Blockchain and gaming seem to be going hand in hand these days with several exciting projects being announced in the space.
One of the most interesting firms in this space is OTOY, who recently joined the Content Delivery and Security Association (CDSA) as an Advisory Board member of Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) to “assist in developing world-class industry security solutions and smart content standards on the blockchain alongside major studios and media industry leaders” according to a press release.
By joining CDSA and MESA, OTOY state that they aim to unlock the new value blockchain technology offers by embedding the highest standards of content protection into the revolutionary scaling and smart contract properties of distributed networks. The effort will first focus on collaborating with the CDSA Board of Directors, Technology Committee and general membership as they work to develop the application and cloud security protocol for the new Trusted Partner Network (TPN), a joint venture between the CDSA and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who claim to be worldwide leaders in third-party entertainment industry assessments.
I spoke to Kalin Stoyanchev who is the Project Lead at RNDR, a platform for distributed GPU rendering, as well as OTOY’s VP of Distributed Systems and Blockchain.
What exactly is your solution and how does it change the sector since you make the bold claim that RNDR beats Google and Amazon?
“RNDR allows anyone with a modern GPU to allow their idle computer to be used to help power a peer-to-peer network to earn tokens that can then be redeemed on a deadline (when more computation power is needed), or for rendering media in very high resolution. This is key for the growth of immersive media because rendering requirements are increasing exponentially, pushing many organizations to look to the cloud to keep up with the demand, thus using thousands of parallel compute nodes, which would not be practical to install locally”.
Stoyanchev explained that results from their Beta interest form in July demonstrated that RNDR can achieve a greater scale of GPU computation power for high-end holographic GPU rendering work than others in the space. While AWS and Google have rapidly expanded their cloud in the past few years, much of this capacity is used to run artificially intelligent processes. They still do not have enough capacity to render holographic media.
“Part of the inspiration for RNDR was that when the need to render light field jobs for our partners arose, we would saturate all the regionally available GPUs on a single render. A decentralized network allows us to have the computational power needed to cater for a future where holographic media is widespread”, Stoyanchev explained.
What does membership of this association (MESA) mean to the RNDR project?
“Joining MESA allows us to work with other member organizations – these are the leaders in the cloud computing industry – to help set the standards for secure cloud workflows, which will be essential for augmented and virtual reality production that requires exponentially more processing power that can only be provided by the cloud. While centralized clouds have been transformative, the light field media we are producing needs a system that unlocks the value of peer-to-peer nodes. As a result, we are working more specifically with MESA and its member organizations to help create cloud security protocols that allow the industry to tap into the potential power of decentralized networking, which could make for dramatic improvements in cost, availability, and efficiency”.
Stoyanchev added that Blockchain is transforming the cloud-graphics industry since it provides the architecture and incentives to organize a peer-to-peer computer network, which allows developers to tap into the vast pool of graphics cards out there to perform next-generation graphics rendering, which will push the boundaries of resolution, photorealism, and real-time responsiveness.
An interesting observation by Stoyanchev is that high-performance, visually immersive photorealistic graphics need to be pushed to the cloud due to hardware constraints. For example, it is impossible for lightweight AR glasses or light field displays to do data processing locally as a result of the tremendous resolution demands. The cloud allows graphics to be done at the server side, removing many local hardware problems that prevent very high end, visually immersive media experiences from being widely deployed.
“Furthermore, the cloud is essential for democratizing production workflows for next-generation media. Installing hardware locally is prohibitively expensive. The cloud allows artists to pay-on-demand for only what they use. RNDR makes this even more efficient, allowing artists to monetize their idle computers to earn credits that allow them to scale in the future”, he added.
RNDR has sold tokens to be used on the platform to select partners over the course of 2018 although they wouldn’t reveal how many have been sold and what kind of sums have been raised by the sale. They are currently in the testing phase with Beta users on the network, to start the process of decentralized rendering, and doing various tests on the network. They aim to launch their mainnet early next year to give Genesis token holders a more multifunctional product that should ultimately attract new users to the network.