'We’re really excited about the increasing ubiquity of cloud-related technologies that are going to dramatically change the way consumers enjoy media and entertainment, including games.' Jules Urbach, Founder and CEO, OTOY
San Francisco, California (PRWEB) August 28, 2014
VGi sat down with Jules Urbach, Founder and CEO of OTOY to find out what’s been going on behind the scenes.
VGi: Tell us about the latest developments at OTOY.
OTOY: At OTOY, what we’re most excited about and what we’re promoting are very much one and the same. In the broader context, we’re really excited about the increasing ubiquity of cloud-related technologies that are going to dramatically change the way consumers enjoy media and entertainment, including games. From an infrastructure standpoint, cloud service providers such as Amazon continue to beef up their hardware making increasingly capable graphics processing available for all who want them, localized in data centers around the world, which greatly helps latency issues. Cloud computing in general continues to see declining prices through industry competition. High-speed Internet in the US, while not as advanced as some Asian countries, continues to improve with Google Fiber bringing 1 Gbps Internet to a dozen cities. Cable and telco companies are gradually increasing speeds too. At the consumer level, technologies like the Oculus Rift and even Google cardboard – an ingenious way to turn ordinary smartphones into VR headsets – are fuelling advancements in the way games and entertainment is delivered.
You’re seeing the early impacts of these technologies as the burgeoning VR scene grows with new experiences to wow people. Sony is pushing its streaming game service as a solution to backwards compatibility on the PlayStation 4 and there were reports last week that Microsoft is exploring game streaming technology as well. From a developer standpoint, as you saw at E3, there are more games that are pushing things like artificial intelligence to the cloud, offloading some computationally heavy parts of the game experience.
All of these things are really exciting for us. At OTOY, these developments are enabling some amazing breakthroughs that take advantage of the increasingly cloud-ready world. OTOY sits at the cross-section of the technologies I mentioned earlier, delivering software that lets content creators do their best work, in less time, anywhere and from any device, and ultimately leading to stunning 3D works for gaming and entertainment.
We just recently showed off a forthcoming feature of our OctaneRender software that will let content creators produce photorealistic, completely interactive holographic video – what Rod Roddenberry has called “the software of the holodeck.” For increasingly complex scenes like the ones you might imagine in a game, that holographic video will be streamed live from the cloud. The holographic data can also be used in conjunction with Unreal Engine and Pixelux’s Digital Molecular Matter engine to replace DirectX or OpenGL rendering with a real-time pathtracer, producing games with true-to-life graphics and perfect simulations of physics, object properties, physical destruction, and audio, all of which is delivered over the cloud.
Beyond that, we’re also really excited about putting the power of the cloud in the hands of anyone who wants it. We just announced our X.IO cloud service that instantly ports Windows-based programs to the cloud, making them available on any platform and any device. For those who want that type of cloud horsepower to reside locally, we’re also intending to lease X.IO hardware appliances that will let developers and publishers have a private cloud experience, using that horsepower for rendering or development purposes, or to bring applications to the cloud for end-users.
You can read more about the X.IO cloud service here: http://render.otoy.com/newsblog/?p=580.
VGi: What are your thoughts on how the Cloud Gaming industry is developing right now?
OTOY: As mentioned earlier, technology is moving at an incredible pace and cloud gaming in 12 to 18 months will be very different from the cloud gaming that we think of today. How will things like VR change the experience? How will advancements in content formats and quality – things like HDR, 4K, and holographic data – change the experience? These are difficult questions to answer, but we’re confident in saying that streaming older games, which is the primary use case for cloud gaming today, is not the pinnacle of cloud gaming and that the world will look very different over the next year.
As traditional cloud gaming challenges such as latency are overcome, the question then becomes what can we do with the cloud? Holographic video is a great example of how we can deliver gaming that is incredibly high quality, accurately simulating the way the real world looks. The end result may be something that more closely resembles the look and feel of today’s Hollywood movies. That level of detail and immersion is going to be possible.
Beyond the content, there’s also how we experience cloud gaming. There’s little doubt that Samsung and Oculus want to bring VR to the masses and there’s a good chance that will happen within 18 months. There will absolutely be an impact on how people game. Beyond that, what is the future of display? 4K is starting to trickle out, but the future beyond that, in our opinion, will be displays that are 8K and up, capable of infinite contrast, and brightness that matches what you’d see outside. The technologies are there, they just need to be brought together. Holographic displays, the type that could produce a Princess Leia-type hologram in full color, are also on the horizon. At OTOY, we’re actually in process of building commercial free-standing holographic displays for demonstration in 2015. Imagine the type of game experience you could enjoy with a working holographic projector!
One prediction that’s relatively easy to make for the next 18 months is that cloud gaming, if it’s to be successful, will require cooperation and collaboration. There’s no one company that has all of the answers, and to build something truly spectacular and make it work, we’ll need to work together. We’re excited for the role OTOY can play in that regard.
VGi: OTOY’s LightStage technology allows for 360-degree holographic capture of people that has the potential to drastically change how the media and games industries produce content. How do you see this opening up capabilities for cloud gaming developers?
OTOY: OTOY’s LightStage technology has been used for years to capture people for feature films and game development. The technology effectively captures the data set you need to create a “digital double” of whoever is being scanned. The hope is that in the years to come we can shrink the technology to a point of being used to effortlessly scan sets or environments, but we’re still a ways off from that. For now, the biggest impact on game developers is that they can have incredibly realistic people in their games. The scanning of people is so accurate that you get pore-level detail. Of course, if you’re delivering a game for a console, you’re limited by the hardware and have to dial down the detail of characters. For cloud developers though, with enough horsepower available, you can use the same level of detail that has traditionally been reserved for Hollywood special effects. Now developing a game using the same character models they used for the movie with the same level of detail isn’t so far-fetched. That’s the future that awaits cloud gaming.
VGi: It’s great to have OTOY back on board as our Lead Diamond Sponsor, what are you looking forward to most at the conference?
OTOY: We’re incredibly passionate about enabling content creators to do their best work, in part because we get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. We’re also really excited to interact with the top talents on the ecosystem side – the other hardware and software players that make cloud gaming possible and are defining its future. At Cloud Gaming USA we have the wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with both groups, hearing about what they’re working on and how we can help, showing off the work we’re doing and being recognized for the breakthroughs we’ve made. It’s the community that gets us most excited.
For more information on the Cloud Gaming Summit USA, visit: http://www.videogamesintelligence.com/cloud-gaming-usa/.