Researchers between both Duke University and Microsoft’s own team have created a tool that dramatically reduces the bandwidth required to stream games. The tech is called Kahawai (Hawaiian for “stream,” of course), and it splits the rendering work between your device and the server instead of just the server.
Duke and Microsoft indicate that this shared work tool requires one-sixth the amount of bandwidth that typical streaming systems use. That’s an 80 percent drop. The video above shows a before and after effect on Doom 3. Notice the steadiness and the details in textures, specifically.
This collaborative rendering tool even worked in an offline state for users. That means those gaming with unstable connections will enjoy uninterrupted play as they flicker off and online, albeit with less fidelity than they’d have over a consistent connection.
Kahawai will likely spread beyond gaming if all plays out well. Duke Computer Scientist and Study Co-Author Landon Cox explains.
“Games are a natural place to start understanding how collaborative rendering can work…
…But any graphics-intensive application could potentially benefit from Kahawai, from 3-D medical imaging to computer-aided design software used by architects and engineers.”
Good news for gamers and the computing world alike, it seems. We’ll have more on whatever streaming work Microsoft is up to in the future. Stay tuned.