Frequently Asked Questions

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What is AVATOUR and Imeve?

AVATOUR is the world’s first multi-party immersive remote presence service, launched by the Imeve team in September 2019. The AVATOUR platform allows remote participants to join in a real place, in real time, using inexpensive and mobile 360° capture technology.

Imeve, the parent company of AVATOUR, is a world leader in technology for live 360° video and virtual reality. Founded in January 2018 by key members of the groundbreaking Nokia OZO team, Imeve has enabled some of the highest-profile live VR events in history, including Coachella and the UEFA Champions League playoffs.

How does AVATOUR work?

Avatour is a remote presence technology that combines 360° video with avatar-based presence and audio chat in real time.  The Host uses a 360° camera attached to an Android mobile device in order to connect live via the Avatour platform in the cloud to multiple Guests located anywhere in the world.

How many people can join an AVATOUR?

Up to five Guests from anywhere in the world can use a VR headset, or any mobile device or desktop, to join in at the host’s location. 

Do you need a VR headset in order to view the tour?

No.  An AVATOUR is best experienced in a VR headset, but Guests may also join using any modern browser on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.

Which head mounted displays do you support?

At this time, we only support the Oculus Go and Google Cardboard headsets.  Support for other headsets is planned for a future release.

Can I use an iPhone or iPad for the Avatour Host app?

At this time, we only support Android mobile devices for the Host app. iOS support is planned for a future release.

Which 360° cameras do you support?

At this time we have full integration with, and recommend the use of, the Insta360 One X and the Ricoh Theta V. Integration with the Ricoh Theta Z1 is planned for a future release. In non-integrated mode, AVATOUR is compatible with most 360° cameras which support live streaming — although this does require some technical expertise, and some such cameras impose unacceptable latency.

Which 360° camera do you recommend?

Both the Insta360 One X and the Ricoh Theta V are good cameras for their ~$400 price point. Differences between them come down to your intended use. One X has superior image stabilization if you plan to move the camera; Theta V permits external power while livestreaming so is capable of an uninterrupted stream.

What resolution and frame rate does an AVATOUR video stream have?

The Insta360 One X and the Ricoh Theta V both stream at UHD resolution (3840×2160), with a tunable frame rate up to 30fps. When used with higher quality input systems (for example in conjunction with Imeve Live and a ZCam S1 or Nokia OZO) the AVATOUR cloud platform is capable of higher resolutions.

If you’re unfamiliar with the role of resolution in 360° video content, we suggest you review this primer: https://www.immersiveshooter.com/2017/08/31/explaining-360-video-resolution-how-measure-quality-comparisons/

Does AVATOUR support 3D360 or 3D180?

The Insta360 One X and the Ricoh Theta V do not support any 3D formats. The AVATOUR cloud platform is capable of supporting 3D and we anticipate adding support as soon as an appropriate input device is available.

What are the bandwidth requirements?

The requirements are different between Hosts and Guests. 

For the Host, uplink bandwidth can be tuned from a minimum of 2mbps up to as high as 20mbps; since a sustained uplink is required, a good rule of thumb is to double the target bandwidth. So a minimum sustained uplink of 4mbps is sufficient. Downlink bandwidth requirements are lower and usually not an issue if sufficient uplink is available. 

Each Guest user requires enough downlink to receive the Host stream. 1mbps uplink is sufficient for Guest users.

Do you need a Wifi connection at the host site?

No.  4G LTE cellular service is generally sufficient for uplink in the 2-6mbps range. We recommend the use of 5G where available, as uplink is generally more robust and higher bandwidth.

What is the round-trip latency?

Latency is subject to many factors, but under normal conditions with all users connecting from within a continent, round-trip latency is generally about 1.25 seconds, which enables reasonably natural conversation. Connecting Guests on other continents will typically increase round-trip latency to about 1.5 or 1.75 seconds. 

Can I use AVATOUR for teleoperation of vehicles or equipment?

AVATOUR is not suited for teleoperation applications, but it works great for conversations.