Four years after debuting at CES 2019, Holoride’s in-car VR technology is finally poised to go mainstream. Starting today, the startup has begun selling Retrofit, an all-in-one system you can install in your car to access Holoride content, in the US and Germany. The company designed Retrofit to work with vehicles of any make, model or year.
The device is about the size of a smart speaker and weighs less than half a pound. Installing Retrofit involves attaching it to the windshield of your car with the included mounting arm, which features a suction cup for easy installation. Retrofit’s built-in battery can power the device for up to 14 hours on one charge, and you can use the included USB-C to USB-A cable to charge the device inside your car. You can connect Retrofit to up to two Holoride-compatible VR headsets via Bluetooth.
Inside, the puck features all the technology needed to enable Holoride’s signature “Elastic Content.” When you play an interactive video or game, the platform adapts the experience to the car’s movement. So say you’re playing a game that involves a spacecraft. When the vehicle accelerates, so too will the spaceship. In that way, not only is the experience more immersive, but it’s also likely to cause you to experience motion sickness. Retrofit can collect and process all the movement and location data needed to enable those experiences.
Of course, adding that sort of functionality to your car won’t come cheap. By itself, Retrofit costs $199. However, most people will probably need to shell out for the $799 Retrofit Pack to get an HTC Vive Flow headset and 8BitDo Pro2 controller with their purchase. That’s a lot of money to pay for a backseat experience, and likely as good of a test as any whether there’s a market for Holoride’s technology.