Virtual reality is a hot topic in technology today and it seems like it is only just the beginning. Up until very recently the content that was generated for virtual environments was entirely digital, created through computer programs for the purpose of gaming or training / simulation. The dawn of spherical camera devices such as the Bublcam has created new opportunities for virtual reality content creation. This has propelled the development of affordable virtual reality head-mounted devices to visualize real world spherical and 360-degree content.
Virtual reality is typically described as an immersive, visual, 3D environment. The truth is – what makes the experience 3D has nothing to do with the head-mounted device you are using to view the content, it is all based on the content you are visualizing itself. While through computer programming we are able to create 3D environments, real world content that is captured in 360-degrees or in a sphere is almost always, 2D.
At Bubl, we look at it as upstream and downstream-based VR. Downstream VR is what most of the VR world waits for to download. Incredibly visual and complex digital stereoscopic 3D environments, for gaming and storytelling that can take quite a long time to create. Upstream VR is primarily about real world content that is captured utilizing spherical and 360-degree video cameras or camera rigs that capture content and upload it to a device for VR-based consumption.
There are a number of complexities associated with capturing 3D content from the real world, most importantly, capturing all the data required from the environment in order for it to be stereoscopic can be a hugely expensive and time consuming process. In the interest of enablement, real life footage captured in a sphere is projected in a viewer, providing the perception of a virtual environment even though you are simply immersed in a 2D projection.
Another important consideration regarding the evolution of virtual reality today is the head-mounted displays. The Oculus Rift is a display itself, therefore the content has to be fed to the device through a program, application or a web browser. This is different from headsets such as Samsung’s Gear VR, Google Cardboard and others that insert a mobile device to visualize content via a split screen hosted in a mobile application.
At Bubl we see virtual reality as a major component of our business. Spherical content captured with the Bublcam is compatible with any head-mounted device. Our mobile applications enable the split screen format by allowing you to simply toggle between content views such as gyroscope, tactile and VR.
Bublcam Content in Split Screen
We are certain that 2015 will be an amazing year for virtual reality and we are excited to be contributing to the advancement of this industry. We have not made any adjustments to the current production schedule, meaning we anticipate the first shipments of Bublcams for spring of this year. While we understand that this is a less specific timeframe than many of you would want, it is necessary in order to not disappoint with missed deadlines.
Pertaining to the Bublcam’s enabling of virtual reality, you can expect to see the toggle functionality within our mobile applications for content visualization in a head-mounted display when you receive your cams. In addition to this, we will make a Bubl branded head-mounted display to be paired with all mobile devices available for purchase as an accessory by the summer.
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