Summary of IBC 2016 from the GPAC Licensing team

Dear followers,

We are back from IBC and we wanted to share with you our thoughts and feelings about IBC 2016.

Each and every year there are more demos powered by GPAC, and more of the technology we standardize that is included in innovative demos. This included fine synchronization between devices, hybrid delivery, 360/VR videos delivered using tiles.

IBC was a continuation of IBC 2015 (our report for 2015):

  • IBC is less crowdy every year although organizers claim 55,796 unique attendees this year, up from 55,128 in 2015.
  • There are more startups (and 249 new exhibitors).
  • OTT platforms are more mature and migrate to live.
  • The HEVC ecosystem still suffers from patent issues.
  • Open-source software is more widely deployed.
  • People moved from pure 4K to more evolved ecosystem including HDF, HFR, color ranges, sound.

But the hot subject this year was Virtual Reality (VR):

  • VR is still years away from being a mass market. All projections target 2020 for a reasonable market size. VR estimation is around $13bn-$50bn revenue in 2020.
    Edit: $110bn according to Goldman Sachs
  • VR will target dozens or hundreds of millions of users “only” (when Augmented Reality will target virtually every smartphone). VR sends you in a new environment and likely won’t interact with reality until it gets more mature. In the long term (2030?) VR and AR will probably merge.
  • The VR industry is driven by entertainment. But 3D worlds still have little appeal and that’s the 360 video side that still drives the expansion of VR.
  • VR arrives through mobile. Look at the Samsung Gear VR for example. Cheap initiatives like vr.google.com makes experiments really easy.
  • Business models are multiple: hardware, sales, advertising… but the pioneer market is gaming, followed by the Broadcast and Movie industries. VR applies to many domains: virtual tours, security, trainings, car parking, etc. There is no clear dominance.
  • As of 2015 most money is raised to build Headsets. The software solutions are ready with affordable realtime stitching and integrated cameras.
  • VR will not look like anything we know. It will look like the stories of our real lives.

VR and AR are two different subjects:

  • A lot of tech leaders like Tim Cook thinks AR is more interesting than VR. In the long term AR will be available in any mobile device with no extension.
  • AR relies on real videos (sometimes 360 videos) so the capture part is easier. However integrating an element on an existing content is more difficult than building a new content with all the elements in it. This makes AR a significantly longer term milestone.

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