UPDATE: Oculus Medium’s changelog’s has been reworded to “ahead of ASW 2.0 release” instead “utilizes ASW 2.0”. Facebook told us that this was related to fixing their existing ASW implementation.
The changelog for the latest update to Oculus Medium mentions the app now supports ASW 2.0. Medium is a VR sculpting tool for the Oculus Rift made by a team at Facebook while Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) is a technology built into the Rift drivers which compensates for low framerates on underpowered PC hardware.
When you’re not meeting (or near) 90FPS in VR, ASW kicks in automatically. ASW forces the running game/app to render at 45FPS, then generates a synthetic frame in between each real frame extrapolating from image and the headset tracking data for a total of 90FPS. Half the frames are “real” and half are “synthetic”. Whenever your graphics card has enough free resources to achieve 90FPS normally, ASW automatically disengages and you return to true 90FPS.
Valve added a similar feature for the HTC Vive in SteamVR last month.
ASW 2.0 was announced at Oculus Connect 5 in late September. It still uses the color information of the frame, but now uses the depth information too (provided by the app if the developer chooses). The new algorithm, powered by this depth information, should offer the same benefits of ASW 1.0 but now with fewer artifacts.
Oculus did not give a release date nor even a release window for ASW 2.0. We’ve reached out to Facebook for any clarification on the release timeline, but Medium’s changelog simply states Medium “utilizes” the technology and it is not clear precisely what that means. One possibility is that it may simply mean that they now submit a depth buffer, but it might also hint that ASW 2.0 will be releasing soon. We will keep you updated with any further updates related to ASW 2.0.