A Pixar-Inspired Projector That Beams VR Into an Entire Room
“We definitively feel that Immersis technology is very promising and would like to make sure we provide the means to help Immersis succeed.”
2015: The year VR came out to play
“Immersis Project brings (a dome theater) experience to the home”
Creighton University was very interested by the Immersis value proposition : immersion in virtual reality, easy to install, easy to deploy, open to any content, sharable between several students, for an affordable budget
For the last century, we’ve been looking at the world through the tiny window of our TV screens, computers and tablets. Our brains have been conditioned to be satisfied by their two-dimensional experience. The arrival of VR headsets in 2014 showed us the power of virtual reality immersion but the headset experience is limited ; firstly, because you experience the virtual reality world alone, and, secondly, because the stereoscopic technology is unnatural it can have undesirable side effects.
Immersis transforms your entire living room into an immersive support for your video games and panoramic videos. You can share this experience with friends and family and play as long as you’d like without fatigue.
This first version of Immersis is based on an innovative, disruptive technology developed by Catopsys. Conceived for both gamers and mainstream users : it is easy to install and use, technologically powerful with an attractive price. The technology is based on a real-time adaptation of the image to the shape and size of the room that you are in as well as its advanced optical system.
Immersis will revolutionize immersive virtual reality and video. We need your help to make this revolution a reality and to discover together how you can best put Immersis to work for you.
Connected to your computer, Immersis can project any kind of content at 180°, whether that is photographs, videos or video games. If the content is two-dimensional, the projection is flat. If your content is panoramic, 180°, video games or 3D applications, the projection will be at 180°.
You can also integrate a television, monitor or tablets into the projection, either to benefit from their higher resolution or for a specific interaction on the screen/touch-screen. You will continue to use your existing controls. (game controllers, keyboard, mouse/trackpad)
This is only the beginning. Immersis’ future content possibilities are unlimited!
Video Games : Any video game developed with a real-time 3D engine. The first specific plugin has already been developed for Unity 3D, the most important game engine on the market. A beta version plugin for Unreal Engine and a universal plugin (allowing any video game or 3D application to use Immersis) are also available. It will only take a few minutes for game developers to make their content compatible with Immersis, which will open all kinds of new opportunities for enriched game play.
Videos : Until today, you could only visualise content created for 360° cameras alone, inside a VR headset. With Immersis, you will be able to experience as a group all of your sport accomplishments, your vacation memories, as never before. Some 360° cameras even permit for you to watch your panaromic videos in real-time.
Photos : All panoramic photo formats are compatible and Immersis is compatible with the Google Photosphere format.
Our Kickstarter backers are more than just buyers or product testers. You will be the explorers of the next immersive technology and you will help change the immersive experience from what we know today. You will be a part of a community that we create together, proposing and testing new ways to use Immersis, suggesting new evolutions in the technology and developing complementary products whether through the online community or at special events reserved for you.
How it works
The main scientific obstacle that had to be addressed concerns calibrating the system to display the right information at the right place in the projection space and thus recreate the proper perspective from the user’s point of view.
The method we have developed is three-dimensional, that is to say, it allows us to know the 3D position of each projected pixel (patent submited US-B-8 272 752). It is only because of this technology that it is possible to change the user’s point of view. Catopsys is the only company possessing this technology in any environment and several International patents have been filed.
See below a short demonstration of our 3D anamorphic technology:
• 3D Acquisition of the Immersive Space
The first step is to create a 3D model of the projection space. For this, we’ve created a configuration tool for Immersis that allows you to either describe the dimensions of the space (for example, a living room that’s 9 feet by 12 feet with a 9 foot ceiling) or to import a 3D model (.obj, .fbx, collada or other standard formats created by software like Maya, 3DS Max, Blender or Sketchup).
• System Calibration
Depending on room dimensions, Immersis’ location and the position of an optional television screen, the system will make a calibration file that is used as a basis for the anamorphosis (deformation) of the image. This anamorphosis is processed in real time by the computer and graphics card controlling Immersis.
Although the anamorphique image can be created from 360° content, the image is rendered for a 180° projection because the first version of Immersis has been designed with a 180° optical system in order to maximize ease of installation, performance and cost.
• Optical System
The connection between the graphics card in your computer and the electronic board (light processing) of Immersis is through a single DVI / HDMI port.
The projecting portion of Immersis is composed of two components:
• Image projection: Immersis’ technology is compatible with all existing display technologies currently on the market, either with conventional lamps, LEDs or lasers. We decided to use LED technology for its long life and adequate performance for gaming or video projection applications. The image format will be at least Full HD (1920x1080).
• The Fisheye lens: it has a very short focal length and angle so it can create a very large field, up to 180 ° diagonally. You already use this technology in photographic camera lens, but we have adapted it for gaming and video usage. We still need to optimise the manufacturing process depending on the final projector electronics.
• Usage of a TV screen or tablet
The integration of a television screen in the Immersis projection space is not necessarily needed, but it can be justified in several cases:
• Gamers use to have multi monitors when they play... especially with FPS or car racing games. Immersis allow them to keep their habit by focusing on one main screen (TV screen) and allow them to be immersed and extend the game scene with surrounding projection. Immersis become today powerfull and bigger than just one or two extra monitors!
• When you integrate physical objects in the projection space (physical flight simulator cockpit)
• If you need a very high definition image quality Using a tablet allows you to zoom in on each projection space. This technology exists, now it’s up to video game editors to use it to enrich their products.
