Honda delivers ‘The Ultimate Get-Well Card’ to sick kids via augmented reality

Santa Claus isn’t the only one bringing gifts and well wishes this holiday season. Honda is reprising its Happy Honda Days celebration, and this year, is leveraging augmented reality to deliver what it calls the “Ultimate Get-Well Card” to the little ones at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). The AR holiday card features crowdsourced messages from well-wishers around the country for children battling illnesses.

As part of its initiative, Honda took over a CHOC hospital room, turning it into an “augmented reality winter wonderland” that featured messages from folks across the United States, all of whom sent their love and best wishes to the brave patients. Messages could be viewed through an iPad held in place by a specially designed holder that triggered a wintry AR experience.

“Sending warm wishes to others is one of the best traditions of the holiday season and through a little Honda innovation we’re using augmented reality to send messages that will brighten the lives of young patients at Children’s Hospital of Orange County,” said Susie Rossick, assistant vice president of Honda marketing.

Honda has been collecting messages since September, when the company first sent out a holiday video inviting its large network to leave their best wishes via Facebook and Instagram. Hundreds of messages were sent in over the course of the last few months, and Honda selected the best few to load onto the virtual card alongside personalized videos from hospital staff.

Each child saw their name on the front of the AR card, which then opened to reveal contents on “paper” that then danced to life, filling the entire room. Children could interact with the card, which featured both text and embedded video, and of course, moving images.

And even if you weren’t around to help send a get well wish to the kiddos before, you can now help by liking or loving the video on Facebook — for each social media interaction, Honda is promising to donate $1 for up to $100,000 to both CHOC and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF). So if you’re looking for a way to spread some holiday cheer, this just may be your chance.

Gaming

For the Gamechanger charity, comforting sick kids with games isn’t child’s play

Gamechanger is a worldwide charity that helps thousands of children each year, bringing them gifts and video games to keep them entertained during their hospital stay. Yet all started in a garage during a family’s darkest hour.
Mobile

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.
Gaming

Have an issue with your 3DS? We can help you fix it with these common solutions

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Product Review

The Nissan Rogue is smart, handsome, and practical. What’s not to love?

Year after year, Nissan’s Rogue compact crossover is a consistent best-seller, outpacing Honda’s CR-V, and even Toyota’s mighty RAV4. We looked for the reasons why people love the 2019 Nissan Rogue, and found them.
Cars

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.
Cars

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.
Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?
Cars

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.
Cars

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.
Cars

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…
Cars

Waymo boosts robo-taxi plans with new service center in Arizona

Waymo has announced plans for a facility in Phoenix, Arizona, that will help to service, maintain, and grow its fleet of autonomous Waymo One cars. The vehicles operate as part of the company's robo-taxi ridesharing service.
Cars

Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

This modified Land Rover Discovery is heading to Africa to help fight malaria

A Land Rover Discovery will be used by the Mobile Malaria Project for a 3,900-mile trek across Africa to study malaria. The SUV is equipped with a mobile gene-sequencing laboratory, as well as everything necessary for serious off-roading.