British technology startup Improbable announced SpatialOS on Wednesday - a distributed operating system that enables developers to build detailed, dynamic worlds and simulations at a scale previously impossible.
SpatialOS allows developers to build simulations which will transform how we look at complex systems in real-world areas including city management, defence, economics, entertainment and many others.
SpatialOS will power a new wave of businesses and products taking advantage of strong simulation technology.
Founded in 2012, Improbable raised $20 million earlier this year from Andreessen Horowitz, one of the most well-known venture capital firms globally. Improbable's future vision is to become the infrastructure provider for the software developers needing large-scaling modelling capacity.
Simulations built on SpatialOS can harness the power of hundreds or even thousands of cloud servers in a single interwoven fabric, but will be as easy to build and publish as web applications.
On Wednesday Improbable opened a developer signup, and said the first partners would get access to the platform almost instantly. "The first developers getting in have a massive opportunity," Herman Narula, cofounder and CEO of Improbable, told Hybe in an interview.
“To really understand the complex systems that drive our world we need to move from just looking at patterns in past data, to actually recreating the world with powerful simulations. To unlock the promise of virtual reality, we need to move from simple games to true virtual worlds,” Narula said. "It's like looking at a television set. It could be a realy cool new TV set, but people are going to be very disappointed if its empty inside."
Improbable said it would collaborate with academics, city planners and developers to build a fully working model of an entire city, mapping the interaction of traffic patterns, energy consumption, pollution, waste management and many other elements.
“Big data can only tell you what has happened to one particular system. But through a strongly simulated model of a city, we could pose and answer 'what if' questions involving all the systems that make up a city in real time,” said Narula. "We just need better answers than: we will talk to the specialists."