Visbit CEO Changying (CY) Zhou demonstrated his company’s View-Optimized Streaming (VVOS) technology at the IEEE VR Summit by transmitting a 12K 360-degree VR video seamlessly over a consumer Wi-Fi connection and a Samsung Gear VR HMD.
As virtual reality HMDs grow more and more popular, so will the demand for high-quality content. Many people, especially those who aren’t interested in gaming, will in turn look towards 360-degree VR video for their content desires. There are ways to create high-resolution 360-degree content--several companies make super high-resolution 360-degree cameras, and it’s not hard to find a camera rig that supports an array of 4K GoPro action cameras. Creation isn’t the problem. Distributing all of that high-resolution 360-degree content—especially stereo 360-degree video—is the hard part.
Increasing the available bandwidth is the obvious solution for streaming high-resolution content, but that’s easier said than done. Advancements are being made in networking technology, but those solutions won’t be mainstream for some time. Visbit is taking a different approach to the problem. The company introduced VVOS in December 2016, and the company told us that VVOS makes it possible to stream high-quality 4K and higher resolution 360-degree content.
Apparently, Visbit wasn’t kidding about streaming content with higher resolution than 4K.
“Today, 360-degree videos are mostly streamed at 1080p and occasionally at 4K. You rarely hear of 6K video streaming, so 12K, a resolution that is very close to the acuity of 20/20 human vision, is unheard of, especially when streaming on today’s regular Wi-Fi and LTE conditions,” said Visbit Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Changyin (CY) Zhou.
Visbit created a 12K x 6K video which includes a high-resolution nature scene with a collection of other smaller video clips embedded into the backdrop to demonstrate the company’s streaming breakthrough. The company streamed the video over a standard home Wi-Fi network to a Samsung Galaxy S7 inside a Gear VR headset. The S7’s display is capable of producing dual 1280 x 1440 images with 90-degrees FOV, which roughly translates to a maximum resolution of 6K for a 360-degree video.
Visbit’s VVSO technology takes advantage of the full resolution of the clip by offering zoom functionality. If you double-tap on the trackpad on the Gear VR, the image zooms in to show the full details of the 12K image. With this function, even lower resolution displays can benefit from the video that exceeds the resolution of the panel.
Visbit’s streaming technology currently supports Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. The technology isn’t readily available yet, but the company is running a closed beta with select creators and plans to launch an open beta later this year. See the Visbit website for more information about View-Optimized Streaming and how you can sign up for the beta.