IonVR Partners With Intel to Create Untethered 6-Degrees-Of-Freedom VR Experience on Mobile

IonVR Partners With Intel to Create Untethered 6-Degrees-Of-Freedom VR Experience on Mobile

CES 2016 is proving to be the battleground for technologies of the future, as more and more companies look to draw attention to their products and developments. A lot of these new products have the potential to shape the future of how we interact with our environment and the things around us, whether it be smart homes, smart appliances, self driving cars, or even advanced virtual reality.

One such company, IonVR, has caught our attention again. In the past, we talked about how the company’s VR headset eliminates a complaint that is often associated with VR: motion sickness induced by virtual reality experiences. There’s also the fact that XDA’s Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire is part of the software development for the company, and thus it is natural that we expect big things to come out of this venture.

Today, the IonVR has given us more reason to be excited about the future, with its announcement of collaboration with Intel to push past the limitations associated with an untethered Virtual Reality headset. The collaborative work has resulted in a product that is the first untethered Virtual Reality headset that offers what is being dubbed as the “Six Degrees of Freedom” experience on a mobile device. This experience promises an environment where people can walk through three-dimensional space to experience VR content, without being tethered to a computer or a console.

This is possible thanks to Intel’s RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit, which packs in Intel’s new RealSense ZR300 camera. Combined with other VR technologies like Google’s Project Tango and IonVR’s VR headset with MotionSync Technology, the headset offers a truly immersive mobile-based virtual reality experience which can sense depth, features and position of all nearby objects.  Some more features of the headset include a modular design, along with support for both Android and iOS (albeit Intel’s RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit runs on Android).

So how is this any different from the likes of say, Google Cardboard or Oculus Rift, denoting two opposite ends of the VR spectrum?

Unlike Google Cardboard, IonVR’s VR Headset offers a much more immersive experience than what you expect from the likes of an untethered VR headset. You as a user are not limited to a three-degree visual experience, where interaction is restricted to simply looking around and maybe moving using external controllers for navigation.

And unlike Oculus Rift, this headset works untethered. This removes the constraints of wires, allowing a much wider scope of interaction and movement.

So, how does this work?

  • Intel’s RealSense ZR300 camera is used for its stereoscopic depth-sensing technology, inertial measurement and wide angle feature-tracking lens to capture the real world and all objects within.
  • These objects are then virtualized by being ported as 3D point clouds. Objects include the user’s hands, thereby enabling a convenient and natural means of interaction with objects in the virtual space.
  • IonVR’s VR Headset with its MotionSync technology is employed to deliver a high-quality VR experience with minimal motion blur.

Depth sensing and object virtualization opens up a different angle to untethered VR platforms. The newfound freedom of movement can be both, an advantage and a nuisance. Afterall, the real world still is real, and there are no boundaries anymore to aid the user in identifying and distinguishing real world objects to avoid unwanted interaction (read: bumping into walls). This is where IonVR’s and Intel’s partnership came to fruition as the headset and the accompanying technology attempt to port real world objects into the virtual scene. This means that users have means to avoid obstacles that can hinder their VR experience, along with possibilities of augmenting the overall experience by integrating these real world objects into the virtual scene as points of interaction.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, if you are attending CES 2016, you can try IonVR for yourself. The IonVR Headset with Intel’s RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit is available for demo in Intel’s booth #7252 in Central Hall South, C2 Lobby entrance. Head on over to have your first mobile VR experience with “Six Degrees of Freedom” and hand virtualization and interaction. There is also IonVR’s booth #81533 in Eureka Park Pavilion at The Sands, where you can try the IonVR headset with a variety of smartphones and try out exclusive VR content from Steven Spielberg’s The Virtual Reality. Also check out the IonVR Website and our XDA sub-forums!

What are your thoughts on IonVR? Would you like to try an untethered VR headset which matches the experience of tethered headsets? Let us know in the comments below!

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

I am a tech journalist with XDA since 2015, while being a qualified business-litigation lawyer with experience in the field. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected]