NextVR is incorporating light field capture technology into their VR platform which will allow users to alter their perspective inside the VR space, adding a degree of positional tracking to the live action videos and making for a more immersive 360 video experience, according to the company.
Let’s face it, 360 videos for VR are far from perfect. Keep your body still, and they can put you directly in the action, letting you cheer on your favorite NBA team from the best seat in the house; but crane your neck left or right to get a better look past an object in front of you at say, an NHL hockey game, and you’ve revealed one of the most important flaws in current iterations of 360 VR video.
Today, NextVR announced that they are incorporating light field technology into their 360 video captures, which while still patent-pending, gives users more positional leeway in what traditionally would be considered a ‘flatter’ experience. And what does that mean exactly?
Like the technology behind the lytro camera, light field photography captures the direction of incoming light, allowing for a picture that can not only be refocused after the fact, but also offer more actual information than traditional photography.
Currently there aren’t any solutions of the type in the marketplace that offer any positional movement in live action over the static 360 video experience, and although, we don’t expect the new lightfield technology in NextVR’s videos to allow for the same sweeping head movements possible with computer-rendered scenes, the added positional data could give 360 films a more natural and immersive feel.
“Content captured with NextVR’s patent protected technology will be viewable natively in volumetric display devices (e.g. Microsoft’s HoloLens or Magic Leap’s rumored digital light field display), and NextVR is the only company with the ability to deliver real time, live-action content to the full gamut of VR and AR displays coming to market” – NextVR
We’re not sure when we’ll have a chance to glimpse NextVR’s new tech, but we’re definitely excited to see what it adds to the VR video experience.