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Tech start-up founded at Cardiff Metropolitan University that reinvents the way we see images on screens partners with global 3D technology giant

​News | 23 April, 2021

Redner of a light, bright living room

A Cardiff Metropolitan University technology spin-out company which is changing the way we view images via our screens has reached an exciting milestone in its development. 

The technology is likely to feature in our future online activity including how we visualise products we shop for online, how we choose a new car and how we view architectural spaces virtually.  

By becoming a Verified Solutions Partner (VSP) to Unity, one of the world’s leading 3D software companies, Fovotec’s first product, a ground-breaking real-time ultra-wide 3D perspective technology, ‘FovoRender’ is now available commercially for the first time.

FovoRender is the result of ten years’ pioneering research by an interdisciplinary team at Cardiff Metropolitan University.  It is a new real-time 3D rendering technology designed for enterprise 3D visualisation professionals using Unity. FovoRender dramatically increases the usable field of view in 3D images using a technique based on human vision.  It means a user can fit far more space into the same screen area with far less distortion compared with a standard render.  FovoRender is the first core rendering technology to be verified by Unity, one of the world’s largest 3D engine providers. 

Fovotec provides FovoRender technology under licence on a project-by-project basis, plus a developer service to help clients set it up in their project.

In September 2020 Unity raised more than $1.3 billion in IPO at $13.6 billion valuation. 

With a 2019 Global Market Insights report estimating the global market for 3D rendering software is set to expand from $1.5 billion in 2018 to more than $6 billion by 2025, Fovotec’s co-founder and research director Rob Pepperell is understandably excited about FovoRender’s future.

The release of FovoRender opens the way for the innovative company’s technology and IP portfolio to be applied  across a variety of future applications and wider markets - from gaming to medicine, CGI cinematography, online shopping platforms, videoconferencing or even 3D tours – with the potential to change the way we see on screens forever. 

Robert Pepperell, Fovotec co-Founder and Research Director, said: “FovoRender will change the way 3D artists work and how users experience 3D space. It breaks with 600 years of imaging geometry tradition, based on linear perspective, to open up virtual spaces that are based on the way humans see, rather than cameras.

“Never before have artists been able to render so much 3D space with so little distortion. We can't wait to see what imaging professionals worldwide create with it.”

President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University, Professor Cara Aitchison, said: “We are incredibly proud of the ground-breaking FovoRender technology that began life here at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

“By changing the way in which we view the world for the first time in 600 years, FovoRender will positively impact many industries now and in the future. The technology emulates the human experience of true natural vision in real-time 3D computer graphics on a standard flat screen at home, without distortion. This has never been more vital since the Covid pandemic moved so many businesses online.

“The new partnership with Unity marks an exciting milestone in Fovo’s development and we wish the whole team behind this innovative technology every success in the future.”

Dr Alyson Thomas, Director of Policy and Funding at the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), said: “The research undertaken by Cardiff Met University is a great example of what can be achieved through HEFCW funding, and the new technology this research has underpinned has made an incredible difference to the images that can be produced. 

“This is a very exciting development to emerge from a Wales-based HE spin-out with a potential global impact on graphics-rendering technology, bolstering the nation’s reputation as a centre for expertise in creative technologies.”       

For more information please visit the Fovotec website.