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Virtual Reality unplugged – how 5G will unleash VR

Tech and Innovation 5G

Posted on January 16, 2019

3 min read

As predicted, two symbols were the talk of CES this year – 5G.

At the biggest consumer technology show in the world, we announced Telstra customers will soon get exclusive access to 5G commercial devices thanks to a series of partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands.

We also got our first look at some of the inaugural phones and devices that will be powered by this revolutionary mobile technology.

Samsung had a prototype smartphone on display, safely behind a glass case.

And Netgear, which powers our Telstra Netgear Nighthawk M1, unveiled its 5G hotspot.

5G will power so much more than phones and internet hotspots though. One of the other uses is Virtual Reality (VR), with nearly 400 VR exhibitors on show at CES 2019.

Cutting the cord

High-endd VR headsets have had to be connected via cables to a computer, until now.

The Oculus Quest is a wireless all-in-one gaming headset, allowing players to enjoy their game anywhere.

From a tech-spec perspective, it’s not as powerful as its brother, the Oculus Rift, but cutting the cable is considered a major step in releasing VR into the mainstream.

Going wireless of course requires a wireless connection and, as games continue to increase in size, complexity and resolution, fast speeds and low latency will be a must.

VR in the back seat

This would definitely keep the kids entertained on those long road trips.

Audi, Disney and startup Holoride have teamed up to develop an in-car VR game. From the back seat of the moving car, you help Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy shoot asteroids and drones.

The VR experience is intended to visually match what the passengers feel as they ride – e.g. the VR environment will mirror any turns, acceleration or brakes the car makes.

Smart specs

Google had an unsuccessful crack at this a few years ago, but smart glasses could be making a comeback with Vuzix now taking orders for its Blade AR glasses.

It projects a semi-transparent and rectangular screen on one of the lenses to mirror phone notifications and run apps. In the future, these types of glasses could enable facial recognition, send live feeds from their inbuilt cameras or run 3D simulation apps.

All of these types of applications will require the speed, capacity and low latency 5G will deliver.