nice but its not the first
This is simply a way of effectively storing data about a volume, things like density, velocity, colour and other properties like that. These can easily run in to enormous caches of data, terrabytes per frame if stored ineffectively. Its also about making sure that all the rendering software out there can use this data. Its a big benefit to dreamworks if they are able to swap data to other companies too.
Sony did the same i believe with their Field3D, someone correct me if i'm wrong is a similar project...
It seems a bit weird to see this kind of thing reported by so many news sources outside of the VFX circle, some PR department is doing a good job.