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Fraunhofer’s new 5G Virtual Reality Streaming software

Fraunhofer’s new 5G Virtual Reality Streaming software

patrickrisa May 4, 2019

Germany’s Fraunhofer is shaping the future of video streaming in virtual reality by improving the viability of 5G connectivity on VR.  The company is now showcasing a video compression software with the latest MPEG-OMAF standard. This standard enables users to stream 360-degree VR videos across 5G networks. This company is making big steps in improving video compression technologies from their previous contributions in MPEG format. With MPEG-OMAF, wraparound videos are broken into tiles that are streamed at different resolutions. Some tiles in the video are streamed with high resolution while others are being streamed with low resolution.

photo credit: venturebeat

In previous technologies, videos are streamed from servers with a single user-selected resolution. However, with MPEG-OMAF standard, Fraunhofer software streams videos by using high-resolution tiles at the current position the user is focusing on and uses low-resolution tiles at parts of the video the user is not focusing on. As the user point of focus changes, the resolution tiles also changes to accommodate the point of focus of the user. With this technology, the whole VR 360-degree video can be streamed while providing maximum details to the point of focus of the user. With this technology, Fraunhofer aims to cut down the bandwidth required in video streaming.

3GPP, an international organization for cellular standards adopted MPEG-OMAF standard to stream 5G VR videos. With this, the organization is likely to underpin much of 360-degree VR video streams. Currently streaming 360-degree virtual reality videos over 4G network tend to suffer from overall low resolutions. However, with this new standard and 5G network, this challenge can be eliminated. Fraunhofer demonstrated with technology with the aid of safari Web Browser, JavaScript, WebGL API and HEVC. This is one of Fraunhofer biggest contribution to virtual reality technology soon after it launched an affordable micro-display hardware for Virtual Reality headset last year.

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