One of the most significant innovations this generation has seen is game streaming - literally the ability to stream a video game through your network to another device. It's a pretty exciting technology, truth be told; particularly so when cloud computing enters the equation. When you stream a game, the device you're using is only responsible for two things: input and display. The raw computing requirements necessary to run the game are off-loaded onto another device.
If you want an example of how this works, take a look at how the Nvidia Shield works with the PC or the Vita works with the PlayStation 4. Both devices are designed to stream games, and both do a fairly adept job of it. Unfortunately, in both cases, there's one critical weakness: latency. Often, when streaming a game, you're going to experience delays. You're occasionally going to encounter input lag unless you've a flawless network connection.
That's a rather significant weakness - and it's one the creators of GameBuddy claim to address.
The way the product accomplishes this is through the use of something known as NOLAG Video Transmission. This rather innovative tech1nology allows the device to transmit video over either WiFi or Ethernet with a delay between 30 and 60 ms. According to the product's Kickstarter page, this level of delay is about a tenth of that achieved by competing products - while also being effectively undetectable to the human eye.
The way it works is by changing the codecs traditionally associated with HD video. Since these codecs are designed for offline compression, they're less-than-ideal where streamed video is concerned(and even worse for game streaming), allocating a large time buffer in order to account for changing bandwidth. As a result, said codecs single-handedly send latency through the roof.
NOLAG, meanwhile, is designed from the ground up to preserve low video latency over a network by actively adapting to changes in network bandwidth. Should the bandwidth drop while video is being streamed, the codec will immediately adjust the video's bitrate in order to prevent drops in framerate or video artifacts. It's a pretty awesome software innovation, and a fairly revolutionary step for game streaming, to boot.
As if that pitch isn't promising enough, GameBuddy is also completely hardware-agnostic.Whereas most game streaming solutions are tied to a single platform or console (the Nvidia Shield, for example, can only stream Steam games), GameBuddy doesn't much care what systems you're using. That includes network hardware, as well. Essentially, all you really need to do in order to set it up is plug it in and run a few software installations.
Games aren't actually the only thing it's capable of streaming, either. GameBuddy can stream from PC or Smartphone to the big-screen, from console or smartphone to the PC, from DVR ot a tablet, PC, or TV; or from PC to a TV, tablet, or smartphone. In the case of PC, Tablet, and Smartphone streaming, the developers will provide an application that allows the device to function as a transmitter or a receiver.
GameBuddy is developed by iPixel Technology LLC, an organization which focuses primarily on HD video transmission over wired and wireless networks. Those of you interested in obtaining a GameBuddy of your own can swing by the Kickstarter, which is currently about halfway to meeting its funding goal.
Game streaming may well be one of the most innovative technologies this generation of gaming has yet seen, but it's not yet perfect. At the current juncture, streaming's held back by a whole host of problems, the foremost of which is latency. With innovations like NOLAG, however, this latency could easily become a thing of the past, and very soon it might not be so common to take your PC games with you on your phone.