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ETCA 2016: VR Storytelling in a Connected World

June 28, 2016

In addition to the technical challenges in delivering VR, there are substantial challenges involved in re-thinking storytelling to work with the unique features and constraints of VR delivery. Moderator Ajit Ninan set up a poll of audience members that started by asking when audience members thought VR would beat conventional 2D entertainment -- with most of the audience estimating never, while the rest were split between 2020 and 2025. On the brighter side for VR advocates, 80% of the audience said they would be willing to wear a VR headset to watch a VR story. Most attendees also said they would not be willing to give up some resolution and field of view in exchange for having an un-tethered solution. 

Madhu Athreya from HP Labs explained that in the short-term, a compromise solution is to use a backpack with the tethered computing power, so you'd be mobile, but the VR headset would still be tethered to the backpack computer. Almost all attendees have watched VR content on a headset, while only about 10% of us said we had created VR content. YouTube's Sanjeev Verma explained how it has tried to make uploading 360-degree and VR content easier for its users. Facebook's David Pio has helped develop technology that allows the company to only stream the portion of a VR video that you are looking at. It does this by pre-rendering many views and having the client software request the one it thinks it will neeed. Coupled with a new projection format that allocates more bandwidth to the center of your view, the combination of technologies is greatly reducing the bandwidth required to display usable VR content.  

Tag(s): VR , ETCA2016

David Cardinal

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