Graphics Company NVIDIA has its Sights on Revolutionizing Virtual Reality
Ingenuity and creativity both traces its roots back to the olden days. Way before Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and their “friendly” rivalry were born, wise men such as Aristotle and Leonardo Da Vinci contributed ideas that changed the world. History places a spotlight on the plethora of men and women who have significantly changed the course of human civilization for the better. Whether it was in the constantly evolving field of science, or the more contemporary gaming industry, modern day inventors wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for these forefathers. Take the slowly-gaining-momentum-world of augmented reality, for instance.
Today’s batch of virtual reality, or VR, world, is neither derived from the typical carnival ride that takes people on a magical journey inside a three-dimensional space, nor is it a much-improved version of the 3D cinema technology. VR’s history, in fact, can be found way back in the renaissance period of Leonardo Da Vinci. Back in the 15th century, Da Vinci noticed a visual principle called foveal vision. Nowadays, visual computing leaders Nvidia use this same standard to greatly improve augmented worlds’ realism. The idea is to focus graphics rendering power on a smaller yet more meaningful space in order to sharpen the figure a person is looking at. In a way, it’s like the simple camera-phone trick of taking Instagram-worthy food pictures; in such a way that it blurs the subject’s background and plays with its angles.
In essence, the world of VR combines two elements – virtual and reality – to form a new technology that’s theoretically appealing to people. It’s sort of like the whole Brangelina phase, wherein fans continuously raved about “it” couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, two incredibly beautiful thespians with equally philanthropic hearts. In terms of its technological side, VR mixes the old with the new similar to how Slingo merges classic games like slots and bingo to come up with an improved version. The process, however, is not as easy as linking two names to create the latest breakthrough, as completing and mastering the augmented reality world, takes years – even decades – to perfect.
Along with four other colleagues, Nvidia’s Vice President of Research David Luebke spent nine months trying to mirror and incorporate Leonardo Da Vinci’s principle in VR. From refining eye-tracking software technologies to rendering more than a million pixels, there are a lot of factors to consider; so much so that Luebke has apparently spent the majority of the past 15 years on VR research. Without going into the more complicated aspects of augmented reality, Nvidia seems to be on track when it comes to this technology. The graphics company partnered with SensoMotoric Instruments to create a new eye-tracking VR display prototype, but they’re still in the on-going development of calculating the precise amount of periphery resolution. With this alone, Nvidia stays true to Leonardo Da Vinci’s idea, while defining a set of rules en route to the ideal virtual reality world.
The cliché “shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” completely embodies Nvidia’s venture into augmented reality. As of this moment, no one knows exactly how long it will take for David Luebke’s team to reach the summit of the VR world. Nevertheless, as they continue to progress and refine this study, it has the potential to open new doors, which will, more than likely, lead to a better gaming experience in the future.