Publications

Instant Reality: Gaze-Contingent Perceptual Optimization for 3D Virtual Reality Streaming

IEEE VR

Published January 8, 2022

Shaoyu Chen, Budmonde Duinkharjav, Xin Sun, Li-Yi Wei, Stefano Petrangeli, Jose Echevarria, Claudio Silva, Qi Sun

Media streaming, with an edge-cloud setting, has been adopted for a variety of applications such as entertainment, visualization, and design. Unlike video/audio streaming where the content is usually consumed passively, virtual reality applications require 3D assets stored on the edge to facilitate frequent edge-side interactions such as object manipulation and viewpoint movement. Compared to audio and video streaming, 3D asset streaming often requires larger data sizes and yet lower latency to ensure sufficient rendering quality, resolution, and latency for perceptual comfort. Thus, streaming 3D assets faces remarkably additional than streaming audios/videos, and existing solutions often suffer from long loading time or limited quality. To address this challenge, we propose a perceptually-optimized progressive 3D streaming method for spatial quality and temporal consistency in immersive interactions. On the cloud-side, our main idea is to estimate perceptual importance in 2D image space based on user gaze behaviors, including where they are looking and how their eyes move. The estimated importance is then mapped to 3D object space for scheduling the streaming priorities for edge-side rendering. Since this computational pipeline could be heavy, we also develop a simple neural network to accelerate the cloud-side scheduling process. We evaluate our method via subjective studies and objective analysis under varying network conditions (from 3G to 5G) and edge devices (HMD and traditional displays), and demonstrate better visual quality and temporal consistency than alternative solutions.

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Research Area:  AR, VR & 360 Photography