November 2, 2017
CTIA Wireless Foundation Hosts Mobile VR Expo at the FCC
Imagine a future where students learn about the face of the moon by walking along its craters, where doctors practice performing a surgery from opposite sides of the country and where firefighters train to combat blazes from inside their own homes.
Virtual Reality makes all those futures, and more, possible. To showcase how wireless networks are making Virtual Reality, well, a reality, CTIA Wireless Foundation hosted its Mobile VR Expo at the Federal Communications Commission yesterday. Exhibitors included Verizon, AT&T, Qualcomm, Intel, Samsung, Limbix, Google and ImmERge Labs.
FCC leadership and staff spent the afternoon exploring how wireless networks will unleash the power of VR. Intel, Google and Verizon showed what VR can do for students and teachers through experiential art exhibits, virtual field trips, and even interactive curricula. And companies Samsung, Qualcomm, AT&T, ImmERge Labs and Limbix shared the ways that VR is improving healthcare by offering immersive therapies, training scenarios and fitness applications.
The event began with remarks from CTIA Wireless Foundation President Meredith Attwell Baker, who emphasized the need for innovation-friendly regulations to enable of 5G future. “Wireless depends on infrastructure and runs on spectrum,” Baker said. “And while our 4G networks give us a peek into what’s possible, tomorrow’s 5G networks will unleash the full potential of mobile VR.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai echoed Baker’s call for policies that help advance the rollout of 5G and will one day enable virtual reality. “VR and AR are very sensitive to network performance, and that means any hiccup can dramatically alter the experience of the user,” Pai said. “I think that’s where 5G comes in—the ultra-fast, high capacity, low latency that 5G portends can really be a game changer in terms of VR and AR development.”