One of the emerging technologies brought to you via the Cloud is the ability to compute graphics at the cloud level so that a user doesn’t have to have the latest and greatest video card installed locally. Amazon recently unveiled AppStream at its cloud computing conference in Las Vegas last week.
Amazon AppStream is still in beta stages. Amazon claims that the service can display graphics in HD and in 3 dimensions. This results in the end user receiving a picture that is in 720p resolution while using the resources of the Amazon cloud in order to render such graphics. The AppStream service accepts user input from the users mouse, keyboard or touch screen apparatus.
If AppStream takes off, it could revolutionize the gaming industry. Just imagine a world where any game can be streamed through any smartphone, tablet or personal computer. AppStream invokes a new paradigm for developers because development teams are no longer constrained by physical hardware barriers and using AppStream to deliver graphical services ensures that each user is playing the game on a level playing field.
AppStream also opens up a new revenue stream for gaming companies. Game publishers will be able to tap into a segment of computer users those who have always wanted to try out gaming but haven’t felt the need to upgrade their existing computer hardware in order to play the latest titles.
Another huge advantage of this model is the update process. Traditionally, clients would have to connect to a server one by one in order to get the latest updates, patches or security updates for a specific game. With AppStream, these can be applied into the cloud thus relieving the user of having to install these updates locally. With AppStream, the possibilities are literally endless.
A company called Embody is using the AppStream service as a means to design clothing on the fly using 3D models that can be presented to the end user in which they can purchase using the traditional eCommerce model. Amazon General Manager of Games Unit Mike Frazzini was quoted as saying, “As we’ve opened this up and talked to a diverse set of potential customers, we’ve been surprised by the use cases.”