During GDC 2017, Khronos Group unveiled OpenXR as the name for their VR/AR API standard that’s currently being developed. UploadVR got the chance to speak with Khronos Group president Neil Trevett to get some questions answered. When asked if there were any specific entities missing that Khronos Group would welcome, Trevett immediately mentioned one of the biggest faces of AR: Microsoft. He noted the company’s input now would be around the emerging Windows Mixed Reality platform, which UploadVR recently did a hands-on with, but they’d obviously be able to bring AR expertise to that 2nd round of the API’s development as well.
Tobii had some VR demos that they were showing on the GDC Expo Hall floor as well as within Valve’s booth. They were primarily focusing on the new user interaction paradigms that are made available by using eye gazing to select specific objects, direct action, but also locomotion determined by eye gaze. There are a lot of open questions around the intimate data that will be available to application developers and the privacy and consent protocols that will inform users and provide them with some level of transparency and control. It’s an important topic being looked at by the OpenXR standardization process. Listen to the Voices of VR Podcast with Johan Hellqvist, VP products and integrations at Tobii.
Last week was GDC, and a ton of new tech, as well as new VR games and apps were announced and broadcast out to millions. But one of the most important stories out of GDC was also one of the least flashy. It was a gathering held by a nonprofit known as The Khronos Group, and it dealt directly with how much new VR hardware and software is being released, and how it is rapidly becoming more and more difficult for developers to keep up. Say Hello to OpenXR.
Furian is designed to address the increasing compute requirements across multiple applications and market segments with efficient use of compute APIs including OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.0 and OpenVX 1.1*. Furian adds a bi-directional GPU/CPU coherent interface for efficient sharing of data; and a transition to user mode queues from kernel mode queues which reduces latency and CPU utilization for compute operations. Based on a published Khronos specification, GPUs based on the PowerVR Furian architecture are expected to pass the Khronos Conformance Testing Process. Current conformance status can be found at www.khronos.org/conformance.
Nick Whiting is the elected OpenXR Working Group Chair and technical director of AR and VR at Epic Games. “VR and AR have experienced a boom of interest recently, and with that, a flood of hardware and software companies have begun spinning up efforts in the field,” Khronos said in a news release. “While variety is great, the growing number of devices, each with their own incompatible APIs is increasing fragmentation.” The key issue now, Whiting said, is timing. Read the complete interview.
Content made in Unity is supported in Daydream and can even be made in VR. Vulkan has had rudimentary support since December, and this update promises to make it easy to port almost any content to Vulkan to make it run more easily and efficiently, even for users with lesser hardware.
NVIDIA has announced the availability of a new Vulkan GeForce and Quadro Graphics driver targeted at both desktop and notebook configurations, namely version 377.01 beta (or 126.96.36.19901), which manages to resolve an issue encountered with SteamVR shaders.
The Khronos Virtual Reality Initiative announced in December is making rapid progress in designing an open standard for portable Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality apps and devices. Today, Khronos releases the official name of the standard: OpenXR. The group is made up of a who’s-who of VR industry leaders working together to combat industry fragmentation in these markets. Any interested companies are invited to join Khronos to get involved and help steer the VR industry. Read more on the Khronos Blog and Press Release.
Facebook-owned Oculus' head of content Jason Rubin says "We support an open standard... We want everybody in the PC business to join an open standard that's a platform where everybody gets to say what's important to them." Rubin is referencing Oculus' work with the Khronos Group on developing a common set of industry-wide VR standards. Read more about the work Oculus is doing in VR today.
Qualcomm is preparing to launch a head-mounted display accelerator program which will give companies building VR headset access to part of Qualcomm’s supply chain partners alongside efforts related to product marketing. Qualcomm has also announced that they will be updating their development kit to highlight development focusing on the 835. The new dev kit will feature free motion 6DOF inside-out tracking based on a pair of cameras, and will also highlight new eye-tracking technologies that will lessen compute loads on the system. Qualcomm is one of the growing list of companies contributing to the Khronos Group Virtual Reality Standard Initiative.
The Khronos Group recently launched an initiative to standardise the way VR applications access the many available hardware platforms that have arrived on the scene over the last couple of years. On its website Khronos identifies industry demand as driving the initiative and judging by the number of companies that have added their names to the announcement and the industry leaders who have supplied quotes, that is no exaggeration.
Basemark has launched the VRTrek Library, enables the VR industry to analyze and provide a better user experience for end users. VRTrek Library is aimed for VR HMD vendors and software developers to measure the latency of an HMD when running various applications. Latency is one of the biggest challenges in the Virtual Reality (VR) industry. While wearing a VR Head Mounted Display (HMD), people notice even the smallest of delays between what’s displayed at the screen and what the brain expects.
Web3D 2017 will be held in Brisbane Australia June 5-7 at Queensland University of Technology. The Call for submissions is now open with a dead line set for February 13th. With WebGL now widely supported by default in modern browsers, tools such as X3D, X3DOM, Cobweb, three.js, glTF, and A-Frame VR are allowing nearly anyone to create Web3D content. Submissions being accepted now for Papers, Posters, Workshops, Tutorials and the Art Gallery.
Radeon Pro Software Crimson ReLive Edition includes open-source tools that redefine visual and audio quality. Radeon Loom software overcomes formidable technology challenges with the processing-intensive video stitching process that is vital to creating cinematic 360-degree video experiences in VR. Built upon the Khronos OpenVX computer vision framework as implemented by AMD, the professional-grade Radeon Loom software stitches output from up to 24 cameras live in real-time and up to 31 cameras offline.