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Virtual dives into the Arctic

Tested for the first time with the public this summer, b<>com brings its Virtual Artic Expedition demonstration to IBC, enabling visitors to feel like divers themselves. This virtual reality demonstration was initially set up in collaboration with French ocean theme park Océanopolis.

During the experiment, groups of volunteer Océanopolis visitors, equipped with VR headsets and headphones, explored the Arctic seafloor 20 miles deep. The visitors, transformed into divers, move around in a hyper-realistic synthetic marine environment and interact freely with the fauna and flora of this extreme environment.

The initial demonstration, which took place over the summer, allowed Océanopolis to measure the public’s desire for science-themed virtual reality experiences and to evaluate the business model for this highly innovative new attraction. During the experiment at Océanopolis, b<>com non-intrusively measured the psychological and physiological reactions of participants to improve the system.

The Virtual Arctic Expedition demonstrates the ability for users to move wirelessly and without lag within the virtual environment. It promotes natural interactions between users and the environment as well as among participants. The company hopes to expand its technologies to ‘edutainment’ scenarios, as well as professional sectors such as health and industry.

Other demonstrations by b<>com at IBC include 3D audio for VR for true surround-sound sensations; real-time SDR-HDR conversion, using an FPGA-based prototype platform, converting any older film or footage to a format for HDTV; and next-generation video compression in a 5G context.