YouVue Launches New Platform for Viewing and Sharing Immersive 3D Content Anywhere
The startup YouVue is coming out of the stealth mode and wants to make very high-quality 3D models accessible anywhere and on any device regardless of whether it’s a tablet, smartphone or virtual reality headsets.
YouVue is launching a 3D sharing platform that will stream immersive viewing experience on any device and anywhere. This is a first-of-a-kind platform. The company will offer photorealistic 3D streaming experiences of any format on standard devices.
The YouVue streams will offer users streaming experiences that are lifelike and photorealistic from any 3D media source, including over limited bandwidth. The content will be accessible even on the everyday mobile services.
There are currently 3D models of up to 17 gigabytes in size such as the CAD car models that will be streamed smoothly on smartphones in full polygon count. The computing power that will be required for this heavy-duty streaming will come from YouVue’s own cloud infrastructure.
Currently, all 3D streaming offerings have been housed in closed ecosystems. YouVue wants to unlock the potential of both augmented reality and virtual reality by making 3D media freely accessible and available to everyone irrespective of the kind of device they are using. Even a smartphone will suffice. This is one of the best efforts so far to democratize 3D content.
Immersive content is currently seeing tremendous growth. So far, however, this kind of content has only been available in certain venues or in high-end viewing devices that most users can’t necessarily afford.
The fast pace of innovation in 3D will pose technical challenges in delivering top quality 3D experiences to the mainstream users. YouVue’s groundbreaking platform aims to bridge that gap and overcome the technical hurdles of 3D content delivery.
Other streaming solutions currently rely on compression to try and render better quality imagery over networks to end users. YouVue utilizes a new streaming approach known as foveated streaming. According to YouVue, its foveated streaming technology entails a streaming process that will only transfer the surfaces that can be seen in their respective perspective.
Some of the potential use-case scenarios for YouVue’s 3D offering include areas such as design, mechanical engineering, entertainment, education, healthcare, architecture, entertainment and retail, especially when it comes to product visualizations. According to YouVue founder and CEO Joe Mikhail, this technology will literally bring the store to the customer in retail deployments.
YouVue’s 3D streaming should work across all the commercially available devices in the market currently including Android, Windows, Microsoft HoloLens, MacOS, iOS, HTC Vive as well as Oculus devices.
Mikhail has stated that YouVue’s platform will enable the viewing of immersive applications that don’t take up too much computing and memory. This will ensure that the platform does not compromise on the quality when rendering 3D content. YouVue’s platform takes high-quality content, puts it on the cloud and then streams it to any device. YouVue bridges the gap in content delivery by bringing experiences that would otherwise not be possible on the lightweight device such as smartphones. The platform will essentially render millions of polygons on devices which would typically handle just a “couple of hundreds of polygons” according to Mikhail.
YouVue says its platform has a spatial awareness of what the user is looking at and is therefore able to deliver only what’s relevant to the user at a given point and from that particular vantage position. The platform is therefore able to deliver high quality content as long as it is responsive enough such that as the user moves, the platform stays ahead of them to deliver the foveated streaming. The platform is therefore low latency. Foveated streaming is not like foveated rendering in the virtual reality headsets where a VR scene is rendered efficiently by animating only the parts of the scene where the user is directly looking at while blurring out the periphery.
Foveated streaming utilizes the same principle but the practice is radically different. While foveated rendering optimizes the compute and power consumption on a device, YouVue’s pulls the content and puts it in the cloud thereby driving more horsepower to the device.
With YouVue’s platform, it is possible to efficiently render a 7-gigabyte 3D model in the cloud and then stream this to pretty much any viewing device. However, the streaming will not consume a lot of power. It will only take a few hundreds of megabytes in memory without the requirement for GPU-level computing power on the device.
YouVue boss Mikhail states that the platform will offer users instant viewing. It will perform various functions such as switching from one 3D model to another one in a matter of seconds.
The platform hasn’t gone live yet so there is not much to see on the website yet. However, YouVue launched a working prototype today which it targets to run on Windows, Android, HoloLens, iOS, HTC Vive, MacOS and Oculus.
According to Mikhail, the platform is a service rather than a technology from a market perspective with benefits that will cut across multiple industries. However, its best prospects is in retail where it could be used for product visualizations. This is an area that has already seen some good traction with many brands having developed consumer-facing 3D content and are keen to reach the mainstream audience.
The startup’s shareholders include Airbus, Greg Wyler, SoftBank, Bill Gates as well as the Invention Science Fund (ISF) at the Intellectual Ventures. The company employs 15 people and has a seed capital of $15 million.
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