Landscape of Augmented and Virtual Reality devices
Positioning Immersis versus Microsoft Illumiroom project
Microsoft is an incredible technology company and in 2012 their R&D lab developed a project called "Illumiroom". The concept was to create multiple peripheral images based on an original "mother" image using image interpolation. We've attached below the patent details filed by Microsoft related to their "illumiroom" research project. It is also important to note that this patent is no longer maintained by Microsoft.
The technology that Immersis is based upon is very different as it deforms a panoramic image based on multiple parameters (the 3D model of the immersive space, its texture, the user's point-of-view, the optical system used, etc...) and then projects the image into this immersive space in a way that the end result is as close to reality as possible. The optical system can include different projection/visualization devices such as video projectors, mirrors, monitors, tablets...the integration of a television screen is completely optional.
Abstract of Microsoft Patent regarding Illumiroom
A dataholding subsystem holding instructions executable by a logic subsystem is provided. The instructions are configured to output a primary image to a primary display for display by the primary display, and output a peripheral image to an environmental display for projection by the environmental display on an environmental surface of a display environment so that the peripheral image appears as an extension of the primary image.
What to Expect from the Deliverable Immersis Version 1
Starting with a technology developed by the University of Auvergne, we developed, in 2013, solutions related to the aerospace industry and big business. In December 2013, in partnership with Ogilvy Lab Paris, we created our first prototype targeted to gamers.
Since that first prototype, we have worked with David Raichman, head of Ogilvy Lab Paris and his design team to create Immersis that is simpler to use with an exception design (seen below in its unfolded and folded states).
And all this comes in a reinforced case allowing you to carry it everywhere you go...
The Immersis V1 that we will ship at the end of this year will have all the characteristics of a fully developed and tested product. However, because we continue to work with Ogilvy’s designers and because we are counting on the Kickstarter community and our backers to help finalize the design, we are confidant that the final product will be even better than what we are presenting today, without increasing the price or sacrificing quality.
Although we intend to further improve Immersis’ features with the support of our backers, its design will stay innovative, with the unequaled technical specifications listed here :
- Native resolution 1920 X 1080
- Horizontal field of view: 180°
- Vertical field of view : maximum 120°
- Brightness 3000 Lumens
- LED light source 50000 hours
- 100000:1 contrast
- Weight : 400oz
- Color : Black
- Platforms : PC
- Video connection : HDMI / DVI
Immersis SDK for content providers and developers
Immersis is an opportunity for video producers and game / 3D application developers to enrich the user experience of their content.
The creation of 180° or 360° video is both simple and complex.
- Simple, because Immersis accepts all major video formats
- Complex, because it is a new way visualize things, both from a technical and artistic point of view, taking into account its many potential uses. The development kit will integrate best practices and your recommendations.
Integrating Catopsys’ plugin into applications using existing 3D real-time engines (Unity, Unreal Engine, …) is incredibly simple and takes only a few minutes.
All of the Immersis SDKs include access to the Immersis Developer Center, which provides the SDK, technical support, and serves as a community for Immersis developers.
The SDK will include clean well-documented code, samples, and tutorials to make integration with any 3D game or application as easy as possible. Our vision is to create a shared communication platform by organizing our living space as an integrated part of the projection in a simple, natural and social way. Our technology is disruptive, but simple, open and scalable. It allows us to adapt to uses that will be invented by our backers, ISVs, artists and other developers who use Immersis.
How will we use your support and what are our stretch goals
Your support will allow us to finish the manufacturing preparations for Immersis’ optics. The achievement of our stretch goals will allow us to further support the developer community as well as interact with our backers.
- 200 k$ : Unreal Engine plugin (05.2015)
- 250 k$ : Cry Engine plugin (06.2015)
- 300 k$ : SDK for most 3D engines and 3D applications (open GL, Catia, Navisworks, ...) (06.2015)
- 500 k$ : Testing center and showroom in the US for Kickstarter backers, ISVs and content providers (09.2015)
- 1000 k$ : automatic 3D acquisition and calibration (03.2016)
- 1250 k$ : Testing center and showroom in Asia for Kickstarter backers ISVs and content providers (09.2015)
- 1500 k$ : availability on MacOS
Immersis was not created in one day and in one location.
It all started with the creation of Catopsys in 2013 by Daniel Duhautbout (ex-IBM and serial-entrepreneur)
The Catopsys R&D team led by Théo Nassour in France was able to develop a complicated technology thanks to many varied and complementary skills (optics, real-time 3D application development, mathematics, electronics). They are passionated and hardcore gamers.
Meet the team
Ogilvy Lab Team: Startup Accelerator, Product and Graphic Design
Risks and challenges
Software is the heart of Immersis’ technology. A prototype was created in December 2013, the software is now 100% operational and we have been able to demo the technology for several months. At International CES 2015, we have adapted Immersis to work with a 75cm x 75cm model. Even if we would like to improve performance, the overall risks are not significant.
Hardware manufacturing will be sub-contracted because it is the only solution available today that provides us with acceptable costs. There are always risks in sub-contracting manufacturing, whether its delays or production errors. But since most of the components are already available on the market, manufacturing is merely an integration of existing technologies to support Immersis’ software. Risks are therefore limited. Our business culture is based on collaboration and we are skilled at working together with our industrial partners.
The challenge then is in integrating your proposed improvements to Immersis in future versions while staying simple, open and scalable as our experience has shown us that the gaming community can be very creative!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)