NVIDIA plans to launch its CloudXR service on Amazon Web Services in early 2021, allowing enterprises to stream AR and VR content to tethered and standalone VR headsets. While the initial use-cases focus on visualization and collaboration, the same service could underpin a consumer-facing XR streaming service in the future.

This week Nvidia announced that it will make its CloudXR streaming service available via Amazon Web Services in early 2021. Nvidia says the CloudXR system can stream any OpenVR/SteamVR content to end users on Windows or Android systems without any special modification to the streamed application.

Image courtesy NVIDIA

While Nvidia earlier this year released an SDK to allow companies to deploy the CloudXR service on their own servers, now the company is moving to bring a ready-made CloudXR solution to Amazon Web Services.

AWS is one of the most prevalent cloud computing platforms in the world, acting as the back-end web infrastructure for millions of customers. By offering CloudXR through AWS, Nvidia is making it easy for any company to spin up their own XR streaming solution for whatever their needs may be.

At the outset, Nvidia is pitching CloudXR for enterprise use-cases like visualization and collaboration, enabling companies to stream high-quality AR and VR content to employee’s headsets without needing to equip each user with a powerful VR-capable PC. Because the heavy-duty rendering happens in the cloud, CloudXR’s aim is to run high-fidelity VR content low-powered PCs, laptops, and even standalone headsets like Oculus Quest and Vive Focus.

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Although enterprise XR applications are the initial use-case, the move also brings us one big step closer to a consumer cloud-streaming XR service. A company wanting to offer such a service to consumers could theoretically build their platform on top of CloudXR hosted on AWS.

While the idea of streaming XR content from the cloud has been around for many years now, Nvidia’s CloudXR may well be the most mature and scalable solution available to date given its compatibility with unmodified OpenVR/SteamVR content and its upcoming deployability through AWS.

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  • kontis

    The obvious problem here is Quest being the only reasonable mobile XR device, but this is relying on Valve’s SteamVR.

    Companies with their Enterprise Quests will use it, but that’s it. Nothing in Oculus Store could ever use it.

    • asdf

      yeah people use virtual desktop and others to play steam games so im sure they can have an app that forwards it the same way.

    • Ad

      I’m curious about how the experience would compare using this with a PCVR headset vs a mobile one, especially if you can just use any PC.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      The OpenVR/OpenXR SDK is used only on the server. NVIDIA basically creates a virtual HMD that all apps using OpenVR can render too, which makes a lot of sense. A client running on a Quest would use the Oculus SDK to integrate the rendered Video Stream into the local app, similar to a video viewer rendering the UI locally but showing a pre-rendered, streamed video. VR renderers already use local compositors to blend e.g. high resolution text layers with 3D geometry rendered at lower resolutions, and John Carmack described mixing pre-rendered 4K video with locally rendered graphics as a clever way to improve the quality on low end VR HMDs like the Oculus Go.

      Oculus allows apps like Bigscreen or Netflix that mix in externally rendered video, the Quest link allows sending back the HMD and controller positions to a remote machine for rendering, and rendering OpenVR apps on a server and sending it to the Quest also already works. In its simplest form NVIDIA just created a cross-plattform version of what Oculus did with Link, certainly optimized to work on NVIDIA GPUs running in the cloud. The only thing that could stop them from creating clients for Quest, OpenXR, Pico, Vive WAVE etc. would be the platform owners changing their license term to forbid creating clients that stream VR from another machine.

      I have not looked into the SDK yet, but as they allow integration into other apps that aren’t just dumb clients, this could go into the direction that Carmack mentioned, e.g. apps that render a virtuell conference room locally, but then stream in a remotely rendered model of a very detailed machine part. That makes a lot of sense for many industrial visualisations that would love to use the convenience of the Quest, but need a much stronger machine to render their existing CAD models. They could start with the simplest client that renders everything on a workstation and gradually build a local app that does all the low performance parts that never change (UI, note taking, selections, avatars etc.) locally with minimal latency and use composition to seamlessly integrate the external stream.

      Oculus most likely would allow this, as there are a lot of applications that either could never run on the Quest or would require way too much model optimization for something that only 20 people will ever see. It opens the Quest to a lot of use cases that currently only work on the Vive Pro with wireless adapter.

  • xyzs

    No thanks. Relying on servers from we never know where to run apps that we can’t have the right to modify or simply see how it’s made, that’s not the future we want for VR.

    These crap techs are trying to build customer total dependency into very very closed ecosystems, where our only right is pay every month to not loose everything.

    • Ad

      I agree, but if this is like GeForce Now where you own everything except the hardware, it could actually be a huge problem for Facebook.

