Jaunt Inc, a cinematic virtual reality (VR) company, has gone one step ahead to offer viewers an enhanced VR experience.
The company recently announced several enhancements to its 360 visual content. According to a recent press release in Business Wire, Jaunt is previewing its patent-pending product, Compass, a data-driven automatic navigation for viewing VR content in a web browser. Compass leverages the aggregate of positional data available from VR headset viewing to bring web viewers an auto guided experience based on established points of interest.
According to Deloitte Global prediction, virtual reality will have its first billion dollar year in 2016, with about $700 million in hardware sales, and the remainder from content. VR is likely to have multiple applications, both consumer and enterprise, in the longer term, but in 2016 we expect the vast majority of commercial activity to focus on video games. We estimate sales of about 2.5 million VR headsets and 10 million game copies sold, the report stated.
Prior to Compass, web viewers were required to manually pan right, left, up, and down using the computer’s mouse or keyboard in order to see action taking place in all directions. With the Compass technology, viewers will instantly be guided through the experience based on data and insights on how and where the community of VR viewers engage with content in a VR headset. As the points of interest change throughout a VR experience, Compass instantly takes viewers there, resulting in a more natural and immersive experience.
Jaunt is previewing its Compass technology today on several popular VR experiences and rolling it out more broadly over the coming weeks.
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“Viewing videos on the Web is normally a lean-back experience – you press play and watch. When you force someone to manually interact with a video, that’s a bit unusual and can feel intrusive,” said Andrew Walkingshaw, principal software engineer at Jaunt. “With Compass, we’re giving our users a more relaxed experience, whether they choose to let Compass guide them through the whole experience, opt to pan back and forth between various areas of interest highlighted for them, or take control themselves – even there, the areas of interest Compass highlights reassures viewers they’re not missing out on anything.”
Jaunt has also enabled spatial audio for its web player. Using Google’s first-of-its-kind open source Omnitone library, Jaunt videos with ambisonic audio tracks are binaurally rendered directly on the Chrome browser. The resulting sound is positioned according to the point of view and controlled by the user.
“Audio is one of the most essential elements in the VR experience,” said Adam Somers, engineering manager at Jaunt. “Spatial audio provides users with a deeper and ultimately more authentic VR experience. We’re excited to roll out spatial audio to our web player giving users the most immersive experience possible.”
In addition to providing a superior viewing experience for consumers, Jaunt is continuously improving the data, insights and end-to-end publishing platform available to its directors and creators, continuously raising the bar for high-quality VR content. Earlier this fall, Jaunt unveiled heat maps, which share insight on where viewers are engaging with content over time. The Compass product is taking this heat map technology one step further by leveraging the collected insights and putting them to use for content across all platforms. This continued innovation further establishes Jaunt as the leading hardware and software solution to produce and distribute the highest quality immersive cinematic VR experiences.
To experience Compass and Omnitone spatial audio capabilities on the Google Chrome browser now, visit Jaunt VR. The Jaunt VR App, including all content released to date, is available on iOS, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and desktop browsers.
Jaunt’s investors include The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners, China Media Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat.1 SE, The Madison Square Garden Company, Peter Gotcher, Blake Krikorian, and Sky.
[Featured Image by Fotolia]