PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 21, 2016
Jaunt Inc., the industry leader in cinematic virtual reality (VR), today announced several enhancements to provide viewers with an optimal experience when watching 360 content on the web. The company is previewing its patent-pending product, Compass, a data-driven automatic navigation for viewing VR content in a web browser. Compass leverages the aggregate of positional data available from VR headset viewing, to bring web viewers an auto guided experience based on established points of interest.
Prior to Compass, web viewers were required to manually pan right, left, up and down using the computer's mouse or keyboard in order to see action taking place in all directions. With the Compass technology, viewers will instantly be guided through the experience based on data and insights on how and where the community of VR viewers engage with content in a VR headset. As the points of interest change throughout a VR experience, Compass instantly takes viewers there, resulting in a more natural and immersive experience.
Jaunt is previewing its Compass technology today on several popular VR experiences, and rolling it out more broadly over the coming weeks.
"Viewing videos on the Web is normally a lean-back experience – you press play and watch. When you force someone to manually interact with a video, that's a bit unusual and can feel intrusive,” said Andrew Walkingshaw, principal software engineer at Jaunt. “With Compass, we’re giving our users a more relaxed experience, whether they choose to let Compass guide them through the whole experience, opt to pan back and forth between various areas of interest highlighted for them, or take control themselves – even there, the areas of interest Compass highlights reassures viewers they’re not missing out on anything.”
Additionally, Jaunt has enabled spatial audio for its web player. Using Google’s first-of-its-kind open source Omnitone library, Jaunt videos with ambisonic audio tracks are binaurally rendered directly on the Chrome browser. The resulting sound is positioned according to the point of view and controlled by the user.
“Audio is one of the most essential elements in the VR experience,” said Adam Somers, engineering manager at Jaunt. “Spatial audio provides users with a deeper and ultimately more authentic VR experience. We’re excited to roll out spatial audio to our web player giving users the most immersive experience possible.”
In addition to providing a superior viewing experience for consumers, Jaunt is continuously improving the data, insights and end-to-end publishing platform available to its directors and creators, continuously raising the bar for high quality VR content. Earlier this fall, Jaunt unveiled heatmaps, which share insight on where viewers are engaging with content over time. The Compass product is taking this heatmap technology one step further by leveraging the collected insights and putting them to use for content across all platforms. This continued innovation further establishes Jaunt as the leading hardware and software solution to produce and distribute the highest quality immersive cinematic VR experiences.
To experience Compass and Omnitone spatial audio capabilities on the Google Chrome browser now, visit www.jauntvr.com. The Jaunt VR App, including all content released to date, is available on iOS, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and desktop browsers.
Jaunt is pioneering the future of creative storytelling through immersive cinematic experiences. Founded in 2013, Jaunt is the leading developer of the hardware, software, tools, and applications to enable immersive cinematic experiences, and put the power of virtual reality in the hands of today’s best content creators. Jaunt works with leading creatives – from brands to artists to filmmakers – to create cutting-edge content accessible across all devices and platforms.
Headquartered in San Mateo, California, the company also maintains a presence in Los Angeles, CA through its studio arm, Jaunt Studios; a European business office in London. In 2016, Jaunt established Shanghai-based Jaunt China, a VR company formed in partnership with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and China Media Capital (CMC). Collectively, Jaunt produces branded and original VR content for audiences worldwide.
Jaunt’s investors include The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners, China Media Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat.1 SE, The Madison Square Garden Company, Peter Gotcher, and Sky (corporate.sky.com). Experience more at www.jauntvr.com.