In the coming years, the XR will encounter an upheaval with the advent of 5G. Indeed, whether for individuals or professionals, immersive technologies have invaded everyone’s daily life. Moreover, it is now clear that the world of tomorrow tends to become more and more connected.
And who says connection, implies an exponential increase in data requests and therefore a potential saturation of bandwidth.
Challenges faced in the world of XR
In addition to specific performance and hardware requirements, some immersive content is also bandwidth-hungry in order to have a fluid and interactive experience. This is particularly the case for augmented reality (AR), which is accessible today via smartphones and tablets or via AR glasses. Due to limited computing power and the demand for data transfers that can be significant, the overlay and interaction between digital content and the physical world can lack harmonization.
With regard to virtual reality (VR), since the introduction of standalone (wireless) headsets, their content must be optimized to the maximum so that data transmission to any location is possible with minimal latency. Latency is a significant concern in VR because it causes visual discomfort that can result in nausea or motion sickness and thus hinder the experience and immersion.
Complex and detailed VR experiences would be visually taxing for today’s autonomous headsets. For example, the limited computational capabilities of the Oculus Quest 2 – a standalone headset – slightly hamper the potential of games played on it.
One of the solutions found by the brand itself is to develop the Link cable to plug into this headset in order to connect it to a computer and benefit from its power. This cable will only be responsible for the visual reproduction. But there are other solutions, one of which will aim to reduce computing time through a powerful network such as 5G.
5G, the foundation of future experiences
Although the current 4G network is enough for most immersive experiences, the introduction of 5G can represent a considerable leap. Indeed, 5G will be able to provide the necessary bandwidth for immersive experiences, where it will be possible to experience quality content and greatly increase the degree of interactivity. Even better, with 5G, developers will soon have the ability to radically change the types of interactions and integrations that could sometimes be limited and create new ones! Furthermore, according to ABI and Qualcomm research, 5G speed will reduce latency by 10 times while network efficiency and traffic capacity will be 100 times greater than 4G. The impact of such latency reduction is tremendous for VR applications and experiences, as it will ultimately optimize the overall user experience.
5G and cloud: the convergence of two worlds
The massive deployment of 5G can also leverage the cloud to provide an even more immersive and fluid experience. Indeed, unlike today where content is usually downloaded and rendered on a device, with this new architecture, it will be possible to deliver pre-rendered rich content to users on the go. In concrete terms, the immersive experience will not be loaded from the user’s device, but from a third-party server. This process allows being free from the characteristics of the device (headset, smartphone etc.) by performing the most difficult calculations of the experience itself. And with new network capabilities, 5G will thus offer a more consistent, reliable experience and ultra-low latency service.
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