Unity & Greenlight Insights Discuss Industry Trends

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Alexis Macklin, an analyst with Greenlight Insights, attended VRDC and GDC last week. She and Tony Parisi, Global Head of VR/AR Strategy at Unity Technologies, discussed the top VR trends and techniques from GDC.


Parisi shared how the 5.6 release version of Unity's platform will make creating cinematic and non-entertainment content for VR/AR artists and non-programmers. “It starts with graphics,” he said. “Global illumination, single pass rendering, and other optimizations that will enhance performance on less-powerful mobile CPUs.”

While Parisi couldn’t elaborate on what platform features Unity is developing, he did emphasize that the core benefits - graphics, interaction, and performance - benefit companies in several industries, ranging from interactive entertainment to automotive to healthcare.


- Tony’s outlook on PC-based VR: It drives high production value, room-scale experiences, but is slow growing.  

- Tony’s definition of Non-Games/Cinematic: “Not scoring points.” Cinematic VR is using game and video technologies to create stories and exploration.

- Tony at one point called cinematic VR developers “VRartists.” He mentioned one future feature: Keyframe through linear timeline.

- He also mentioned Unity will offer HD/4K playback support, making it easy to integrate playing 360 video.

- Tony’s outlook on mobile VR market: With Cardboard (tens of millions already distributed), and high single-digit millions for Gear, it’s driving scale.

-  Unity now offers Google Daydream support. Battery life and under-powered mobile CPUs are big obstacles for developers. Unity will now offer optimizations to increase battery life up to 19-30%.

- Standalone: Tony is interested in having a standalone headset because “not everyone wants to use their phone in a viewer.” Unity doesn’t have an explicit feature set for this headset type yet.

Read more about VR trends and techniques by Alexis Macklin on Immersed.io