AMD announces LiquidVR technology

March 6, 2015 | 11:10

Tags: #delay #head-mounted-display #head-tracking #head-up-display #hmd #hud #immersion #latency #vr

Companies: #amd

AMD has announced a new and exclusive technology for virtual reality which it claims will help increase immersion and reduce motion sickness in users, called - somewhat oddly, given it aims to prevent regurgitation - LiquidVR.

Looking to makes its GPU products the go-to hardware for virtual reality enthusiasts, AMD's LiquidVR combines software-based tricks with AMD's graphics hardware to maintain presence within the virtual world. The chief way it does this is by reducing the motion-to-photon latency - the gap between the user moving his or her head and the image on screen moving to match - to below 10 milliseconds. 'This is a crucial step in addressing the common discomforts, such as motion sickness, that may occur when you turn your head in a virtual world and it takes even a few milliseconds too long for a new perspective to be shown,' the company claims.

This low-latency head-tracking capabilities comes from a 'concrete set of tools' which AMD is providing to manufacturers of virtual reality headsets. The LiquidVR technology also unlocks additional features that are nice-to-have in a system designed for VR headset use, including the promise of improved support for VR in multiple-GPU and multiple-CPU setups in order to enable gamers to render at high resolutions at the refresh rates required of VR - although whether this is in any way different to the improved scaling promised by the upcoming DirectX 12 and Khronos Vulkan APIs is not clear.

AMD's LiquidVR is compatible with 'a broad set of VR devices,' the company has claimed, and promises to bridge the gap between the release of a new headset and native support from the operating system and game engines themselves. The company has also hinted at future versions of the LiquidVR stack which will include CPU and GPU acceleration of other outputs, including everything from sound, touch and even temperature and kinaesthetic sense, although without any firm details.

Additional information on LiquidVR is available from AMD's website, while a demonstration video is reproduced below.

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