In my last blog post, I described how we’re in an exciting time to harness the low latency and high capacity of 5G to enable a new era of distributed computing — where workloads can be split between the device, edge cloud, and cloud to enable the metaverse. We view the metaverse as a persistent spatial internet with personalized digital experiences that span the physical, digital, and virtual worlds. In this blog post, I’ll provide an update on the latest results from our boundless extended reality (XR) testbed, including our 5G modem application programming interfaces (APIs), and how 5G standards are evolving to enhance XR experiences.
Enhancing boundless XR experiences on our 5G testbed
Our boundless XR testbed utilizes industry-leading Snapdragon XR1, XR2, and XR2+ platforms, the Snapdragon Spaces SDK, and Snapdragon XR reference designs. It works across both private network and wide-area deployments, and across both sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands.
At MWC 2021, we demonstrated a multi-user 5G boundless virtual reality (VR) system using the Snapdragon XR2 platform with integrated 5G modem and the Ericsson 5G network. Boundless VR and mixed reality (MR) over 5G are now ready for deployment in private networks targeting enterprise, industrial, and consumer use cases.
For the augmented reality (AR) device of the future, we want sleek, stylish, and light-weight glasses that provide immersive digital augmentation to enhance our lives. Distributed computing can help achieve this. At MWC 2022, we demonstrated how AR for wide-area networks can be enabled in the near term with Wi-Fi powered AR glasses paired with a 5G-enabled phone or companion device.
The pose information and video flows from the AR glasses to the phone to the server. The server processes the data and sends back the encoded graphics via the phone to be displayed on the glasses. The round-trip time for this entire process is called motion-to-render-to-photon latency, or M2R2P. The 5G and Wi-Fi roundtrip times are key components of M2R2P. Our on-device optimizations help reduce the 5G and Wi-Fi round-trip times by more than 28 percent on average and more than 38 percent at the tail (i.e., 99th percentile), providing an improved and more uniform user experience. This is just the start — we are continuously innovating to enable new and improved AR experiences.
5G modem APIs for enhanced experiences
We have developed 5G modem APIs to enable applications to benefit from underlying modem optimization and low latency modes, leveraging features like packet prioritization, improved beam management, and dynamic packet processing across 5G protocol stack. In addition, our 5G modem APIs can provide real-time information about the network and radio frequency (RF) conditions, enabling applications to rapidly adapt bit rate and resolution to the changing environment.
At MWC 2022, we demonstrated this API functionality in a real-time cloud gaming application that adapted video bit rate faster, improved video quality, and reduced stuttering in changing RF environments.
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