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Mark Zuckerberg seems to think people can’t wait for in-car VR

Mark Zuckerberg seems to think people can’t wait for in-car VR


Meta and BMW’s mixed reality research has linked a car’s sensors to Quest Pro headsets so that virtual objects follow along as you move.

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If you’ve listened to The Vergecast lately, then you know Nilay is sold on the mix of cars and VR when it comes to Gran Turismo 7. And we’ve seen many attempts at in-car headset experiences from the likes of Holoride, Nissan, and Toyota, but it still seems like an instant recipe for motion sickness.

Now Meta and BMW say they’ve made progress on using augmented reality and virtual reality in cars that might alleviate any issues of interacting with virtual objects while moving through the real world at high speed.

Animated GIF showing a person riding in a car seeing an image of a plane projected in front of them virtually, and interacting with the plane in a demo game while looking out of the window.
Meta / BMW research demo
Image: Meta

Their deal was originally announced in 2021, but the two companies say they made a breakthrough by blending inertial motion sensor (IMU) data from a BMW in real time with the tracking system in Meta’s Project Aria research glasses.

They were then able to transfer that work to the Meta Quest Pro to demo VR and mixed reality use in moving cars. According to Meta’s engineers, “Access to the car’s precise 6DOF positioning system could allow us to render world-locked virtual content outside of the vehicle, like identifying landmarks and other points of interest.”

Mark Zuckerberg says in this Instagram Reel that “people often ask me if they can use Quest while they’re in a car,” which seems optimistic. Getting people interested in using VR or AR while sitting still or walking at a slow pace is already a tall order, and a leaked road map from the company suggests a follow-up to the sensor-packed Quest Pro headset may be a ways off, even as Meta slashes prices on its existing inventory of the headset.