It almost sounds like a beautiful fairy tale: Absolutely photorealistic graphics on all devices, no matter how old or new. The only thing the user needs is a modern web browser and a stable Internet connection. Various providers are now luring users with this promise and are mainly targeting gamers - whether "NVIDIA GeForce NOW" Shadow Cloud PC" from Germany or "Google Stadia". The idea behind the offerings is simple: No matter where I am as a user, I can play interactive applications and PC games in the highest possible quality. Even on the smartphone. In the field of industrial applications, however, there was no good way for a very long time to make very elaborate applications available in web streaming. Within the Unreal Engine, a toolkit called Pixel Streaming was created to solve this problem: With it, visually demanding applications can be easily computed in the cloud and streamed to client PCs. Quasi like a "Teamviewer", in which one can remotely operate the application completely interactively, the user's input is transmitted to the server.

Advantages and disadvantages

Pixelstreaming technology can be used, for example, to implement a configurator for automobiles in photorealistic quality, which can then be integrated on the manufacturer's website and is available from any user device. Based on this example, the most important advantages and disadvantages are listed below:


  • Eine Anwendung, die sonst nur auf einem Gaming-PC lauffähig wäre kann universell eingesetzt werden – egal wo, sogar auf eine Webseite
  • Die Anwendung ist beim Aufruf der Webseite nahezu sofort verfügbar, da vergleichbar mit beispielsweise einem YouTube Video keinerlei große 3D-Daten geladen werden (diese befinden sich schließlich auf dem Cloud-Server) – die Videoauflösung skaliert auf Basis der verfügbaren Bandbreite automatisch mit
  • The user's device may be old or slow, but the visual quality of the 3D views is always identical and not hardware-dependent.
  • As soon as at least 50.000kbit/s internet is available (meanwhile very widespread DSL standard) or a LTE connection on the smartphone, the application can be operated quasi latency-free


  • A completely separate server instance must be provided for each user that calls the application. These GPU server instances are currently priced quite high (approx. 8ct / minute streaming per user).
  • The interactive application developed with Unreal must also be supplemented by a backend that automatically starts and stops server instances (so that no costs are incurred for unused instances), such a backend is provided, for example, by b.ReX GmbH from Stuttgart.
  • If all server capacities are exhausted, loading times occur, since the respective server provider must first start up new instances (approx. 30-40 seconds, which are bridged with a loading bar).


Pixelstreaming is already suitable for interactive applications on the web. However, the still rapidly scaling costs mean that the intended use is likely to be limited to a few thousand parallel users in most cases. The technology is also particularly exciting for collaborative applications, as several users who are currently running the application in the browser can be displayed simultaneously in a virtual scene. Great interactive experiences can be created in this way, especially for virtual events, trade shows, eLearning or brand experiences.

Image source: Epic Games