Alexis Macklin, an analyst with Greenlight Insights, attended VRDC and GDC last week. She and Tony Parisi, Global Head of VR/AR Strategy at Unity Technologies, discussed the top VR trends and techniques from GDC.
FIRESIDE CHAT WITH TONY PARISI
Parisi shared how the 5.6 release version of Unity's platform will make creating cinematic and non-entertainment content for VR/AR artists and non-programmers. “It starts with graphics,” he said. “Global illumination, single pass rendering, and other optimizations that will enhance performance on less-powerful mobile CPUs.”
While Parisi couldn’t elaborate on what platform features Unity is developing, he did emphasize that the core benefits - graphics, interaction, and performance - benefit companies in several industries, ranging from interactive entertainment to automotive to healthcare.
QUICK QUOTES FROM TONY PARISI
- Tony’s outlook on PC-based VR: It drives high production value, room-scale experiences, but is slow growing.
- Tony’s definition of Non-Games/Cinematic: “Not scoring points.” Cinematic VR is using game and video technologies to create stories and exploration.
- Tony at one point called cinematic VR developers “VRartists.” He mentioned one future feature: Keyframe through linear timeline.
- He also mentioned Unity will offer HD/4K playback support, making it easy to integrate playing 360 video.
- Tony’s outlook on mobile VR market: With Cardboard (tens of millions already distributed), and high single-digit millions for Gear, it’s driving scale.
- Unity now offers Google Daydream support. Battery life and under-powered mobile CPUs are big obstacles for developers. Unity will now offer optimizations to increase battery life up to 19-30%.
- Standalone: Tony is interested in having a standalone headset because “not everyone wants to use their phone in a viewer.” Unity doesn’t have an explicit feature set for this headset type yet.