Technology Leaders Establish the Volumetric Format Association

Los Angeles, CA, May 12, 2021 – Today seven founding member companies are launching the Volumetric Format Association (VFA), the first industry association dedicated to ensuring interoperability across the volumetric video ecosystem. These seven companies include founding charter member Verizon as well as ZEISS, RED Digital Cinema, Unity, Intel, NVIDIA, and Canon.

The VFA brings together companies from key industry verticals in the volumetric ecosystem to work together to establish a collection of specifications driving adoption of volumetric capture, processing, encoding, delivery, and playback.

VFA LogoVolumetric video is an innovative way of experiencing content in holographic 3D, allowing the viewer a more immersive and interactive experience. It is characterized by the process of simultaneously capturing content from multiple cameras which can then be viewed from any angle at any point in time. The association seeks to facilitate collaboration, innovation, and technology sharing of the new bandwidth-intensive industry format, in order to drive faster development, adoption and ecosystem growth.

“Verizon is proud to be the driving force behind creating this group which we believe will be crucial to laying the foundation for future innovation using volumetric video,” said Denny Breitenfeld, president of the VFA and director of volumetric technology at Verizon. “With 5G’s massive bandwidth, super-fast speeds and ultra-low latency, things like volumetric video capture will be taken to the next level, enabling innovators to turn real people into lifelike, moving 3D holograms in just minutes. We look forward to working with leaders in this industry to develop specifications that will propel volumetric video forward.”

VFA membership allows companies to share intellectual property within the confines of the organization while protecting the value of that IP. The VFA Technical Steering Committee has defined four initial working groups to begin the work of building end to end specifications:

Capture Acquisition
Interchange of Data
Decode & Render
Persistent Metadata

3D content experiences across sports, entertainment, productivity, enterprise services, and more are fast becoming a reality. The VFA is working to make that reality accessible and practical by developing specifications that will be a catalyst for industry growth. To that end the VFA is opening membership to innovative companies in the volumetric ecosystem. VFA welcomes input, creativity, and collaboration as together they pioneer a new medium.

“Canon is a strong believer in volumetric video technology as evidenced by the new kind of sporting experience we delivered at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. In addition, we opened a volumetric video studio in Kawasaki, Japan that is used by the most advanced creators,” said Mr. Atsushi Date, senior general manager, Canon SV Business Development Center. “Canon is confident that volumetric video technology will enable the world to enjoy sports and entertainment more in many ways that have never been experienced before, and we have high expectations for the results of VFA standardization. This is a big first step of many to come in the rollout of the Canon Volumetric Business.”

“As media content evolves from 2D to 3D, volumetric video will impact industries from entertainment to a wide range of enterprise services. In addition to the breadth of our XPU portfolio that spans network, FPGA, CPU and GPU technologies, Intel is working with the VFA and our ecosystem partners to bring advanced and cost-effective volumetric streaming to a variety of customers,” said Lynn Comp, vice president, Data Platforms Group, general manager, Visual Infrastructure Division & NPG Strategy at Intel. “The VFA is an important step in democratizing end-end volumetric video solutions, enabling global supply chains and supporting interoperable solutions and innovation.”

“Volumetric video is changing how customers experience virtual interactions by providing complete immersion with full interactivity that is powered by NVIDIA GPUs,” said Bob Pette, general manager of professional visualization at NVIDIA. “Accelerated computing technology is pushing the boundaries of virtual experiences and bringing together partners to evolve the ecosystem as a whole will be critical to achieving the next generation of AI-driven 3D content.”

“As a brand that was founded on innovation, disruption, and pushing the bleeding-edge of image capture technology, RED is proud and excited to be part of the Volumetric Format Association,” said Brian Henderson vice president, business development at RED. “We will continue to evolve alongside this emerging industry. As a member of the VFA, we will continue to re-define previously held standards of overall image quality, resolution and camera performance in order to provide the best possible images for creators and innovators to work with.”

“The Volumetric Format Association is leading the way in how content, especially in sports and M&E, is being presented, and we are seeing the biggest shift since B+W went to color” said Tian Pei, head of business affairs for sports at Unity. “Volumetric technologies encompass the process of capturing, viewing, and interacting with the real world and here at Unity we are pushing the limits of what’s possible and transforming the interactive experience forever.”

“As board members of the Volumetric Format Association, ZEISS strives to abridge the current adoption barriers within the motion picture industry and beyond”, says Snehal Patel, head of cinema sales at ZEISS. Patel continues, “with over 100 years of experience in optical design and innovation, ZEISS is primed to provide key insights into lens technology and its relation to Volumetric workflow. Furthermore, through the VFA specifications, ZEISS hopes to contribute to the accuracy of lens metadata which will play a vital role in the volumetric user experience.”

As the VFA members move rapidly towards the establishment of their specifications, companies interested in joining the organization should reach out by email to info@volumetricformat.org or see https://www.volumetricformat.org.

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