The company already keeps video fresh with a process it calls dynamic streaming, a way to send the highest number of pixels to your field of view. To do this in a 360 degree video, however, involves knowing where you'll be looking at any given moment. That's easy for a human to do, as we all tend to know where the most interesting stuff is, but tough for a computer.
Facebook has put together three strategies to address this. A gravitational view-prediction model that uses physics and heat-maps has increased resolution on VR devices by up to 39 percent. An AI model can assist by "intuiting" the most interesting part of a video. The company is also testing a new encoding technique, called content-dependent streaming, that improves resolution on non-VR devices like your smartphone by up to 51 percent.
Facebook says that you'll be able to see 360 degree video at a higher quality resolution, even when network conditions are rough. If you want a much deeper dive into how Facebook achieves this, be sure to read the post detailing a ton of technical information on each of these new approaches. For the rest of us, though, perhaps we can look forward to higher-quality streams on our VR and flat screens in the near future.
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