Virtual and augmented reality applications need a great amount of processing power to run properly, especially when they are expected to produce high-quality graphics. What if you could keep the quality, and improve the performance by 10 times over standalone mobile platforms?
GridRaster, a California-based VR/AR startup, believes this is possible. The company has received a $2 million funding round from several venture capital firms—including Lumia Capital, Pipeline Capital, Exfinity Ventures, NextStar Partners, Unshackled Ventures, and Explorer Group—to develop its own rendering technology. Earlier, the startup had raised two rounds of funding, which include $1.5M seed funding round in December, 2016, and a $150K Angel funding round in July, 2015.
GridRaster’s technology uses “edge computing,” a method of computing optimization. The technology offloads the rendering of real-time graphics from a mobile device to a network cloud, reducing the amount of processing power used by the device, and improving its performance by 10 times over other stand-alone AR/VR platforms.
“We see the future of VR being powered by the mobile phone, which everyone has in their pockets,” said NextStar Partners Joyner, “GridRaster’s technology will turn these handsets into high-end VR HMDs [head-mounted displays] at an attractive price point to enable high-end enterprise and consumer VR/AR experiences at scale.”
Although most methods of cloud computing optimization help with performance, they often results in an increase in latency, which is something VR/AR applications’ developers should avoid. Imagine performing an action, such as editing a BIM model in an AR application, and only seeing the result “x” seconds after – it’s confusing to your brain, and frustrating as well.
GridRaster claims that, by using “edge computing”, they can “distribute and manage loads across servers, dynamically optimizing network bandwidth and intelligently reducing latency” to provide an ultra-low latency and high-quality graphics experience.
The company already has 11 international patents to process high-end VR/AR content, and is working with a select group of customers that includes leading VR/AR platform providers, top telcos, content studios, and others in the industrial, aerospace, automotive, retail, gaming and entertainment. This includes some names such as Osterhout Design Group and Steel Wool Studios.
“We have just begun to see capabilities this technology can bring to the VR/AR space,” said Rishi Ranjan, founder and CEO of GridRaster. “We have proven out our core technology working with great partners. Now, with new capital, we will work toward strengthening our development team and maturing the product for specific enterprise and customer use cases as we continue to establish GridRaster as a standard and platform of choice for cloud-powered high-end VR/AR.”