A GEARVR NEWS BULLETIN
Microsoft is working on something amazing that it’s calling “Flashback” and it’s designed to greatly improve mobile VR. Yes, that’s right, it should work with GearVR, and any other Android device like Daydream and many others. Microsoft’s goal is to make VR possible on not just the flagship smartphones with the power to do great things, but also make VR possible on almost any Android phone there is.
HOW IT WORKS:
This new VR tech works by pre-caching fully-rendered scenes before they are needed. Imagine you are loading into a game inside a village. Before the game begins, Flashback loads the game in question and takes a little while (the first time only) to jump through the levels of your game grabbing every location you will be able to move to and pre-caching it onto your removable storage device. It won’t gobble up too much memory as they say an 8MB textured Flashback scene can be compressed to 100K. And it will load and operate fast enough to let you move through your world without seeing any pauses or load-in times.
Now when loading up your game with Flashback installed, it defers its graphics-rendering pipeline to Flashback for a majority of the work. So instead of loading the assets and the textures into memory, which are infinitely slower, it only has to load a Flashback block for that location and any real-time characters or animated assets and render them over-top of the backgrounds.
Then finally the image is pre-warped for the lenses and sent to the display. It’s all being worked out so that everything interacts with each other as normal, only the differences between Flashback and non-FB will be quite mind blowing:
- Eight times better framerates (8 x FPS!)
- 100 times less energy consumption!
- 15 times lower latency!
WHAT THIS MEANS:
This means more consistent frame rates achievable on almost any device. This means almost no overheating as a system which is 100 times more efficient needn’t heat up at all. This means vastly improved battery life during VR gaming. And this means less motion sickness, since the latency will stabilize the world and make it more locked on to your body movements.
Microsoft claims that Flashback will allow for mobile VR gaming which will be equal to your PC workstation in graphic fidelity and smoothness. Can you imagine the many many game developers who would now be able to port games or experiences to GearVR, such as the incredible Senza Peso, that will run as good, if not better, than their PC counterparts? Imagine how fast the GearVR Library could grow if it had access to every VR game out there right now, ones that used to only be available for the PC version of Oculus Rift! This calls for a “wow!” Just ... wow.
This literally a game changer for the industry, because it means no one would HAVE TO buy the expensive Oculus Rift or Vive machines and upgrade their GPU and their PC’s unless they have the spare cash lying around and are eager to do so. Flashback testers are thrilled to report that the graphic fidelity on mobile devices with Flashback meet or even exceeds that which is being rendered on the Oculus Rift or Viv! But this is being done on mobile phones. The technology is absolutely mind blowing. This shows how tech geniuses in the world are seriously putting their brains to work in order to tackle the tough problems with actual solutions that can do what is needed sooner … rather than later.
Sadly, this tech is not completed yet, however; it still has a year to go before it can do everything that needs to be done to make this work. There’s still a lot of coding left, they say, but the theory has already been proven and you can see a demonstration with the video Microsoft just put out a yesterday at the time of the writing of this article by clicking the link below….
IMAGINE THIS: Flashback + Samsung’s 12K screen by 2019 + motion controllers + nVidia’s new one-pass-stereo-camera VR tech (if retro-engineered for Android), all combined and we could be looking at an entirely new level of VR by 2020 that our minds can’t even conceive of being possible! We aren’t being lifted up by small iterations here any more, folks. We are becoming like Supermen, scaling entire buildings (entire VR generations) in single bounds. Woe to the naysayers who doubt everything, think small, and simply can’t conceive of just how blazingly fast VR’s adulthood seems to be approaching!