Software giants like Adobe and Microsoft have all taken leaps towards streaming their software service to the user via the cloud (ex. Adobe Creative Cloud and Office 365), yet current plug-ins are still required to access the stream and the experience is depends on your hardware dependent. ORBX changes that.
The development company OTOY is currently better known for their “lightstage” technology, which brought characters like Davy Jones alive in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel and the Octane Renderer, which creates photorealistic images from 3D files in seconds, but these connections to the film and VFX industry could play a major part in the adoption of ORBX.js. That’s because the codec runs so quickly that it can actually watermark intra-frames within the stream, which could lead to the elimination of obnoxious and barring DRM in video files. For large production houses where costly render farms and workstations must be upgraded and maintained constantly, the ability to simply stream professional software packages to any device could yield huge savings. In a time where VFX budgets are shrinking and cost of production is rising, ORBX could become an invaluable resource to the film community.
There are, of course, those who are skeptical of the promises and a major argument against ORBX lies in its source code, built largely on WebGL, not currently supported on iOS Safari.
If all this isn’t promising enough, the development roadmap looks to add some fantastic features, such as full HDR support, 12-bit color, built-in Alpha channel support, and most exciting, connections to hardware like the Kinect and Leap Motion over websockets. Given OTOY’s track record in the digital arena, it’s a fairly safe bet that ORBX.js will find its way into most browsers in the coming months. And my bet is that you’ll find it on Mozilla Firefox first.
Image source: Simflight.com