Asynchronous Spacewarp 2.0 Will Help VR Run Dramatically Better on Rift
Image courtesy of: Oculus
Back in late 2016, Oculus introduced a new technology called, Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW), which is designed to ensure an improved virtual reality experience without dropped framerates or judder through the use of frame-smoothing techniques on lower-end hardware.
Essentially, Asynchronous Spacewarp works by analyzing the difference between two previous frames generated by the application and calculates the spatial transformation to create a new “synthetic frame” to fill in the gaps where the system is not able to render a new frame in time. When ASW kicks in, it allows games to run at an internal 45fps, inserting a synthetic frame between every other frame to provide a smooth 90fps to the Rift headset. However, ASW is not always perfect and can sometimes introduce distracting artifacts, as illustrated below.
At the recent Connect 5 conference, Oculus announced a new version of Asynchronous Spacewarp, referred to as ASW 2.0, is on the way and with it brings improved performance that will result in far fewer motion estimation artifacts in a VR scene, thanks to the combined use of both Oculus’ Positional Timewarp (PTW) and depth information provided by the game/application. ASW 2.0 is a significant advancement that provides a dramatic improvement to VR experiences for Rift owners with lower-end PCs.
For a more in-depth explanation about Oculus’ Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) 2.0, check out the keynote video below from OC5. Dean Beeler, a Software Engineer at Oculus, gives his talk on ASW 2.0 around the 31-minute mark.