain Audi models. It is now interoperable with cars of any make, or year, said Holoride in a statement on its website.
Holoride is joining a race of many companies vying for pole position in pioneering VR technology, though not all are autos-related. Razer, Lumus and Magic Leap, among others have also demonstrated next-level AR and VR hardware solutions at CES this year.
With the growing number of companies entering the market, industry revenue is expected to achieve tremendous growth despite the current wider market downturn. According to Statista, revenue in the AR & VR market is projected to reach US$31.2bn in 2023, with a CAGR of 13.72%. And a recent report published by McKinsey has anticipated the metaverse sector will reach US$5 trillion in market value by 2030. The report also indicated that one of the four critical factors for the metaverse to reach its full potential is hardware devices, namely AR/VR headsets, sensors, haptics, and peripherals, that are essential for the immersion required.
Meanwhile, critics of the metaverse have voiced their concerns over this megatrend. Many assume ‘the metaverse’ will be limited to the concept of wearing a VR headset or a haptic suit, as envisioned by a handful of leaders in the field.
While some are concerned that tech giants may have too much dominance over the future of the metaverse, others are skeptical of the scalability of centralized metaverse at all. Think Roblox and Fortnite in VR. While these Web2 games are currently taking the center stage, to create their immersive real-time metaverse gameplay versions would require major upgrades in internet infrastructure and bandwidth.
Though there is no definite time frame for when the metaverse will mature, CES 2022 and 2023 have seen a significant number of everyday brands participating in the trend, in turn encouraging more companies and developers to find solutions that will drive this sector forward.