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The State of VR March 2017: What’s Still Lacking

It may be 2017 but plenty of things are still missing from the VR landscape. We delve into what not quite right in VR yet and who is working to fix it.

Posted 03/17/2017 on Sound Innovation

Virtual Reality has been the hot topic in tech for a while now. We know that every day there are more and more headsets, more and more spatial audio workstations, and more and more types of VR content being developed. Yet some things are still lacking, and many of these advancements have issues that still need new innovation in order to make VR an everyday reality.

Taylor Shechet is a game sound designer, composer, and implementation engineer working in 3D and VR audio.  Taylor Shechet says of his work, “I’ve worked as sound designer and implementation engineer for a Daydream VR project and I’m currently developing a project for Google VR in collaboration with artist Raven Servellon.” However, he goes on to note some conspicuous lacks in the available VR technology by saying “The software for developing for Daydream right now is quite buggy and a bit primitive. I can’t wait to work with it more when it’s been more fully integrated. ARKAMYS sounds like it would be perfect to help smooth the edges and provide more functionality for Daydream.” Indeed, at CES, GDC, and MWC there was continued focus on video aspects of VR technology and only a few cutting edge options for technology that would enhance 360 audio on VR platforms.

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Ambisonic microphones, as another example, like the Sennheiser Ambeo, are often priced way too high for the average consumer. While research exists to make affordable Ambisonic microphones, they aren’t on the market yet, despite high consumer demand.

Furthermore, some devices are still missing from the VR market entirely. “What’s really missing from the VR market is all-in-one camera/microphone devices.” says ARKAMYS Mobile and VR CTO Frédéric Amadu. He goes on to observe what many CES 2017 highlight stories seem to have missed, “At CES 2017, a lot of companies presented their 360 VR cameras for mass market users. Almost none of them provided spatial audio, even though YouTube and Facebook are able to playback 360 audio.” This absence of all-in-one devices that have 360 audio recording capabilities is one of the most common complaints we’ve heard from VR creators and mass market users alike.

Finally, the lack of VR audio technology for iOS is a clear deficiency in the VR landscape. Frédéric Amadu laments this fact and says, “at ARKAMYS we are working hard to adapt our VR-Play library to make it compatible with iOS, especially given that it is our VR-Play library is already available on the Thundersoft headset which runs on the Android OS.”

In the end, although we have seen substantial advancements in VR technology, there are still numerous deficits that must be filled to satisfy both professionals and consumers. Often companies like ARKAMYS, startups with global reach and superior research skills are the ones working to close these gaps in the VR field. ARKAMYS can be contacted through their website for more information on their innovations and products.

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