August 24, 2016

Facebook Announces “New Steps” in Development of Gear VR Virtual Reality Platform

From the Facebook Newsroom:

Since Gear VR launched in November 2015, the response has been incredibly strong: More than 200 games and apps are now available for the platform in the Oculus store, and people have already watched more than a million hours of video in Gear VR.

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We’ve also been developing new technology that will make video in virtual reality work even better. 360 video on Facebook is the first step — it allows you to look around and feel like you’re present while watching a video, whether it’s surfing in Tahiti or exploring the surface of Mars.

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Today, we’re taking an important step toward improving 360 video in VR: Our powerful dynamic streaming technology for 360 video is coming to Gear VR. It’s a more efficient way of delivering 360 videos, showing only the pixels you’re actually looking at in the highest quality, instead of delivering the entire 360 video in high resolution. To make this work, we create dozens of variants for every 360 video that gets uploaded to Facebook, each tailored to a specific viewing angle, and then as you watch the video, we rapidly adjust which variant we display based on where you’re looking. By doing this, we’ve quadrupled the resolution quality of 360 streaming video in VR by reducing the amount of required network bandwidth by 4x — so videos look clearer and play faster.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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