Creating a stereoscopic effect within a virtual reality (VR) application has been a given for decades. It’s a standard component for immersion in a virtual environment, however in other applications – including the likes of Skype, Netflix and beyond – having a 2D plane embossed upon your real world has been the limitation up to now. At Microsoft Build 2017, plans have been revealed that would give applications such as these greater depth and even parallax effects.
Z-depth layering is a feature coming to 2D application development that would allow for a stereoscopic 3D viewpoint, automatically adjusting in relation to the user’s head movement. In a demo version built during the presentation at Microsoft Build 2017, the foreground remained central while a background image was positioned depending on head movement; scrolling left and right, towards and away from the user to promote a sense of depth.
While viewed via a desktop in the presentation, the technology is specifically aimed towards head-mounted displays (HMDs), be it a HoloLens or any of the forthcoming Windows 10 mixed reality (MR) devices. Furthermore, Microsoft has promised that a future update for the Windows 10 development environment and Unity engine would see this design opportunity added as standard, removing the need to learn any new tools to include the functionality in an app.
No timeline was given for when the technology would become available to developers, however it’s clear the Microsoft is investing heavily in their holographic computing platform, be it with HoloLens or the variety of third-party Windows 10 HMDs. VRFocus will obviously keep you updated with all the latest details on the holographic computing technology from Microsoft.