    • Lulu Vi Britannia

      Current Cloud gaming definitely destroys mods, and it does create a dependency on the system (except for Geforce Now).
      But saying the technology is crap is sheer exaggeration.

      The point of Cloud Gaming is to allow people to play high-end games without a high-end system. You think someone who can’t afford a brand new PC will say “no thanks, I’d rather not play than play without mods”? That would be retarded. The need of an expensive PC is a barrier, and as every barrier, it needs to be destroyed to allow more people to go past it.

      I only recently went on the PC ecosystem for gaming, and I certainly don’t intend to renew my PC every 5 years just to keep up with the latest games, especially given the price of the latest GPUs. If I can stream games that are too powerful for my PC, it’s definitely interesting.

      Also, it’s not like the technology couldn’t evolve. It’s extremely easy to imagine a Cloud Gaming system where you are allowed to install your own games and mod them. Each person just needs storage, like the one you get when you make a Google account.

      Saying Cloud Gaming is crap because it sucks currently, is like saying VR is crap because it sucked back in the ’90’s: it’s an extremely shallow perspective. Cloud Gaming, like VR and absolutely everything else, will evolve. And it’s already not that bad to begin with (providing you have a good Internet connection).

      With all that said, it’s way too soon for VR Cloud Gaming imo.

      • psuedonymous

        “The point of Cloud Gaming is to allow people to play high-end games
        without a high-end system. You think someone who can’t afford a brand
        new PC will say “no thanks, I’d rather not play than play without mods”?”

        You think a person without a high-end system will also be able to afford the high-end internet connection (and live in the geograpyhically affluent areas that are necessary to be within short hop distance to the nearest host server)? That’s the big failure point of all these various flat-screen streaming services that have flopped so far: anyone who can afford the services can afford a better local experience, and anyone who cannot afford a better local experience cannot afford the service.

        • Lulu Vi Britannia

          Absolutely not, lmao. Internet is far less expensive than a gaming rig. You don’t need a super fast network to use cloud gaming to begin with.

    • dk

      hmm locally streaming VD over wifi6 5ghz seams to be pretty good …people testing it r apparently as happy with it as the dedicated streaming solutions for vr …plus wifi6e is coming up
      …but yeah stream over the internet is more problematic and unpredictable ….but maybe someday it could be better

      • I don’t trust such user reports cos so many people praise VRD for Quest 1 as so wonderful when I’ve tried it at best case scenarios and the delay is really apparent so I can only guess either they lie or it’s confirmation bias or they don’t know better and think if it feels sluggish it’s the game and not the the fact they try to play it wirelessly. Would be great if Wi-Fi 6 on Quest 2 makes it good but I don’t really want to invest in a Wi-Fi 6 router just for VR when my current is great for anything outside that. So I’d just get a nice long USB cable to play over Link instead which is near lagless for cheap.

        • asdf

          nah u didnt test the best case scenario then….

        • dk

          delay with what settings ….because they say u lower the bit rate I think it was until there is very little delay and also they r saying the link looks a bit more compressed compared to that ….they r talking about the 90hz wifi6 VD for Q2 vs link at 72hz and most likely not optimized
          I’ll definitely have to test it myself but the difference with Q1 is not insignificant for sure

  • Ad

    I love how people who read this will think “this will be great on Quest!” But in reality this is giving you actual control over what you do so Facebook will do anything to block this from their headsets.

    • Greyl

      If this tech is coming to PC, then yes you can use it with a Quest, via Oculus Link.

      Also, if Facebook were blocking anything, they’d have blocked Sidequest, but in reality they seem open to the option of distributing apps outside of the Oculus store.

      Oculus’ Director of Content Ecosystem Chris Pruett: “We also understand that many devs and enthusiasts are looking for easier ways to access and distribute applications outside of the Oculus Store. This is an area we’re actively thinking about (more to share soon!)”

      • Ad

        1. What they’re setting up is a way to host your beta branches on the oculus store unlisted. It’s part of a slow effort to end sideloading.

        2. You Facebuds are really weird. Link sucks and this eliminates basically any advantage of the quest yet you insist that it’s still totally the best. Even though Zuck will do anything to stop it, you should still buy the Quest.

        • Greyl

          Oculus’ Director of Content Ecosystem Chris Pruett: “Regarding sideloading, that is using “adb” to install content from your PC, the answer is yes. Sideloading is a core feature of Android, and Facebook can’t remove it, so you will still be able to install all the apks that you or your dev friends are developing. This means that all the current SideQuest system, that is all based on adb, will keep working exactly as today.”

