Updated, 1/24/2018, 12:40pm PT: HTC provided a revised quote for the story.
Just over a year ago, Visbit revealed the Visbit View-Optimized Steaming (VVOS) technology, which leverages foveated rendering techniques to enable “near zero-latency” streaming of 360-degree content at 4K and higher resolution. In March 2017, the company upped the ante and demonstrated that VVOS technology is capable of streaming latency-free 12K VR video over a standard WiFi connection. And in April, Visbit launched an open beta to help refine the VVOS technology and prepare it for prime time.
Today, Visbit’s technology is ready for the masses, and the company rolled out an application on the Viveport platform for HTC’s standalone Vive Focus VR HMD.
“We know immersive video is a very important content type on mobile-based VR platforms,” said Alvin Wang Graylin, HTC China President of VR. "Designed with 3K resolution and 75Hz refresh rate AMOLED screen, the Vive Focus standalone enables viewing of 8K resolution and is the perfect HMD for experiencing high-resolution VR videos. The Visbit 8K VR Player enables premium quality VR videos be played on VIVE FOCUS. We are glad to partner with Visbit to bring VIVE FOCUS users a significantly upgraded VR video experience.”
Visbit’s 8K VR Player supports stereoscopic 360-degree video at up to 8K resolution with spatial audio. Visbit said that the video player can access streaming content over an active internet connection, or you can download videos in advance and play the content locally from the headset. The local playback feature, combined with the untethered Vive Focus headset, create a perfect platform for content creators to offer private demonstrations of their work.
“The VR video experience to date suffered from poor resolution and unsmooth playing problems. This situation hasn’t been improved much, even after 4K has become more commonly supported,” said Elaine Lu, Visbit co-founder, and COO. “Meanwhile, content creators who have been creating 8K premium quality 360 VR videos couldn’t make their content stand out because nobody was able to see the difference between 4K and 8K VR videos. So, we applied our unique VVOS technology to develop this player and enable playing of 8K VR videos with or without streaming.”
The Visbit 8K VR Player is available now on the Viveport Vive Focus store, and for a limited time, the software is free. The Vive Focus headset is available only in China, but Visbit said that the Visbit 8K VR Player would “gradually support other standalone and mobile VR headsets,” so we expect to see it available in North America sooner than later.
The Visbit 8K VR Player supports stereoscopic video playback at up to 8K resolution, but as you can imagine, there isn’t a lot of 8K VR content available. Visbit is calling upon content creators who have 6K and higher content to share, and it’s willing to host the videos for free. For more information, contact Visbit about a partnership opportunity. Visbit is also interested in working with “IP owners, production studios, and camera makers” to improve VR video quality.