The VR market is hotting up and is hitting the news in one form or another on a regular basis. Two recent cases in point are Sony’s PSVR, which is about to hit the market and Google’s announcement of its new line of Pixel branded hardware, which are Daydream enabled.

Daydream is Google’s big push into the VR space and takes the form of phones that meet its minimum criteria for running VR apps well. This includes a high performance processor, accurate sensors and low persistence screens. Google’s new phones are the only ones the meet this criteria so far.

A minimum spec is important as doing VR well is hard. Hitting the minimum requirements was the subject of Part 1 of our recent webinar on creating great VR.  Entitled “It’s all about the hardware! Designing SoCs for VR applications”, it’s available to listen to on demand from our website right now.

Virtual Reality (VR)

In it, Chris Longstaff, senior director of product and technology marketing for PowerVR, takes you through the basics of the VR market. He explains the difference between the types of VR headset, split between the so called ‘intelligent’ head-mounted displays – where the processing in done in the headset – and the ‘dumb’ head-mounted displays, which relies on an external box, whether that’s a smartphone or a PC.

You’ll also get more detail about the challenges of creating a SoC for VR, such as battery life,  graphics performance, and the need to reduce latency. This is the time taken between a user’s actions and the onscreen response, and is also known as the ‘motion to photon’ latency. Minimizing this is important and a high latency is one of the main causes of nausea that some experience when using VR.

But is VR just a novelty act right now? John Carmack, creator of the Doom games currently CTO at Oculus rift and all round 3D graphics guru has said that currently VR is just “coasting on novelty”. His concern is that after the initial wonder has worn off people will get bored by the new format. Content therefore needs to not just have that initial wow factor, but offer the same value and depth that is possible from current games.

Part 2

If you want to have a better idea of how to create truly compelling content for VR then it’s worth tuning in for part 2 of the webinar, coming up on 26th October.

Entitled, “VR Part 2: It’s all about the software! Creating optimised VR content with Imagination’s PowerVR family”, Kristof Beets, director of business development for Power VR at Imagination Technologies, will take you through the software side of the VR equation.

The webinar will focus on:

  • An overview on the OpenGL ES from the Khronos group, and the new Vulkan API
  • How to:
    • reduce CPU overhead
    • minimise latency
    • improve render efficiency
    • optimise for 360 VR Video

With the information from both these webinars you should be in a better place to create great VR content and make the best use of the exciting new hardware that’s starting to appear.

Title: VR Part 2: It’s all about the software! Creating optimised VR content with Imagination’s PowerVR family

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Time: 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time

Duration: 30 minutes