Amidst I/O 2022, Google Cloud announced Immersive Stream for XR last week to use the cloud-based GPUs behind Stadia for interactive 3D and augmented reality demo experiences.
Google’s cloud division already offers “Immersive Stream for Games” so that other gaming companies can use Stadia’s technology for their own streaming services.
With the launch of a second product that shares the same branding, it’s more clear that Immersive Stream is what Google will call experiences that are rendered in the cloud and then streamed to devices.
Immersive Stream for XR — currently in “preview” — is touted as putting “users in an immersive, interactive, and photorealistic experience, without having to download an app.” Like Stadia, all that’s needed is a URL (or QR code), with companies being able to “create content once and run on any device.” The company also touts “native mobile AR support with the Google app for iOS and Android.”
Other advertised benefits of this approach include:
- Simple user experience: Users can enter 3D and AR experiences in seconds without having to wait for new apps to download.
- Broad device compatibility: Experiences run on iOS, Android, and web, so developers do not need to build for each OS, model, or year.
- Photorealistic quality: The experience is rendered on powerful, cloud-based GPUs and then streamed to any device. Augmenting and offloading the processing from the mobile device provides the best user experience.
Several companies are already using Immersive Stream for XR:
- BMW is using Immersive Stream for XR to allow users to digitally place the BMW iX and BMW i4 into any real-world environment in vivid detail with usable virtual features such as changing paint colors, lighting elements, and more. Try it out
- Allows users to learn about and experience Ford’s new, all-electric F-150 Lightning with 13 interactive animations, including the innovative Mega Power Frunk, and more. Try it out
- Lowe’s Innovation Labs is using Immersive Stream for XR to help customers design and visualize their dream kitchen. Coming soon: Walk through your design in AR!
Immersive Stream for XR from Google Cloud charges using a pay-as-you-go model based on configured streaming capacity, which represents the maximum number of concurrent users that the experience can support.
Looking down the road, a previous report on Google’s upcoming Project Iris AR headset said that “some graphics” might be rendered in the cloud and streamed to the device to avoid local “power constraints.” Immersive Stream for XR could eventually be the basis for that.
Author: Abner Li