A lightweight foveation codec for VR

Eye tracking performance assessment — for VR/AR headsets and wearables

In this paper, we present a suggestion for an eye tracking based foveation codec, which includes a novel warp preprocessing step to reduce image dimensions, enabling higher compression levels and resulting in a noticeable reduction in bitrate.

In addition to describing our solution, this paper explains existing compression schemes and the general design considerations for a VR codec. To determine the effectiveness of our codec, we conducted a pilot to ensure the best test conditions. We then ran a study with a group of people familiar with VR, who could provide qualitative feedback on the experience — the presence of artifacts, and if they found them disturbing.

Our solution is combinable with existing video codecs, such as H.265, and can lead to an additional total bandwidth saving of 34% at 5:1 compression on a HTC Vive Pro Eye. However, we believe that adapting the warp and the compression algorithm for each other will achieve higher compression ratios, with fewer artifacts, and an overall enhanced experience.

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