          You can pontificate all you want, but above is the word of mouth directly from the developer. They can’t change how adb debugging works; it’s a part of Android and isn’t going away, thus sideloading on Quest isn’t going away. They can obfuscate it a little, but the core functionality will remain as part of the OS.

          In regards to Oculus Link, almost every VR critic I know and trust, such as Mike from VirtualReality Oasis on YouTube, says Link works just fine and is generally a better solution to using the Rift S.

          You say tethering eliminates advantages of the Quest, but how? You tether it when you want to play PCVR, then untether it when you want standalone; it literally has a standalone feature set that’s not possible with any PCVR headset.

          Additionally, There are plenty of PCVR related things you can do while untethered, such as watching movies stored on your networked PC, and watching them wirelessly through the Quest.

          Additionally, with Virtual Desktop, we’ll soon be able to do 90hz (after an update) wireless PCVR using the Oculus Quest.

          Mike and Tyriel Wood have access to early builds of Virtual Desktop, which allows 90hz wireless PCVR, and say it works incredibly well. Furthermore, John Carmack is aware that wireless tech works well enough, so there’s a possibility wireless PCVR will be added officially in the future.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRPpdwccb2U

          • Ad

            Nonsense. UploadVR and Tested both said the Quest 2 is much worse than a Rift S for PC use and wouldn’t use it as a replacement for PCVR. Mike is not a neutral, obviously.

            As for sideloading, they explicitly laid out a new system of beta keys and SideQuest said they’re transitioning away from what they do now to that system. Whether it will be possible to sideload the traditional way is unclear. It already requires going through a process facebook controls to enable developer mode, and rooting android is never an open and shut thing, not to mention if you look at the anti piracy measures taken so far, they clearly have some control they could use either way to try and stop you.

            I don’t even get your motivations. You were sold a severely under priced monopoly headset so they would have complete control of the platform and get your data, and you think they would take something like this lying down? Why? And why do you worship them like this if you want to subvert them anyway?

          • Greyl

            Comment was removed; if it gets removed again, the original reply is directly under my last comment.

            What are you talking about? UploadVR literally called the Quest 2, “The New King Of VR”, and this is the exact quote from their review:

            “And it really works; I got to enjoy a little of Alyx with this refreshed screen quality and it’s absolutely playable. If you have a PC that can run even only a portion of the VR content that’s released in the past four years, Link only increases Quest 2’s already excellent value.

            There are some big caveats to this, of course. As I’ve said, Quest 2 isn’t as comfortable as the Rift S, and Link compresses images to get PC VR games running inside the headset.

            Facebook says that compression is one of the major areas it’s going to improve on in coming updates, but Quest 2’s improved screen resolution does make it more noticeable in its current version.

            Until that option arrives – and until I’ve tested the upcoming HP Reverb G2 – I’d stop short of calling the Quest 2 the best PC VR headset on the market. Even then, Valve’s Index is the overall ‘better’ headset (though the $700 gulf in prices can’t be ignored). But this is definitely one space to watch in the coming months.”

            Nothing about that says the Quest 2 is much worse; they state “it really works”, “is absolutely playable” and the increased resolution is better. The caveats it has, such as compression, are stated to be improved upon, and the headstrap, which everyone says kinda sucks, is easily interchangable.

            As for Tested, the main problem they stated was that the Quest 2 is currently locked to 72hz when used in PCVR, but again, another update is coming soon that will bump that up to its native 90hz.

            And nothing is changing about sideloading, because adb debugging is not going anywhere. The only thing changing about Sidequest is that it’s no longer open source, because it was inviting too much piracy to happen. But even then there are alternate marketplaces for Quest, like how Android has multiple marketplaces outside of Google Play, like Aptoide, etc. Nothing about Sideloading is going to change, just like it hasn’t changed with the way people sideload stuff on their Amazon Fire Sticks/Tablets.

            Watching home theater is absolutely a PCVR thing. It’s what I used my PCVR headset for a lot of the time. The problem was that it was tethered to my PC, and I didn’t want to be sat at my computer desk to watch movies, but in my bed or on my couch. This is where the Quest comes in and lets me turn any room of my house in to a VR home theater and stream content from my PC, which I use as a Plex server, which has several TB’s of HDD storage and where I rip all my Blu Ray’s to.

            And I’m not worshipping anyone, but you have to give praise where praise is due, and praise needs to be given to Facebook for putting the latest XR2 mobile chip in a mobile VR headset and selling it for $299. No other company is offering that kinda value, so it is what is. In regards to data collection and privacy, we don’t have any objective proof that they are doing anything super nefarious besides basic things, like interest based ads, etc, which most websites do nowadays. And if you were so concerned about that, why do you even have a Disqus account? They were involved in selling user’s data as well. Google, also exploits your data, with interest based ads and YouTube recommendations; and I’m willing to bet you have a YouTube account.

