I think we’re all aware of the implications that accompanied the announcement of Google’s gaming streaming service STADIA a few days ago when it comes to the games industry: Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft will definitely have something to think about when STADIA launches later this year. It promises to revolutionize the gaming industry by removing the need to have dedicated (and expensive) gaming hardware in order to play AAA-type experiences. This is has the potential of being a huge disrupting agent in the video games industry, which has become the biggest-grossing entertainment industry in the world. However, STADIA will also have a revolutionary effect on non-gaming applications. Below are just three of the areas that will most likely be completely changed thanks to Google’s upcoming games streaming platform.
Google announced that STADIA is being developed on a partnership with AMD, a chip-making giant that has, in the last couple of years, finally started making strides in taking back market share from rivals Intel (in the CPU market) and nVidia (in the GPU market). While the CPU and GPU market have been evolving at a steady pace, we haven’t seen the huge jump in performance and AI that was promised by Murphy’s Laws of Computers. This will certainly change, as Google, being the tech giant that it is, injects funding into development of more efficient, dedicated processors for STADIA. While we know that this custom chip delivers a relatively astonishing 10+ Gflops of performance, the reality is that this is still a chip based on silicon.
The future, however, is graphene; the problem with graphene is that the processes required to ready graphene for microchip production are not yet in place at a large scale. With Google investing heavily in R&D, however, graphene will eventually become the go-to material for producing microchips of all kinds. This will allow for not only more computing power, but also lower power consumption, lower running temperatures, smaller footprint, better AI implementation, and a whole host of other benefits. This technology will inevitably trickle down to consumer products beyond STADIA servers. Affordable graphene will have a huge impact on technology as we know it, and will influence everything from the type of processor on your cellphone, to the computer aboard the spaceship that will eventually take mankind to Mars and beyond. And all of this, accelerated by STADIA.
AI and Artificial Neural Networks
Google made it very clear that AI and Artificial Neural Networks are key for the future of STADIA and the rest of the organization at large. In fact, Google has been developing AI for a while now, with Google Assistant being a core consumer product that utilizes this technology. Moving forward, AI and Neural Networks will be used in order to optimize resource allocation within STADIA servers to provide an optimum player experience, lowest possible latency, and so on. The research and development that will occur for this to be optimized will have a huge impact on other industries.
The medical field, for example, relies heavily on AI, Artificial Neural Networks and computer-based simulations to find solutions to problems such as different types of cancer and possible cures, disease propagation, development of artificial limbs, and more. The R&D that will take place at STADIA will enable the medical field to (eventually) take advantage of this and utilize new simulation models and new network optimizations for their large-scale Neural Networks.
ABOVE: Waymo, Google’s autonomous car project.
The automotive industry will also be affected, as autonomous cars become more and more ubiquitous and the need to have a deep-learning neural network of accident prevention, self-driving vehicles and automatic road, traffic and public transport management become ever more needed. Google has already been hard at work at developing autonomous vehicles, and STADIA will play a large role in furthering the development of AI research within the organization.
Access to information in developing economies
There’s no question that Google already has had a major impact in how we consume technology, and the way we access information online. The Android operating system, owned by Google, has allowed manufacturers to develop smart devices that are a fraction of the cost of a modern desktop computer. Having access to the information superhighway that is the internet has allowed people in developing economies to do many great things, from developing breakthrough technology, to toppling dictatorships.
#NetNeutrality allowed me to invent the web. If protections are scrapped, innovators will have to ask ISPs for permission to get their ideas out – a disaster for creativity. A disaster for the internet. Tell your Reps to stop the vote. https://t.co/WlTfbe9ZNg … @webfoundation
— Tim Berners-Lee (@timberners_lee) December 12, 2017
Now, STADIA will reinforce the Google network infrastructure as it grows, and with it, more and more remote areas will receive better connection to Google’s own servers. While STADIA is set to launch only in select territories this year, their roadmap highlights their current server locations in places like South America, Africa and South-East Asia. Strengthening their server availability will also empower the deployment of internet access to millions, something that Google is already developing with Project Loon, a balloon-based network of internet distribution. Can you imagine the impact it will have to small villages to have access to free, unlimited information and education? A budget electronic device will allow anyone, anywhere, to access the education they need to grow as individuals and professionals, almost regardless of their geographical situation and economic reality.
Obviously, Google is still a giant corporate conglomerate. Not for a minute to I believe that they will, just out of the goodness of their hearts, change the world for the better. However, through their pursuit of developing STADIA into a stable, profitable business, the trickle-down effect will inevitably affect industries far beyond gaming. And this is only the beginning.
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of “The Blair Witch Project”, and “Sonic 3D Blast”. Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers.
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