360 and VR on you Mobile – When 5G comes along
We’re just back from Develop:Brighton and while the conference focuses mostly on the Games Development industry it’s also a great place for finding out more on other cutting edge technologies that are in related fields. With 360 and VR we have a service that has been around for a while but has taken a giant leap forward now that consumer electronics are capable of empowering regular users to create content in the format.
With the advent of 360 on your mobile via Google Daydream (previous version cardboard) and Samsungs Galaxy Gear (Occulus on your mobile) the possibilities are massibe however if you’ve used the Gear with a lower end S6 or even S7 you’ll be aware that it’s great in small bursts but doesn’t have the capabilities that a device connected with a dedicated PC or console would have. The next big thing for these devices is Mobile 5G which will allow the delivery of cloud rendered video and 3D generated content to the device in near real time (initial reports are that the duration between user moving and device rendering will be low enough as to not be noticeable). When this happens there will be no more of a burden on the device than playing a HD youTube video, meaning that the next VR experience games could come straight to mobile handsets with no need for a console or PC at all, and allowing you much more freedom of movement.
Tie into that your connected wearables (for example the Apple Watch which could be on gen 5 or 6 by then or the Galaxy Gear Watch) and suddenly you’ve a 3D environment with a controller already on your hand, no extra gadgets, cables or weird motion capture devices.
As content creators it will be our job to meet the added availability by having the cloud resources and technology to render on the fly those experiences and put them in users handsets, but given that games companies have been building 3D experiences for a couple of generations this part of the puzzle is more a case of the companies waiting for technology to catch up than new technology being needed (Don’t get me wrong there’ll be a tonne of work in optimisation, smart rendering and focus priority but that’s the ‘boring’ stuff)
As with most breakthrough consumer trends this has led to a spurt of content creation and technology improvements. While this has been great and allows companies like ours to grow our offering by integrating 360 photos and videos into products (360 Real Estate) we are now looking to see where the market is going to be better placed to get their first. 5G adaption in Europe appears slightly behind the US which will hamper the rollout of content but here’s hoping that things speed up sooner rather than later to facilitate more opportunities in the field.
We won’t even go into AR and the potential here but we will leave you with a sneak peek at something we’ve been cooking in the office for no other reason than MJ deserves some time in the sun.