Virtual worlds are infinite, but your living room is not.
Today, the size of physical space limits VR users’ ability to move in boundless virtual space. And VR isn’t particularly immersive if you trip over the couch.
The NVIDIA Research team is collaborating with Adobe and Stony Brook University to solve the problem, and they’re looking to your eyes for the answer. The team described its solution during a talk at the GPU Technology Conference this week.
Involuntary movements of the eyes temporarily blind you a few times per second. You don’t notice the movements, known as saccades, because they last only tens of milliseconds.
In Your Blind Spot
The researchers’ GPU-accelerated technique, called saccadic redirected walking, works when you’re not looking.
During those few milliseconds, it rotates the scene ever so slightly. That imperceptibly guides users on a physical path that differs from the path they perceive in the virtual world. And this helps them avoid bumping into other players or hitting obstacles like the living room wall.
The team used our Quadro GPUs to power its solution, which is on display in the VR Village this week at GTC. You maneuver in a huge virtual space — an Alice in Wonderland-like chess board with pieces the size of people — all within the confines of the 15×15 -foot square booth.
The 200-person strong NVIDIA Research team — spread across 11 worldwide locations — is focused on pushing the boundaries of technology in machine learning, computer vision, self-driving cars, robotics, graphics, computer architecture, programming systems, and other areas.