Boise Tech Startup IonVR Partners with Intel

via IonVR news release

Today Ion Virtual Technology Corporation (IonVR) and Intel Corporation revealed joint work that is pushing the technological boundaries to deliver the first untethered six degrees of freedom, hand-virtualization enabled VR experience on a mobile device – a groundbreaking immersive VR experience where people literally walk through three-dimensional space, untethered from a computer or console, to experience VR content on the Intel® RealSense™ Smartphone Developer Kit.

The untethered six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) mobile VR experience is made possible by bringing together the power of the Intel® RealSense™ Smartphone Developer Kit, featuring the new Intel® RealSense™ ZR300 camera, Google Project Tango, and the IonVR VR headset with MotionSync Technology. IonVR’s MotionSync nearly eliminates VR-related nausea. IonVR’s headset was built as a modular design – one of the key pieces in being named a CES Innovation Award Honoree – and can support a variety of mobile operating systems – Android to iOS (Intel® RealSense™ Smartphone Developer Kit runs on Android). The IonVR headset demoed at the Intel booth has a custom support case that can be exchanged for the smartphone latch that will come with the initial headsets released early this year.

“IonVR and Intel have built a truly immersive mobile virtual reality experience. The untethered 6DOF, virtualization of real-world objects as 3D point clouds, and virtual hands interaction, are made possible through the Intel RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit. The device leverages an integrated Intel RealSense ZR300 camera for depth sensing, as well as position and feature tracking, among other capabilities. Add the MotionSync technology built into IonVR’s headset, and the culmination is a rich and captivating virtual reality experience,” said Paul Zhao, Product Marketing Manager of Intel Perceptual Computing.

“The 6DOF mobile VR experience wasn’t expected for another couple of years. The fact people can experience it today points to the exceptional people and technologies that have come together in IonVR’s partnership with Intel,” said Brooke Linville, CEO of IonVR. “Together Intel and IonVR are breaking down technology barriers and innovating at a phenomenal pace.”

How Does It Work?

Until today, when most people used a VR headset with their smartphone, they are limited to the head tracking capabilities of most devices, a three-degree experience that allows them to look around, up, down, backwards, forwards. Some systems integrate use of controllers for navigation in the VR scene, like what they would with first-person gaming experience.

Today’s announcement highlights the importance of six degrees of freedom within the virtual environment. Augmenting the experience are new hand-virtualization and hand-interaction capabilities made possible through the integrated Intel®RealSense™ ZR300 camera within the Intel® RealSense™ Smartphone Developer Kit. This breakthrough was unlocked by the combination of the technologies involved:

The Intel® RealSense™ Smartphone Developer Kit features the new Intel® RealSense™ ZR300 camera, which leverages stereoscopic depth-sensing technology, inertial measurement unit, and a wide-angle feature-tracking lens to capture real-world objects and the environment in 3D.
Virtualization: real-world objects, including users’ hands, are ported into the virtual scene as 3D point clouds; the virtual hands can even interact with virtual objects
The innovative IonVR VR headset with its MotionSync technology that nearly eliminates motion blur within the VR experience, allowing for the highest quality, immersive VR experience.

Now that people can experience untethered 6DOF by literally walking through an area, how do they keep from running into walls and things? IonVR worked with Intel to allow users wearing the headset to virtualize real-world objects. The Intel® RealSense™ ZR300 camera inside the Intel® RealSense™ Smartphone Developer Kit uses depth-sensing capability to detect and port real-world objects as 3D point clouds into the virtual scene. Not only does this mean that users can avoid obstacles that distract from the VR experience, but it also opens up entirely new ways to augment the VR experience by integrating external objects as part of the overall interaction.

“The IonVR work with Intel has been remarkable. The innovation put forward by these two teams allowed this platform for mobile 6DOF and hand controls to become a reality,” said Linville. “It is a testament to the IonVR team’s hard work and expertise that have created a mobile VR experience that is second to none.”

CES IonVR Intel

At CES, attendees can try the IonVR VR Headset with Intel RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit by visiting the Intel booth #7252 in Central Hall South, C2 Lobby entrance, at the Las Vegas Convention Center to have their first untethered 6DOF mobile VR experience with hand virtualization and interaction.

Also, visit the IonVR booth 81533 in the Eureka Park pavilion at The Sands to experience IonVR VR headset with a variety of smartphones and VR content including exclusive content from IonVR partner, The Virtual Reality Company.

About IonVR

IonVR's virtual reality headset delivers the highest quality VR experience on a mobile device. IonVR’s innovative headset technology reduces motion blur to virtually eliminate VR sickness allowing people to have a more accessible and enjoyable VR experience. The IonVR solution is one of the first great mobile VR headsets thanks to the convergence of IonVR’s innovative technology, the power of today’s smartphones, and the capabilities of the human brain. IonVR is delivering on the promise of VR and making it possible for everyone to experience it today.