          • Ad

            Pointless whataboutism, watching home theaters was a GO function, and what are you talking about, there aren’t multiple stores on Quest(!) and if they can stop piracy then obviously they can stop anything.

            And no, Tested’s review specifically said that compression was way too noticeable and they never think native and streamed will be the same. When Jeremy from Upload was interviewed by the other Upload staff he said clearly that the Rift S was the better option, and speculation doesn’t matter.

            Facebook selling it for $299 should be illegal, but you have no answer to why it is so cheap. For charity? Total control, a monopoly, and then data collection. No credit is due to a hostile takeover. If you need proof just look at Facebook everywhere else in their businesses.

          • Greyl

            You talk about a whataboutism, then mention GO, which is literally discontinued. “What about this device, which is literally discontinued”. Fact of the matter is, Quest 2 has the best price and screen resolution and other factors, that make it the best wireless VR solution for watching PCVR theater.

            And you’re completely misquoting Tested and Upload and not comprehenesively watching or reading their reviews, taking a choice few words out of context to suit your agenda. Yes, both reviews stated the compression and hz was a negative factor for now, with the review sample they were testing. But Facebook have literally told them via a press release that a 90hz and compression update is coming:

            https://uploadvr.com/oculus-link-quest-2-improvements/

            So things like slightly more washed out colours, artifacts on the Quest 2 vs the Rift S are expected to be improved, due to the compression update and XR2 having much better decoding horsepower. But even with those slight current drawbacks of Quest 2 vs Rift S, the Quest 2 still has the noticeably higher resolution screen and there’s significantly less screendoor effect vs the Rift S. And if you’re updating from a CV1, like I am, then the Quest 2 in an even bigger upgrade over that. Yes, there are always going to be caveats to the Quest 2, literally no headset on the market is perfect; even the Index has a lot of problems, but in terms of price to performace factor, Quest 2 can’t be beat; it is the best PCVR headset for that pricepoint. And the bottom line, is you are in the minority of people complaining and nitpicking it to such an anal degree.

          • Ad

            Their comments were clear. It doesn’t matter if Facebook “says” it will improve, that’s just speculation. You can’t credit something on the assumption it will improve beyond another product. I mentioned the price argument, this is probably being sold for half of what it costs to make, it’s predatory pricing and it should be illegal.

          • Greyl

            It’s not speculation, it’s fact. They had to temporarily disable 90hz only because it was screwing up with the Guardian system, which was flickering at 90hz; that’s going to be fixed with an update. And the XR2 processor is objectively more popwerful and better suited decoding video streams on the fly than the Snapdragon 835, thus video compression/artifacts will see an improvement:

            “The current Oculus Link’s compression is fairly hard to notice, but it is there if you look for it- and in darker scenes it’s more apparent.

            But until Quest 2, Link’s bitrate was limited to what the Snapdragon 835’s decoder can handle in real time- around 150 Mbps.

            Quest 2’s Snapdragon XR2 has a more capable video decoder- though by how much is not public knowledge. Facebook tells us it’ll take advantage of the XR2’s increased capabilities to “tackle” compression and handle it “more elegantly”. These improvements won’t be available at launch, though, they’re slated for a near future software update.”

            But even in its current state, even with artifacts (which are only really noticeable if you’re looking for them) Quest 2 and its increased visual fidelity is generally an upgrade over the Rift S.

            And with wireless, via Virtual Desktop, it has a little lag, so wouldn’t be great for something like Beat Saber (which is a native game, anyway), but it’s generally considered fine and completely usable for most other PCVR games:

            https://youtu.be/4YIvi7lgn_A?t=627

            You’re in the minority; you have a very anal opinion. Most of the big YouTubers and VR review sites are praising the Quest 2.

          • Greyl

            Anyway… Lol, to get back on point. Your original comment was the assumption that this nVidia technology wasn’t coming to Quest and that it would be somehow blocked by Facebook.

            Yet, literally on nVidia’s own blog, discussing the project, they state:

            “When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Gettys and Theia used NVIDIA CloudXR to deliver customer projects to a local Oculus Quest HMD, streaming from the AWS EC2 P3 instance with NVIDIA Virtual Workstations.”

