Extended Reality (XR), an umbrella term for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR), will be the next-generation computing platform which aims to create virtual experiences indistinguishable from reality.
There are numerous XR experiences with applications in a variety of scenarios. Additional VR applications may include online gaming, virtual event participation, and educational experiences, while mobile AR use cases may include video gaming, mission critical services, online shopping, spatial-audio multiparty calls and conferences, and digital co-design.
5G New Radio (NR) developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is designed to support emerging XR uses cases that require rigorous key performance indicators. Specifically, low latency, high reliability, lower power consumption, and high capacity are key requirements for the success of XR. Such demands may include quasi-periodic traffic in large chunks, irregular intervals, and variable size, as well as high data rates including uplink (UL) for AR services, simultaneous transmission of 3D video stream, and control data over the same end-to-end connection.
While 5G benefits XR, emerging use cases will require further end-to-end optimizations and potential enhancements for 5G networks, which continue to evolve with each new 3GPP specification release. Rel-15 and Rel-16 offer a decent foundation for XR, but they were not specifically designed or optimized for XR support. Potential enhancements in 3GPP Rel-17 and Rel-18 are expected to optimize XR support including XR awareness, power optimizations, and capacity enhancements.
“Extended Reality and 3GPP Evolution” explores the following key topics:
- Evolution of XR
- XR key facilitators and use cases
- VR use cases
- AR use cases
- XR service characteristics and delivery requirements
- XR key enablers
- XR in 3GPP standards
Diana Maamari, Staff Engineer at Qualcomm, and co-leader of this 5G Americas working group said, “In addition to advancements in XR technologies like optics, projectors, display systems, graphics, audio, tracking, and AI, 5G standards with XR-specific enhancements and distributed computing architectures can enable boundless XR and provide photorealistic visuals. Future advances in beam perception and artificial intelligence can bring further communication benefits and make boundless XR a reality at scale.”