It would seem that Google is not the only company that is eyeing quality virtual reality experiences for smartphones as Microsoft wants a piece of the pie as well. It has been seen that VR is now making a big hit towards multiple markets as of late, and many already expect that the technology will bring a huge impact over the next couple of years.
Microsoft is Following Suit With the Likes of Google and Samsung in Wanting a Piece of the Virtual Reality Pie for Smartphones
Within the next month, a research team comprised of representatives coming from the Microsoft Research and Rice University will publish a paper entitled FlashBack: Immersive Virtual Reality on Mobile Devices via Rendering Memorization. The team will present the paper during the MobiSys 2016 conference that will take place in Singapore. The study will deliver information about a new methodology that could make it easier for certain hardware, such as smartphones as well as low-end PCs, to run virtual reality content well instead of just purely relying on high-end gear.
This particular concept hinges around the user’s perspective, as per a report from WinBeta. Therefore, instead of just rendering 3D objects in real-time, Microsoft’s FlashBack system would then use a library with compressed frames that will enable users to look at the object at all possible viewing angles.
In other words, the technology will be looking at a fully-rendered 3D object while still being able to look at the image from their own perspective. The device would then allow the user to only render whatever it is that can be seen within that angle. Hence, it cuts down on all the non-essential rendering of a wider environment, which is what high-end VR devices are doing as of late.
Tests that were displayed on paper regarding the FlashBack system could make virtual reality a wider range of technology. There is an alleged prototype version that will be offered that has sizable improvements over a locally-rendered VR headgear setup. This makes framerates eight times better while still being able to reduce energy consumption per frame with a factor of 97, as well as reducing the latency with a factor of 15.
Still, there is some ways to go prior to the system being built by Microsoft to be readily implemented. To start, there are still limitations pertaining to file sizes and methods of compression for the graphics that will be displayed. It means that, at the time of writing, the system is not yet quite ready for a massive rollout.