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Reach New Frontiers of Immersive Production with NVIDIA CloudXR and HTC VIVE Focus 3

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Woman wearing the HTC VIVE Focus 3 headset.

Whether building immersive theatrical experiences or virtual training solutions, XR development continues to push the limits of both content and device performance. Often, this means having to compromise on either fidelity or mobility. But with the NVIDIA CloudXR streaming solution, this is no longer the case.

This month at NVIDIA GTC, HTC announced the release of an NVIDIA CloudXR client to support their VIVE Focus 3, available now on GitHub. This provides a “best of both worlds” solution to the difficult tradeoffs VR developers typically face.

“High fidelity, cloud-based VR streaming represents the next big evolution in the XR industry, and we’re excited to continue working closely with the teams at NVIDIA to keep pushing the industry forwards,” said Shen Ye, senior director and global head of products at HTC.

The VIVE Focus 3 is the first commercially available VR headset with a custom NVIDIA CloudXR client. With seamless remote rendering powered by NVIDIA CloudXR, creative studios like Agile Lens can design extremely high fidelity immersive experiences, which would otherwise be impossible to run on a mobile chipset.

Alex Coulombe, cofounder and creative director at Agile Lens, has wanted to bring the intimacy and power of theater to the masses using technologies like VR. His latest venture, Heavenue, is a platform that integrates NVIDIA CloudXR to deliver high fidelity immersive live performances to VR headsets from the cloud.

Heavenue’s first partner is the Actors Theatre of Louisville, which is producing an immersive rendition of the classic A Christmas Carol this December. This will be the first simultaneous live stage and virtual theater performance of its kind.

Image of actors using VR equipment to create avatars shown on a computer screen.
Figure 1. Actors Theater of Louisville combined live motion capture with virtual avatars using Heavenue for their production of A Christmas Carol.

The producers combined motion capture from live performers with facial and voice tracking from actors, overlaid onto a virtual avatar using Unreal Engine 4 to complete the experience. This is all hosted by CoreWeave, which offers powerful servers with a broad range of NVIDIA GPUs. It includes North America’s largest deployment of A40s, in the cloud and streamed to end users on standalone VR headsets such as the VIVE Focus 3, with the NVIDIA CloudXR. The result is a rich and immersive experience where users can freely move around the theater environment without tether restriction.

“NVIDIA CloudXR is like a bridge to the future,” Coulombe said. “This has never been possible before. It’s only now, with the advent of technologies like these that we can start to build a platform that democratizes the experience of an incredibly immersive, compelling, vivid, high fidelity live performance.”

With NVIDIA CloudXR, virtual productions and location-based experiences (LBE) are able to use the VIVE Focus 3 to deliver a more immersive experience. This shifts computing to centralized computers and removes the need to spend time navigating around cords. Having a centralized computing environment makes debugging and troubleshooting easy, creating a more user-friendly system and experience. All of this comes without impacting quality or graphical fidelity, taking full advantage of a 5K resolution and 120-degree field of view.

This application extends to any use case where mobility and high fidelity are required, such as in enterprise training, product and building design, or manufacturing floor planning.

HTC VIVE has open-sourced their CloudXR sample client for the VIVE Focus 3 on GitHub. Developers can extend the sample client source code to add bespoke features and customized user interface. Those less familiar with Android development, or just wanting to try it out, can download the prebuilt APK and install this directly into their headset to get started.

Learn more about NVIDIA CloudXR and download the HTC VIVE Focus 3 sample client today.