            They’re literally USING the Quest to test this technology.

            https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2020/10/05/cloudxr-on-aws/

            Will there be a native app for it on Quest? Probably not, but neither is there a Geforce Now app on PlayStation, Xbox or Switch, because they’re all closed platforms, just like Quest. The difference is, Quest is built on Android, and adb debugging is a standard feature of the OS, which cannot be removed only obfuscated.

            Furthermore, the technology most likely will come to the PC desktop somehow, and via the Oculus Link, the Quest becomes a PCVR headset, so there’s that avenue as well.

            So regardless of how many straw-man arguments you throw out the hat about Facebook, etc, your original statement remains objectively false.

          • Ad

            Those youtubers are singing the praises because they have to, some have told me they simply need the engagement that comes from Quest. But again, it isn’t an upgrade over the Rift S in its current form and while you can say it might improve over it, that is purely speculative. The PS5 might allow PSVR1 games to run at 300% SS and 120hz, doesn’t mean it will happen.

          • jimmy

            valve simp

          • Greyl

            What are you talking about? UploadVR literally called the Quest 2, “The New King Of VR”, and this is the exact quote from their review:
            “And it really works; I got to enjoy a little of Alyx with this refreshed screen quality and it’s absolutely playable. If you have a PC that can run even only a portion of the VR content that’s released in the past four years, Link only increases Quest 2’s already excellent value.
            There are some big caveats to this, of course. As I’ve said, Quest 2 isn’t as comfortable as the Rift S, and Link compresses images to get PC VR games running inside the headset.
            Facebook says that compression is one of the major areas it’s going to improve on in coming updates, but Quest 2’s improved screen resolution does make it more noticeable in its current version.
            Until that option arrives – and until I’ve tested the upcoming HP Reverb G2 – I’d stop short of calling the Quest 2 the best PC VR headset on the market. Even then, Valve’s Index is the overall ‘better’ headset (though the $700 gulf in prices can’t be ignored). But this is definitely one space to watch in the coming months.”

            Nothing about that says the Quest 2 is much worse; they state “it really works”, “is absolutely playable” and the increased resolution is better. The caveats it has, such as compression, are stated to be improved upon, and the headstrap, which everyone says kinda sucks, is easily interchangable.
            As for Tested, the main problem they stated was that the Quest 2 is currently locked to 72hz when used in PCVR, but again, another update is coming soon that will bump that up to its native 90hz.
            And nothing is changing about sideloading, because adb debugging is not going anywhere. The only thing changing about Sidequest is that it’s no longer open source, because it was inviting too much piracy to happen. But even then there are alternate marketplaces for Quest, like how Android has multiple marketplaces outside of Google Play, like Aptoide, etc. Nothing about Sideloading is going to change, just like it hasn’t changed with the way people sideload stuff on their Amazon Fire Sticks/Tablets.
            Watching home theater is absolutely a PCVR thing. It’s what I used my PCVR headset for a lot of the time. The problem was that it was tethered to my PC, and I didn’t want to be sat at my computer desk to watch movies, but in my bed or on my couch. This is where the Quest comes in and lets me turn any room of my house in to a VR home theater and stream content from my PC, which I use as a Plex server, which has several TB’s of HDD storage and where I rip all my Blu Ray’s to.
            And I’m not worshipping anyone, but you have to give praise where praise is due, and praise needs to be given to Facebook for putting the latest XR2 mobile chip in a mobile VR headset and selling it for $299. No other company is offering that kinda value, so it is what is. In regards to data collection and privacy, we don’t have any objective proof that they are doing anything super nefarious besides basic things, like interest based ads, etc, which most websites do nowadays. And if you were so concerned about that, why do you even have a Disqus account? They were involved in selling user’s data as well. Google, also exploits your data, with interest based ads and YouTube recommendations; and I’m willing to bet you have a YouTube account.

    • It just requires a sideloadable client, it is hard to block

      • Ad

        They can stop people from sideloading. It’s already supposed to only be for developers. If people had to sign their own apps it would be a huge problem for them. This could crack open their platform, even if it doesn’t fix everything.

    • jimmy

      fuck off shit talker

  • Yeah, CloudXR is great! They told me that they will evaluate implementing it in Azure and other services after this initial release on AWS

  • Rupert Jung

    The real question: Will Facebook block this?

    • jimmy

      wtf you talking about

  • Andres Velasco

    Thanks but no Thanks Nvidia. Not interest on anything related to the Cloud

  • Ted Joseph

    Bring it on. I cant wait until the cloud services are so efficient that we can have simple, lightweight pair of AR or VR glasses where all of the processing is done outside of the headset, or in Apples iGLASS scenario, carrying an iPhone around with you everywhere to do all the processing in the AR glasses.