A GEARVR NEWS SUMMARY
Vulkan is a new API for graphics that works across multiple platforms and has been designed from the ground up to take advantage of every last trick in modern hardware to boost graphics like never before. The reason we are talking about it is because GearVR is being renovated to make use Vulkan going forward instead of the older API’s that don’t know a mobile phone’s flaws, and especially their strengths, as well as Vulkan does.
The 2016 Samsung Developers Conference is well underway and nearly over now, so many important VR silver-laden well streams are trickling out of the tech-world pipes into the Public Sphere. Thus, in order to keep you from having to wade through a 45-minute dry and boring Vulkan seminar in English spoken slowly in a Korean accent, I’ve decided to break down the gist of it all here and now for you. This will take you only 7 minutes to get to what the core tenements of the seminar (about what Samsung’s research into this wondrous API) have revealed. And believe me, the results are stunningly cool!
NOTE!: Vulkan can give 2x the FPS with some scenes. And 5 times less CPU load when offloading to GPU. Samsung was quick to remind us that it says “some” scenes, not “all.”
NOTE!: Vulkan reduces heat dissipation in VR games and apps through efficient coding. This is key since most GearVR products are quick to overheat under just about any situation. Overheating is one of the biggest gripes of GearVR’s early adopters.
NOTE!: Samsung was keen to point out to get the most out of Vulkan, the developers who use it must learn ALL of its eccentricities and adapt themselves to Vulkan and not try to make Vulkan work toward their archaic or outdated modalities haha (I’ve summarized this point, this is not in their exact words, it’s the gist of their kinder words). Vulkan API is the future. It can do amazing things, but the people coding for it have to be willing to make the changes in themselves in order to successfully bring out its awesome capabilities.
NOTE!: Vulkan can do way more things than any other API and save battery life while doing it (with up to 1 hour of extra play time!). But it takes a lot of self determination, hard work, and drive because the effort Vulkan requires is monumental compared to the current API’s.
Vulkan is twice as fast at rendering graphics as other API’s in most cases, produces way less heat during gameplay, less strain on whatever CPU it is using, and offloads most heavy duties to the GPU leaving the CPU free to help in other ways. The better the GPU in question, the further Vulkan can take the benefits of its technology, which may explain why Samsung is producing a new GearVR device in 2-3 years that does not rely on its mobile phones (see that news here!).
Due to this, one can assume Samsung will be working with AMD or nVidia to use a GPU for the device that works well with Vulkan, in conjunction with Oculus Home Store‘s content, to produce a killer mobile HMD. For the future of VR.
One wonders if they will even use Android at all, since they won’t be using a phone anymore? By rendering to Vulkan, the hardware could be anything Samsung wants it to be, couldn’t it? And the OS could literally be anything Oculus wants it to be too, as long as it runs Vulkan fast, and produces a high-quality display output that far exceeds what the initial GearVR could do. Because now that VR is nearing her adult years, there are many suitors waiting to adorn her. But in her current state, she still isn’t … quite ready for ceremony.
Vulkan, plus an all-new HMD built from the ground up by Samsung, and Facebook’s software genius (coupled with John Carmack’s quality-assurance perfectionist mentality) are the ingredients which ensure that Samsung and Facebook remain united in their frontal assault to retain full control … in this incredible VR race to the top!