Otoy is a rendering company that pushing the limits of digital light fields and physically-based rendering. Now that Otoy’s Octane Renderer has shipped in Unity, they’re pivoting from focusing on licensing their rendering engine to selling cloud computing resources for rendering light fields and physically-correct photon paths. Otoy has also completed an ICO for their Render Token (RNDR), and will continue to build out a centralized cloud-computing infrastructure to bootstrap a more robust distributed rendering ecosystem driven by a Etherium-based ERC20 cryptocurrency market.
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I talked with CEO and co-founder Jules Urbach at the beginning of SIGGRAPH 2017 where we talked about relighting light fields, 8D lightfield & reflectance fields, modeling physics interactions in lightfields, optimizing volumetric lightfield capture systems, converting 360 video into volumetric videos for Facebook, and their movement into creating distributed render farms.
In my previous conversations with Urbach, he shared his dreams of rendering the metaverse and beaming the matrix into your eyes. We complete this conversation by diving down the rabbit hole into some of the deeper philosophical motivations that are really driving and inspiring Urbach’s work.
This time Urbach shares his visions of VR’s potential to provide us with experiences that are decoupled from the normal expected levels of entropy and energy transfer for an equivalent meaningful experience. What’s below the Planck’s constant? It’s a philosophical question, but Urbach suspects that there are insights from information theory since Planck’s photons and Shannon’s bits have a common root in thermodynamics.
He wonders whether the Halting problem suggests that a simulated universe is not computable, as well as whether Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems suggests that we’ll never be able to create a complete model of the Universe. Either way, Urbach is deeply committed to trying to creating the technological infrastructure to be able to render the metaverse, and continue to probe for insights into the nature of consciousness and the nature of reality.
Here’s the launch video for the Octane Renderer in Unity:
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