Skip To Main Content
Creation alexandra daddario 1180x90
Creation alexandra daddario 778x150

Honda Unveils ‘World’s First’ Extended Reality (XR) Mobility Device


Honda is bringing virtual reality (VR) to the streets…well, at least they’re thinking about it. The automotive company has unveiled the UNI-ONE, a “first-of-its-kind” extended reality (XR) experience merging VR and personal mobility for entertainment. The company teased the personal mobility XR device (which seems to channel the spirit of Professor X’s hoverchair from the X-Men) just days before the upcoming SXSW Conference in Texas, where attendees will get a chance to take it for a spin.

Weighing 154 pounds (70 kg), the Uni-One offers a hands-free, self-balancing experience similar to a Segway allowing riders to interact with people at eye level. Honda‘s XR mobility device aims to bridge the gap between virtual and real-world experiences by offering mobility options that promise users to “enjoy mobility without being constrained by their physical capabilities and/or skills”.

RELATED: Honda Motocompacto e-Scooter is a Sub-$1,000 Foldable Briefcase Bike

It reaches a maximum speed of 3.7 mph and boasts a five-mile range at cruising speeds (of about 2.5mph). With a user weight capacity of 242 pounds (110 kg), the hands-free Uni-One aims to “elevate” VR experiences and let you move and react within VR, unlike stationary setups.

The UNI-ONE also features self-balancing technology and sensors, allowing you to move in any direction simply by shifting your body weight. Its adjustable seat lets you choose between a raised position (called “high position”), reaching eye level with standing individuals, and a lowered position (called “low position”), making it easier to interact with those seated or children.

In either mode, you can steer forward, backward, diagonally, or sideways. With a VR headset, Honda promises experiences like “peaceful floating in the sky” or “exhilarating gliding along a half-pipe path.”

Honda XR Mobility Device | Image: Honda
Honda XR Mobility Device | Image: Honda

While designed for entertainment, Honda’s new experience doesn’t explicitly target people with physical disabilities. In its official press release, Honda bills the UNI-ONE as a leisure mobility device that can reduce fatigue for elderly family members “who are not confident in walking for a long period of time.” Ultimately though, Honda envisions using it in malls, theme parks, or other indoor or outdoor entertainment facilities with ample obstacle-free space, and the company is working toward commercialization in the US.

Honda’s Uni-One sure seems to be a unique blend of VR and physical mobility, promising a paradigm shift in personal experiences. While Honda plans to use them in shopping malls and theme parks, creating dedicated spaces for the Uni-One won’t be easy and will require collaboration and adaptation, which will, in turn, need innovative infrastructure solutions. However, Honda’s dedication to commercialization suggests a bright future for the Uni-One, and we might even see some creative uses for this XR mobility device.

Honda XR Mobility Device | Image: Honda
Honda XR Mobility Device | Image: Honda
Honda XR Mobility Device | Image: Honda
Honda XR Mobility Device | Image: Honda