GSMA launches edge cloud AR/VR initiative

23 Nov 2018

The GSMA has launched a new industry-wide initiative focused on the development of cloud virtual reality and augmented reality technology.

The new GSMA Cloud AR/VR Forum is backed by a number of Asian and international mobile operators, including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, KT, NTT Docomo and SK Telecom. Also involved are vendor and content provider partners including Huawei and HTC.

As part of the program, the GSMA aims to encourage whole-of-industry collaboration on accelerating the delivery and deployment of 5G cloud-based AR/VR services.

The forum will encourage knowledge sharing between members, as well as discussion about new business models capitalizing on the emerging technology. A key priority will be the development of a service reference architecture to avoid cost fragmentation.

Other technical development areas will include research into ultra-low latency codec compression, cloud-based graphics processing unit (GPU) rendering and virtualization technologies.

Moving processing of VR and AR graphics to the cloud has the potential to stimulate demand for AR/VR headsets beyond the high-end enthusiast segment, allowing the devices to be sold at price points that will give them mass market appeal, according to GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair.

“Both VR and AR are disruptive forms of immersive multimedia that, combined with operator edge cloud and 5G connectivity, will transform the cost structures of the enterprise and entertainment fields,” he said.

“Mobile operators will play a key role in its development, but without a common approach and industry-wide collaboration we risk fragmenting the market from the beginning. The establishment of this forum will overcome this hurdle and ensure we can scale compelling solutions faster.”

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