Boston, MA (October 1, 2019) — The renowned research institute and business technologies innovator Fraunhofer IAO has teamed up with Hessischer Rundfunk, one of Germany’s public broadcasters and the VR production company expanding focus, to create a unique virtual reality experience. Using today’s technology to predict the needs of the urban commuters of tomorrow, A Ride in 2049 is a transmedia VR experience that offers users a glimpse into the future of transportation in our increasingly cramped urban centers. Users will be able to explore virtual versions of Frankfurt, Chicago, and Los Angeles — from the present to the titular 2049 — and witness what potential innovations lie ahead for transit in major cities. These predictions are all based on actual research conducted by a team of international scientists and researchers from notable institutions like the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Senseable City Lab.
During Wunderbar Together — a campaign that celebrates German-American friendship and the unique importance of relations between the two nations — A Ride in 2049 will journey across the US and Europe with stops at a number of community events, including the re:publica conference and the International Automotive Fair in Germany and throughout the US with stops in, and the upcoming HubWeek in Boston. The showcase that exhibits innovations revolving around business and industry, politics, education, culture, and science, will bring this innovative and interactive research to all curious minds who attend.
“As two of the world’s leading innovators, this collaboration between the United States and Germany can help shape the future of transportation in major cities everywhere,” said Bettina Oberhauser, Commissioning Editor at Hessischer Rundfunk. “The data gained from the survey will be invaluable for researchers and innovators across the globe.”
“We received some incredible input from visitors who tried A Ride in 2049 at events in the US and in Germany earlier this year,” said Patrick Ruess, Project Manager at the Fraunhofer IAO. “These issues affect people from all over the world, and it’s extremely important for our research to gather as much information as possible so we are well-equipped to tackle these problems as they arise.”
Share Your Thoughts by Taking the Survey: At the end of the day, the most important aspect of A Ride in 2049 is the research data gained by feedback received from participants. In order to properly chart a course toward a more sustainable future, researchers and scientists need to know the best way for the public to make their voices heard is by filling out a quick survey after they’ve “taken the ride”. Keeping with the open-source approach, results from the survey will be published later in the year in order to kickstart public discourse on the subject. The future is ours to share, which means every voice and opinion matters and can help make a difference.
The Hub Week Fall Festival 2019: Hub Week was originally founded by The Boston Globe, Harvard University, MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital, as an opportunity to showcase a vision for the future and provide a time and space dedicated to the sharing of ideas from the fields of art, science, and technology. This year, the event is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the Hub Week Fall Festival 2019 and will feature A Ride in 2049. The event takes place from Tuesday, October 1 to Thursday, October 3 at the Boston Seaport and tickets can be purchased here: https://www.hubweek.org/
Those who cannot make it to the event but still want to try A Ride in 2049 and share their thoughts needn’t worry; the experience is available for free through the Oculus store and the survey can be filled out at https://www.befragung.iao.
Any social media shout outs using the hashtag #WunderbarTogether would be greatly appreciated.
A press kit with screenshots, teaser trailer, and logos is available here: https://uberstrategist.link/
About Hessischer Rundfunk
A member of the national consortium of German public broadcasting corporations, Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) is the German federal state of Hessia’s public broadcasting corporation and region’s top public broadcaster.
Founded in 1948 and based out of Dornbusch Broadcasting House, in Bertramstraße, Frankfurt, Hessischer Rundfunk has additional radio and television studios in Kassel and Wiesbaden, as well as, further radio studios in Darmstadt, Fulda, and Gießen.
About Fraunhofer IAO
Based in Stuttgart, Germany, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (Fraunhofer IAO) works in collaboration with companies and public sector bodies and institutions to develop strategies, business models and solutions for modernizing long-established practices and processes for the digital world. Since 1981, Fraunhofer IAO has handled questions of technology and innovation management such as business innovative product and service developments, software technologies, the optimization of business processes and the exchange of experience and knowledge between research and practice.
Research and the development of innovative products and services are the major focus of the Fraunhofer IAO’s work, focusing on a holistic system approach in the areas of technology and innovation management, cooperation in virtual enterprise structures, customer management, product design, ICT support, and New Work Development. More information about Fraunhofer IAO can be found at their official website: https://www.iao.fraunhofer.de/
About expanding focus
Located in the Westwerk complex in Leipzig, Germany, expanding focus is specialized in the conception, production, and distribution of Virtual Reality experiences and cinematic VR content.
expanding focus creates their own productions, as well as team up with other creative partners to co-produce VR content. They also provide VR and 360° camera services and studio space for third parties. expanding focus works in the medium of documentary, fiction, installations, music, and games – via the exciting universe of VR and 360° content and experiences.
They have a vast network of digital artists, programmers, directors, writers, 360° DOPs, post-production specialists, and strategic partners for events, installations, and exhibitions in the backhand – many of them on-site in Leipzig.