Posted Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 05:45 PM PST by Brian Hoss
Get ready for 'Live and Let Die,' 'Kaiju Fury!' and 'Black Mass.'
"Dolby and Jaunt Are Bringing Dolby Atmos to Cinematic VR via Google Play" - Now that's a buzzword filled title if there ever was one, but there's more to this than just buzzwords. Jaunt, one of the more established content developers in the VR space, has put together a promising mix of "cinematic VR content" for both the Oculus Rift and for Google Cardboard. What makes this kind of VR content cinematic, is the way that the content is produced. The viewer is free to look around, but there's still something of a clear subject being directed within the content rather than something purely freeform.
Jaunt's most successful piece of content by far has to be the cinematic VR capture of Paul McCartney’s 2014 concert at Candlestick Park. Naturally, as Jaunt has been building the tools necessary to capture and create this VR content, the company has been busy developing the hardware and software needed to bring live and rendered footage to the end user. Up until now, Jaunt has used their in-house means of both capturing and delivering both 360 degree video and audio.
That changes with today's announcement of a partnership with Dolby. In the next few weeks, Jaunt will release (or update) three virtual reality applications on Google Play, including both the 2014 Candlestick performance 'Live and Let Die,' as well as clips from the haunting 'Black Mass,' and the aptly named monster flick, 'Kaiju Fury!' Where Dolby comes in, is that all three applications will feature Dolby Atmos.
These 3D experiences will benefit highly from the Dolby Atmos object-based audio solution, and Jaunt is the first to deliver the Dolby Atmos experience to VR consumers. Jaunt has specified that "The Dolby Atmos experience will available via the Jaunt app on select mobile devices. (In such cases, the Jaunt app will decode and render the full end-to-end Dolby Atmos Experience.) With the move, Jaunt gains access to the same Dolby mixing tools used to create Atmos film soundtracks.
From John Couling, Senior Vice President, E-Media Business Group, Dolby Laboratories, "Dolby Atmos is essential for delivering a realistic and immersive virtual reality experience that puts audiences in the heart of the story. Dolby’s passion for storytelling, coupled with great content and Jaunt’s VR capabilities, is a natural fit that will bring consumers an incredible entertainment experience."
The McCartney concert performance was recorded using Jaunt's 360-degree stereoscopic 3D cameras and soundfield microphones. Grammy winner Giles Martin has been in charge of producing the Dolby Atmos mix of 'Live and Let Die' and had this to offer, "By using Dolby Atmos to place and move sounds where they need to be, Jaunt and Dolby’s technologies recreate the concert experience and make viewers feel as if they were on stage during the performance."
Obviously, this a big win for Jaunt, whose efforts to establish cinematic VR continue to build steam. For Dolby, it's a chance to deliver on both the mobile promise of Dolby Atmos and the VR application side. More to the point, the joint venture is a win for both the VR sector and object-based audio. While Oculus is not mentioned in the deal, the company has been giving serious attention to 3D audio, delivering at CES a combination new prototype and demo that showed exactly how those efforts are paying off. With both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X looking to bring in both content and consumers, this foray into the VR space speaks volumes about the future. Because Jaunt is promising to deliver Dolby Atmos (at least the mobile flavor) to "select devices," the subtext has to be that Dolby Atmos can be delivered via software to a variety of mobile devices (or at least some devices currently capable of Google Cardboard).
Likewise, coupling Dolby Atmos with cinematic VR further suggests that the 3D audio produced for rendered environments (like say video games) is getting closer to proper Dolby Atmos implementation. (The first Dolby Atmos game can't be far off.) Ultimately, those early adopters out there for both VR and object-based audio ought to hold onto their hats.
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