As I'm sure you've heard by now, StarVR recently changed the enterprise VR game with their ground-breaking new headset, the StarVR One.
We've worked alongside the folks over at StarVR for a few years now, as we've been lucky enough to have successful demos with them in the past. With the much-hyped release of their new HMD, we were really excited to use this new space-age piece of kit to really show the world what our tech can do in VR. So, we put our best minds to work to create something special for its big release at SIGGRAPH 2018.
A key part of that team was Senior Software Engineer Jason Gowthorpe who's given us his thoughts on the project.
Working with the StarVR One brought with it several unique opportunities. Obviously, its stand-out feature is the wow-inducing 210⁰ horizontal field of view (FOV), but it also has eye-tracking capabilities, which open up a whole new world of potential features for us. For this project, we used the eye-tracking tech for three things: automated interpupillary distance (IPD) calculation, foveated rendering, and our Wisdom analytics. The last two are quite cool, so I'll go into a bit more detail!
Foveated rendering basically means we use less processing power by concentrating the rendering workload on the specific area that the user is looking at, rather than using up resources on areas that are in their peripheral vision. This is actually copying how human eyes naturally work - your eyes only focus on the small area you're directly looking at. As a result, the user won't even notice that only a small area is ever in focus!
As well as this, we created the Wisdom VR app, which is a tool designed to give insights into users' interactions in VR. It uses the eye-tracking tech to create heatmaps on secondary screens which show how long customers look at each bit of the car for (this can be for each individual user or combined across multiple sessions).
We used all of this to supercharge our configurator for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. To emphasise the incredible FOV, the demo started with the industry standard 110⁰ before almost doubling to 210⁰, which blew everyone away!
But there was more to this demo than hardware and graphics. We wanted to show the revolutionary potential of our tech, so we enabled users to customise their own Porsche by changing the colours, interiors, and alloys. We also let them take a closer look by opening the doors and boot, so they could explore all of the vehicle.
There were several demos on the StarVR booth, each showcasing different potential uses, which was really interesting. Unfortunately, we were so busy that I didn't manage to see much outside of the 4-walls of our booth!
All in all, it was an amazing project from start to finish, and we really look forward to seeing what the future holds for this incredible technology!
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