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VR-Cloud® How it works

The VR-Cloud® solution performs the rendering and the updating of the virtual world on the server and the client only displays the images and checks for user input. This implies that the rendered images have to be sent to the client. Images are being constantly rendered and therefore have to be constantly sent to the client which will display them on the user screen. This mechanism is very similar to video streaming and the same technologies are involved, which makes the VR-Cloud® solution compatible with the vast majority of computers and devices.

To interact with the virtual world, the user is performing various input on his/her own computer or device. Key strokes and mouse events generated by the user actions are gathered by the client and sent to the server. The server will apply them as if they were input locally so the user can interact like in any other 3D virtual reality application.

The following figure explains simply how the VR-Cloud® solution works and where the communication between the server and the client is made.

The first line of blocks concern the visual output. On the server side the image is rendered and encoded as a video frame then streamed to the client. The client side simply decodes and displays the image.

The second line is about user interactions with the virtual world. The user input is gathered and packed by the client then sent to the server. The server unpacks the commands and applies them to the simulation. This whole line of blocks is only executed when the user did perform an input. When the user did not do anything the whole line is skipped to not block the main simulation loop.

Finally the last block updates the simulation (for example, it updates the objects positions if there are moving objects in the simulation). This step can take into account the user input, if some input was performed.

One thing to notice in the figure is the network bandwidth required for the system to work. The video stream requires between 500kbps and 5Mbps depending on the size of the image and its required quality (for high definition contents the recommended bandwidth is at least 2Mbps). The commands sent from the client to the server require at most 100kbps (most of the time much less actually). The video stream is actually a download for the user (from the server to the client) while the commands are uploads (from the client to the server). The required bandwidths (up to 5Mbps download / 100kbps upload) match any decent internet connection so the VR-Cloud® solution can be used by most of the general public.

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