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Google’s surprising VR is the future of virtual reality

Google is the most important tech companies in the world, depending on who you ask.
Between YouTube, Google search and Gmail, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company created, owns and operates much of what we have come to expect from the use of the Internet. Influence of the company is so great that the name is a verb – “Could you googled a good restaurant for tonight, honey”And that’s why it’s such a huge big deal that Google pushes into virtual reality with one of its most important services: YouTube.

The company said participants in the annual I / O developer conference on Thursday that the public could 360 degree upload videos to YouTube from this summer. In addition, a VR-ready version of YouTube will be in the not too distant future in app form.
Setting clear: the world’s most popular video platform will move into virtual reality.
Here is an example of how it will work (using the arrows in the upper left corner to navigate the video in three dimensions):

This is a much more important reason to move than any of the video game and film applications that we’ve seen so far for VR, and the reasons should be clear: cat videos.
That’s no joke. People are much more interested in watching cat videos – and other stuff on YouTube – as they are still in the most popular video games.
For comparison, extremely popular (and free) game “League of Legends” has some 27 million players. YouTube has “over 1 billion” users.
Joking aside, imagine: you buy an inexpensive 360-degree video camera, warm family memories with him you take those moments to private YouTube account your family share. Watching the videos is like it all over again. And not just in a nostalgic way; with 360 degree video and a VR headset, you’re there.
With Google’s “Jump” system, that’s all possible. “Jump” is the initiative Google has visible today offers a turnkey solution for turning 360 degree video on YouTube material. Think of it this way: there is an easy way for complex video easily be turned and distributed, for playback on VR headsets. There is a standardization for the filming, distribution and display 360 degree video.
Sounds boring, right? It is! It’s the boring details behind a massively important initiative of one of the – if not “the” – the most important tech companies in the world.No VR headsets to buy now. You could build a version of Google’s board headset, or buy one of the many versions of it on Amazon from other manufacturers. But that’s not the point.
In the next 12 months, a variety of VR headsets will launch from different companies. The “killer application” is not a dogfighting space shooter for the mainstream, and it will not be a puzzle game. There will be applications such as YouTube and Netflix.Google has been working on this future, and that’s huge.

First Eye Tracking Virtual Reality Headset
Fove VR

It seems that every tech company needs to work on a VR or AR headset to be as innovative now. But FOVE a new VR concept and came on Kickstarter today, has a really new angle: eye tracking with sensors on the headset to the movements of your eyes, rather than the head, reduction of nausea and, in theory, increase immersion.

Yuka Kojima, a former game producer at Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, founded the startup with CTO Lochlainn Wilson, with LED interactive storytelling projects for PlayStation 3, PS Vita and move, so there is a clear line with what Sony is working on with project Morpheus. In fact, when we met with Wilson in a hotel for some London Eye on time with the new tech, he revealed that the relationship did not stop there.

“Sony is great about this stuff,” says Wilson is pleased, has face recognition researches since 2012. “You have magic Lab who’ve done all this stuff. It’s just, politically, across the board, it is killed. They are like: “That’s not proven.” But then, how to make a new technology they are very anti-innovative in some layers a chance to really innovate gives us, we learn with the technology to play ourselves and our?. own way, while Sony has used it, and they’re like, “Meh.”

This is at once quite enlightening but also not so surprising. While we say eye tracking is “new”, we are actually used before: at the Sony booth at the Game Developers Conference last year no less, was a project Morpheus premiered first. However, instead of the headset, it was next tested to controlInfamous: second son. Wilson smiles.

“I’m not sure I’d say this, but we gave demos to all Sony people all the way up the chain,” he continues, “and it was huge, huge excitement, but at the highest level she said” I could to do so with head tracking. “And I’m like,” That’s not the point, of course you can, but you go people are to make you sick, and you’re going to her neck tension and we add more interesting things.

