Late last year, we received the exciting news that we had been selected as part of a Collaborative Research and Development Call, led by the UKRI-funded MyWorld Strength in Places Programme in collaboration with Digital Catapult and Innovate UK.
As part of this funding, we kicked off a cutting edge project with the University of Bristol. The goal? To bring together the University’s academic experts with Condense’s world-leading engineers to come up with new solutions for compressing volumetric video for a global audience.
The future of live events
At Condense, we’re on a mission to bring the world’s live events to virtual spaces. We do this by capturing, processing and live-streaming video content into virtual worlds. We call this technology video 3.0, it is interactive and 3D. Our goal is to help make the metaverse a connected, interactive space where people can experience live events, in the moment, from the comfort of their own home. We’re at the forefront of bringing these live experiences into virtual spaces, but this technological feat is not without its challenges.
Data, data and more data
The first is data and the sheer quantity of it. Unlike motion capture, where an existing 3D model is animated by markers, our system is entirely object-agnostic. It uses colour and depth cameras to create 3D models on the fly and in real-time. This means that we need to distribute high-resolution 3D models, textures and lighting data many times a second. The more models and textures per second, the smoother the playback experience.
A global audience
The second, is that in aiming to deliver volumetric content to a global audience, we need to cater for a diverse range of internet connections and devices. The goal being to stream the highest quality content to as many people as possible, as smoothly as their bandwidth and computer processing power permits.
Enter cloud compression
The solution? Compression, and this is where this project comes in. By partnering with the University of Bristol, we’re looking to co-develop and integrate a new addition to our end-to-end solution - cloud compression. As the name suggests, the system will run in the cloud and use pioneering volumetric compression algorithms to dramatically reduce file sizes, whilst maintaining visual quality. It will target 4g (10 Mb/s), 5g (30 Mb/s) and WiFi (50 Mb/s) data speeds, all whilst running in real-time for live performances.
By the end of this project, we aim to have taken video 3.0 to a new level, enabling people to experience the highest quality 3D video streamed live into a virtual space.
We’ve only just begun, and we’ll be writing about our progress as the project unfolds. Watch this space!