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 the global partner of choice for producing and distributing immersive virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality content. With the experience of over 300 immersive productions, Jaunt’s full-service global production house Jaunt Studios develops award-winning branded content, co-productions, and original experiences for both entertainment and enterprise customers. Jaunt’s state of the art immersive content distribution technology, the Jaunt XR Platform, is the white label solution of choice for media companies, sports leagues, brands, content aggregators and enterprise customers, enabling distribution of immersive content through their owned and operated channels.
Founded in 2013, Jaunt is the pioneer in providing end-to end solutions for creating and distributing immersive content across all platforms including Facebook 360, YouTube 360, and Twitter, native iOS and Android mobile apps, and all scaled VR, AR and MR headsets and platforms. Jaunt has been recognized with two Lumiere Awards, two Emmy nominations, one Emmy Award, and was recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s most innovative companies along with being on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list two years in a row.
Headquartered in San Mateo, California, the company maintains Jaunt Studios in Los Angeles, an EMEA business office in London, and a sales office in New York. In 2017, Jaunt established Shanghai-based Jaunt China, a VR company formed in partnership with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and China Media Capital (CMC).
Jaunt’s investors include The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners, CMC, Highland Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, SMG, Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat.1 SE, The Madison Square Garden Company, Google Ventures, Peter Gotcher, and Sky (corporate.sky.com). Experience more at www.jauntxr.com.