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NextVR Using Light Field Technology to Add Positional tracking to Live VR Video

The past few weeks have seen a number of announcements from virtual reality (VR) video company NextVR. Having already announced that it was working with the NBA to broadcast basketball games in 360 degrees, the company has also confirmed that it is doing the same with the NHL. Today sees NextVR announce a crucial new addition to its system. The company has revealed that it is to enable Light Field Technology in order to allow for the use of positional tracking in live VR video footage for the first time.

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Light Field Technology captures the direction from which light enters a camera. NextVR will use the technology to build accurate geometric models of scenes, allowing for users viewing content on a VR head-mounted display (HMD) that supports positional tracking to look around as if they were really there. The company notes examples such as leaning around a referee in a sports games so as to not miss any action, or perhaps looking around the singer at a concert to get a view of the drummer.

“This innovation is a required next step toward creating the ‘holodeck’,” Dave Cole, NextVR co-founder, said of the news. “By incorporating dynamically-generated 3D geometry with ultra-high resolution stereoscopic video, we’ve created most the vivid and life-like VR experience currently possible.” The company notes that this content will also be viewable in ‘volumetric display devices’ such as Microsoft’s HoloLens HMD.

Previously positional tracking in VR video has only been made possible by Nozon and its Presenz system for 360 degree CG movies. If NextVR’s technology really does deliver accurate, convincing positional tracking then it could mark a huge leap forward for VR video in general. VRFocus will continue to follow the company’s progress in this area, reporting back with any further updates on it.