Leading Chinese VR Developer Deepoon Made Big Scene Multi-player Mobile VR Interaction Real

Not long after China Joy (China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference ) ended, Deepoon VR announced that it signed a strategic cooperative agreement with another Chinese VR developer G-wearables to achieve a win-win situation based on joint effort and through cooperation of software, hardware and content.

The sense of immersion in VR games not only has visual requirements but also offers behavioral liberation to players. Space positioning technology is crucial in VR gaming. It prevents players from developing a spinning sensation because of asynchronous images when they move in the VR world.

The latest investigation data from the online PC gaming platform Steam indicates that HTC Vive users have occupied 0.15% of all users on Steam, while the occupancy of users of Oculus Rift is only 0.06%. Perhaps most VR developers have the 2 billion U.S. dollar deal from two years ago between Facebook and Oculus to thank, but regretfully, Oculus Rift has not gained as many users as it expected. HTC Vive leads in product experience and it is fair to say that it attributes great interaction gaming experience to the Lighthouse space positioning system. Meanwhile, how to actualize the mobile VR space positioning technology truly haunts all these mobile VR headset manufacturers.

John Carmack, CTO of Oculus, indicated this February that he himself was studying space positioning technology for Gear VR. The Unpacked launch event of Samsung in early morning of August 3rd introduced its new cellphone model Galaxy Note 7 and the new version of Gear VR. Sadly, there is still no news about Gear VR’s mobile space positioning system. Who could imagine that this problem is solved recently in China!

The Mobile Space Positioning Technology that Gear VR “Could not Handle”

The reason why Gear VR could not solve in developing mobile space positioning technology is that mobile phones are limited by their high power consumption and the sensors. Google already brought this up on this year’s Google I/O when it launched its Daydream VR platform, expecting all cellphones that support Daydream should meet certain standards on their sensors, performance and screens. Industry sources say that a mobile VR integrated device is preferred, because no matter which aspect is concerned, heat radiation, power consumption or sensors, it has a freer space for hardware configuration. Deepoon VR launched a co-developed mobile VR space positioning system with G-Wearable at the Connect Eco-strategy Conference this May. The said product combination will soon be released to the market.

A VR offline experience store owner mentioned that it was important for offline experience store to save time that was spent on equipment adjusting and on helping the customer to put on and take off the headset. The VR headset offered good experience from a personal computer, but it took too much time adjusting the equipment, he added, “The store assistant usually took about 10 minutes to adjust the headset for the customer, which was a time waster and also ended in customers becoming impatient”. This March Deepoon VR took the lead in launching a VR integrated model for mass-production, which has deeply stimulated the market on the business end. According to the official data, till mid-May, there has been more than 20 thousand orders on this model, from both domestic and oversea market.

The integrated VR model is a highly integrated independent model, with its separate screen display system, processing unit, power system, interaction system and sensor system. The independent VR device has manifested its advantages in the big scene mobile positioning system. It doesn’t need a matching cellphone like Samsung Gear VR, which is proved to be limited by the cellphone’s performance and power consumption, nor does it need to connect to a PC, like HTC vive or Oculus Rift. Even though G-Wearable launched Step VR, a backpack model, it is still too much “burden” to customers. Some may mention the split model which was a fleeting show whose attached game handle was widely criticized. Instead of trading one defect for another, what customers truly want is a VR device more and more simplified and condensed with all functions.

A VR section chief of an educational business in Beijing said that the cost was the main issue companies would consider and for a big scene multi-player interaction experience, it was too much to use HTC Vive, whose cost for an individual player alone was already more than 10 thousand RMB. Even if the Integrated VR model was slightly less satisfying in customer experience than a PC end VR headset, its cost was reduced by several times and it was able to meet most customers’ needs.

Laser +INS – the Key to Multi-player Interaction

The said mobile big scene positioning technology that G-Wearable has adapted to Deepoon integrated VR model is based on laser positioning technology. The highly steady laser transmitting base station actualized indoor positioning of unlimited scene and of unlimited players. As the sole application of laser technology brought up a huge problem that it is easy to lose track when one player blocks another’s light source when multiple players are involved. Dr. Guo Cheng, founder of G-Wearable introduces, the said mobile VR positioning system is a hybrid system, which uses laser to get an absolute fix, and also has inertial navigation to help with a relative localization, thus allows a precise localization even when the laser light source is blocked during a multiple player interaction.

The media people of VR business analyzed that currently the mobile VR space positioning technology was only available in Business end market, because the need for vast room and the huge cost was too much for individual customers. Zhang Li, CSO of Deepoon VR indicated that with the main purpose of the said system was to help meet the VR related needs of offline experience stores and other businesses, the system was more suitable for business customers for now.

Where lies the limit of room and space?

Multiple laser transmitting stations need to be set up when the positioning system is applied. The system locates the target through active luminescence of these stations. Each station contains two completely orthogonal ultra-high precision motors, which have a sync deviation no more than 0.02 degrees and drive the 830 nanometer of laser to scan the targeted space. The frame rate of data update is as high as 240 Hz. All the above has enabled a precise localization. All a tester needs is an integrated VR model to move freely inside the targeted space and each point will be positioned automatically with a deviation within 1mm. Industry insiders say that Deepoon VR’s mobile VR space positioning system has solved the conundrum of the impossibility of expanding that the traditional laser positioning technology was facing.

What is the theory behind mobile space positioning?

Specifically, the said positioning technology localizes a moving subject by laser and light sensors. First of all, multiple laser transmitting stations are set up in the targeted space. The number of laser stations depends on the size of targeted space and the specific localizing needs. There are two scanning modules designed in the laser station, one vertical, the other horizontal, scanning and localizing by transmitting laser into the targeted space from both directions in term. Multiple light sensors are attached to the subject. The system starts timing when the laser starts to scan and there will be a time lapse when light sensors get the laser. From both directions, we will get two time lapses, based on which we will get the angles between each sensor and its starting position on both directions. Furtherly, we can confirm the line which connects each light sensor and the related laser transmitter. Finally we can calculate the position of each sensor based on its geometrical relation with other sensors.

What is the value of mobile VR space positioning technology?

Guo Cheng, CEO of G-wearables indicated that mobile VR space positioning technology had great applied value in entertainment, tourism and education. The big space and high precision indoor positioning technology was capable of supporting multiple players in the same room in which users could see each other, could collaborate on their tasks and exchange their props. Thus an interaction happened in virtual reality among people and things. Gaming was still the main area VR was applied so far. Developers could develop VR games for multiple players interacting in the same room using the back-end development tools of this system. Then why should we say this system applied only in business end of market? Gaming application considered, multi-player interacting in the same room fit the offline experience of the gaming business. The popularity of competitive games explained such a trend. With this technology filling in the blank, it would have enormous impact on offline VR experience market.

Just as an oversea VR game developer said, as long as the hardware technology allowed, VR technology should soon have richer contents! The mobile VR space positioning technology developed by G-Wearable and Deepoon VR has completely changed the way how VR players could only play from a fixed position and has created unlimited room for the future development of big space multi-player mobile VR gaming.