, “You can use the eye tracking stuff with head tracking is not done, it is not, of course, now when I talk with you, I’m actually looking there -. You can not just say that in VR If this is a Oculus or Morpheus would experience the character of thinking that they are ignored. ”

So how does it work?

eye tracking virtual reality headset

FOVE is an elongated headset that combines a display with 2560×1440 VR Motion Tracking and, most importantly, eye tracking. Cameras strained under each eye tracking where you, to peek view a calibration sequence of green dots that prompts you to certain parts of the screen and stare.

The screen is 1.7x the pixel density of the Oculus Rift DK2 and even higher than HTC Vive (2.5K to 2K HTCs), albeit in 595g, the headset it comes in, is a bit of an animal.

“We got a very good feed of the eye, so we can do pupil dilation and restriction,” says Wilson. “Because we know where to look and how bright the pixel, we can formulate relationships, could we tell whether to respond emotionally or physically to a scene -. It is a bit of an inexact science at the moment, but it has potential. Of course, involved the sensitive acceleration sensors, we can technically get your heart rate up to.
“When directly in front of a character in the virtual reality means that you very coordinated and very aware of the slightest error in their interactions. And the fact that they do not know where to look, is a solid block to actually treating them as a conscious being. In one of our demos, you can make eye contact with a virtual character and the first time I have, that it’s just a feeling that she had to make alive. ”

While this all sounds great, the only full-demo that we had to explore able us shooting spaceships with our except accurate student (“It’s like a superpower,” laughs Wilson. “If we play Counter-Strike with this are ‘d Be very quickly “prohibit the FOVE a campaign’ ‘) It works well -. bizarre if you are used to VR, it actually takes to acclimate more how you are going to look quickly used his head – tracking you at 60fps with very little latency. It’s definitely a compelling USP in the PR game, even if we want the demo was not so easy.

A second, semi-finished study is more of a Shadowgun style sci-fi first person shooter that shows us another cool trick of the eye tracking: nice to your processors. How can tell you where to look for it, the FOVE scenes in high fidelity can do for your eyes only, which other areas, so that reducing the demands on the hardware (and actually increased in a slightly blurred, lower fidelity, real-time depth of field simultaneously). It is currently in a viable, though not particularly polished state, but has potential to flagship smartphones pull much better quality VR.

“We talk a PlayStation 3 PlayStation jump 4 levels of performance,” says Wilson. “A six-fold increase in processing power to do advanced rendering. Mobile VR, AR and hybrid itself is the real revolution, and I hope that our technology at the core, be that. If you put a Samsung-speed VR at which only interaction you have, typing on the page is what you can in order to make tap, head movement, sure.? – exhausting, but you put this on, and you can interact with your eyes – .. that is very powerful ”

OK, how can I get one?

Well, for $ 350 (£ 225) you delivered early and nab a development version of May next year. A team of 60 working on FOVE hacker space in Japan, run like hell with a 3D printer in true style valve. However, our only word of warning that full consumer versions of both the Oculus Rift and Sony’s project Morpheus to land about the same time, while HTC and valve still expect the Vive is from this year. Could it be too late for a party already overpopulated with the rather large wallet?
FOVE, to his credit, tried to play with every beautiful. The SDK will support all open VR sources of Unity, to engine and Unreal, OS VR Cry to VR-steam (Oculus of the closed system is officially off limits, though). It is also with the aim of that headset in 595g size down, the design shrinks considerably and adding a thermal vent so never fogged up. The team has also done a lot of work with ALS patients in Japan and offers a private room for her, only to control her eyes.

But realistically, how the meeting with PlayStation testify like a FOVE technology feels to play and a company waits to get tech from bought his, a team with a great idea that they want to notice others. Wilson is certainly philosophically in the future.

“It would have quite successful go consumers for us, because that would require us raise to go some significant capital, against Facebook’s. It’s tough, tough hardware and a lot of work, things have gotten out the door. If we have a not to make content ecosystem or not super-excited people get from eye tracking, we would try to get a license the technology. ”

Went live just a few hours after the Kickstarter, FOVE had raised $ 105,000 of its $ 250,000 goal. Maybe eye tracking will capture the hearts of men as well as their heads.