BASICS OF HYBRID COMPUTE
Hybrid compute blends Onchain + Offchain computation to aid the development of protocols and applications. A simple example today is lending and borrowing in DeFi. Chainlink does the offchain part to provide filtered and verified offchain data/price feeds and Aave uses it to do the onchain part of lending and borrowing. Boba aims to do it for other sectors that can be enabled by Hybrid Compute.
Hybrid/(Onchain + Offchain) Computations is what enabled DeFi with just one aspect of offchain computation. There are so many aspects to it and the scope is large. It can create a totally new sector, similar to how DeFi turned out. Imagine all the sectors, protocols and dapps, it can enable if done successfully.
SOME EXAMPLES
The category of Hybrid Compute (onchain + offchain) Contracts is vast and the use cases are a bit vague as of now. Yet some examples are

Weather based insurance for farmers (Weather data comes weather centers offchain and offchain computation needs to be done to filter the data)

Verifiable Random Numer Generation for Games (Blockchain can’t do RND Num due to it being deterministic and would thus need offchain computation)

Cheating is a huge problem in games. In Play 2 Earn games , if there is rampant cheating, players will quit as they can never win/earn. Game logic can be done offchain and a proof can be submitted Onchain for verification to prevent cheating.
A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES
Blockchains/Onchain computations need deterministic results on computations to verify. Eg. 5 + 3 is always equal to 8, whenever computed and hence can be verified.
Offchain computation involves probabilistic/unpredictable results, meaning it could give a different result each time it’s computed, hence is difficult to verify. Eg. 5 + Random Number, will give a different result each time and hence the sum is difficult to verify.
What is needed is a proving methodology for the offchain probabilistic/unpredictable data and computations.
Imo, Boba’s Hybrid compute is initially opting to take the simple route of a single node to verify the offchain part. Using multiple nodes to verify(distributed client network) is a lot more tougher as the proving methodology has complexity. But one step at a time.
PATH FORWARD
As Boba makes the tech available and build an ecosystem of development around it, imo it’s important to get one hit Dapp using it. That will propel Boba’s Hybrid Compute forward and gather more developers around it to make it an even greate success.
The above are based on chats with The Nose. I’m sharing it here so that more discussions can be had regarding Hybrid Compute with the larger community. It will be great if you can add your thoughts and more examples. Examples especially seem to make the uses of Hybrid Compute clear and could inspire applications, one of which can turn out to be a hit.