It seems like virtual world creation has become ubiquitous in today’s streaming multiverse, but what are the obstacles to make it accessible and seamless to all those who want to deploy Unreal Engine and other augmented reality solutions to realize their visions? Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech Media, Producers Guild of America (PGA), VR AR Association (VRARA), discusses these challenges with Sean Gardner, Head, Video Strategy & Market Development, AECG, AMD, in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media East 2023.
“It’s easy enough using Unreal Engine or Unity or Lumberyard to create your own world in 2D or 3D,” Pfaff says. “But I feel like the larger scale is pushing toward…that environment.” He asks Gardner if he sees a way for a wider variety of platforms to build virtual worlds.
Garnder notes that interactivity is now “table stakes” for Gen Z and Millennials. “They don’t want to passively just view something,” he says. “And we’ve been talking about personalization, but what we have traditionally meant is, ‘I want to serve you a personalized ad.’ That’s not personalization. Personalization is they want to be involved. ‘I want to be able to drive the personal experience.’” He says that platforms such as Discord have deeply layered personalization and interactivity into the streaming experience for younger viewers. “I think these experiences now need to be more cohesive and [we need to] start building them from the ground up,” he says. “These are new ways of interacting with the content, [where] you’re making it social and interactive. This means that everything now, if it’s being rendered or it’s being filmed, a lot of that processing now has to happen at the edge. That means it changes the economics, because now it’s not a centralized compute engine. Now you’re distributing it. So it means the cost per unit needs to come down, power needs to come down.”
Gardner argues that the entire personalization and interactivity development process must be better optimized technologically and economically. “I think it’s glass-to-glass or graphics processing unit (GPU) to viewing or whatever,” he says. “But [it] needs to be fully optimized, and that’s where we get latency and economics and everything.”
“And you guys are very involved in that,” Pfaff says.
“We’re doing a ton,” Gardner says. “We’re working with various protocol partners [on] our GPU team, working with camera vendors like Red [and] Media Monks. So we’re trying to help optimize the full channel.”
Learn more about a wide range of streaming industry topics at Streaming Media Connect 2023.
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