- Polytechnic University of Turin
Cloud gaming enables playing high-end games, originally designed for PC or game console setups, on low-end devices such as netbooks and smartphones, by offloading graphics rendering to GPU-powered cloud servers. However, transmitting the high-resolution video requires a large amount of network bandwidth, even though it is a compressed video stream. Foveated video encoding (FVE) reduces the bandwidth requirement by taking advantage of the non-uniform acuity of human visual system and by knowing where the user is looking. Based on a consumer-grade real-time eye tracker and an open source cloud gaming platform, we provide a cloud gaming FVE prototype that is game-agnostic and requires no modifications to the underlying game engine. In this article, we describe the prototype and its evaluation through measurements with representative games from different genres to understand the effect of parametrization of the FVE scheme on bandwidth requirements and to understand its feasibility from the latency perspective. We also present results from a user study on first-person shooter games. The results suggest that it is possible to find a "sweet spot" for the encoding parameters so the users hardly notice the presence of foveated encoding but at the same time the scheme yields most of the achievable bandwidth savings.