Google just announced a new gaming platform…yes, Google. It’s called Stadia, and the short version is that it’s a thin-client cloud-only gaming system. It allows you to play games from Google as a cloud-based provider from most mobile, TV, or PC platforms—even those that are way underpowered. This without a gaming console sitting next to your TV or having to buy other hardware (well, perhaps a controller).
Stadia works the way you think it would. The back-end cloud processing deals with the core game processing, data storage, and, most important, the rendering of the moving images transmitted to whatever platform you’re using at the time. You can start a game on your Mac, move to the 70-inch 4K in the living room, and then to your mobile phone on the train to work.
Although this is neat and all, most IT executives at major companies are not gamers. So why would this interest them? Here are two ways enterprise IT could benefit from Stadia’s innovations.
Multiclient, thin-client rendering. Google has been the king of this in the past, with thin-client applications that work in browsers as well as if the application is running on the native platform.
This trick, if it works as advertised, will improve the world of those who create graphically intensive applications that need to run everywhere with fast and brilliant moving images, such as IoT consoles or an analytics dashboard. Right now the client processing requirements are such that widespread use is just too complex and too costly. Stadia technology could greatly improve those development approaches.
True simulation training. Training platforms based on watching videos and taking tests afterwards need to be replaced with outright simulation. It’s just a better way to train our brains. The potential here is that Stadia could make cloud-based gaming common and thus open the door to more effective training through real-world simulations.
Imagine having a spare moment in the airport and being able to access simulation training from your phone. Organizations could create a realistic experience of everything from fire suppression management on an oil rig to conflict resolution in a business meeting. The possibilities are in the thousands.
Now the hard part: Are you going to block these cloud servers to prevent gaming at work? I suggest you don’t. Before you rush to judgement, consider what this technology brings and how you could use it.