Researchers at Microsoft and Duke University have come up with an innovative way to help gamers save on the total amount of bandwidth used when playing high resolution games. The new project has been named Kahawai, which is the Hawaiian for the word “Stream.”
Kahawai works by reducing the amount of bandwidth needed to play a graphically intensive game. Researchers say that the new streaming method only uses a fraction of the traditional bandwidth needed to run a cloud hosted game.
As an example, the research team at Duke and Microsoftpublished this video on YouTube, which demonstrates the abilities of Kahawai while playing Doom 3.
The new research is a big win for organizations that build games for mobile devices. With the Kahawai project, publishers of cloud hosted games will be able reach a bigger market and provide rich, streaming games to wider audience, regardless of their cell phone data plan. Minimum requirements to run a game may become a thing of a past.
Since most of the heavy lifting is done within the cloud, the mobile device, console or PC that is streaming the game will have less data to process once the streamed game hits the device. Kahawai relies on technology called “collaborative rendering.”
An article published at Duke.edu says, “The task of quickly generating fine-grained details — such as subtle changes in texture and shading at speeds of 60 frames per second — is still left to the remote server. But collaborative rendering lets the mobile device generate a rough sketch of each frame, or a few high-detail sketches of select frames, while the remote server fills in the gaps.”
The Kahawai technology is expected to be expanded outside of gaming. Because software such as CAD and medical 3D imaging relies upon the same technology, researchers also believe that Kahawai can be used within these fields.