18 Mar 2017

Virtual reality set to get more real

From This Way Up, 12:40 pm on 18 March 2017

A team of computer scientists at Victoria University think they may be a step closer to making virtual reality more real. Think VR without the somewhat jerky graphics and the prospect of motion sickness...

This Way Up gets a demo.

Underwater Ocean crop 2

Underwater Ocean crop 2 Photo: Supplied

Taehyun Rhee and his team from the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University will present the new technology at a big VR conference in the US, as well as at a workshop at Te Papa this weekend.

The scientists think the solution is to deliver a frame rate of 90 frames per second to each eye - so 180 frames per second in total. It's a huge amount of data, but the researchers have developed an algorithm that can strip out information from images that we can't actually perceive. 

It's a similar idea to the way MP3 sound files work, and the reason why an MP3 is so much smaller in size than, say, a track from a CD. So by reducing the data required the researchers think they can speed up the frame rate for VR.