The continuing investment in VR and AR means that it is a near inevitability that eventually, they will have a dramatic impact on our lives. But there are significant challenges to the industry which prevent its wider uptake. To construct a high quality, top-of-the-line VR system, you need a headset wired to a computer with a pricey graphics card and strategically placed sensors.
Now, you can buy a headset with inside-out tracking, which removes the need for these sensors, but the problem is that these are only applicable on headsets that don’t need to be plugged into a computer. And any headset that isn’t plugged into a computer must make do with a far smaller and less powerful graphics card than you would want or expect on a top-of-the-line system.
So, how best to overcome this problem? If we want to keep inside-out tracking, and get rid of big external sensors, we need to find a way to outsource the need for in-house graphics cards. In other words, we need to connect our headsets wirelessly to a computer with the required processing power. The way to do this is to exploit the potential that 5G offers.
New 5G networks will provide the speed that cloud-based VR needs in order to be a success, and several companies have already begun to develop the technology required to make the most of it. This includes an example of a hub that allows numerous devices to be connected to it – opening up the possibility of a co-operative VR experience.
As 5G becomes accepted into the VR industry, it will allow more and more manufacturers to enter the market and, inevitably, this increase in investment will lead to the technology becoming more affordable. Companies that already have their own cloud systems will be able to integrate quickly. We should, in the near future, be able to connect to high-quality content without having to invest in a very expensive setup.