AR and 5G could be the chocolate and peanut butter of technology in 2021

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Expanded reality is still unfamiliar to most of them. 5G is also new, and many would argue that they need each other to thrive. That means we all have to learn a lot quickly about two technologies that are set to become the next big thing. What now?

“The nice thing about 5G is that it’s fast and has low latency,” she says Paul Travers, CEO of AR technology company Vuzix. The high latency and relatively low bandwidth of today’s cellular connections would make cloud-based AR a disconnected experience compared to the frame-level responsiveness that Vuzix expects from 5G when it moves the AR core to the cloud. “Especially if you’re using edge computing, it means the cloud has to respond with sub-frame times” that don’t delay expansion by even a single frame of video.

Say goodbye to the tech on your face look. Vuzix says its next line of products will pass for regular fashion eyewear, but with full display AR in almost every part of the wearer’s field of view.

Vuzix

Standalone 5G AR glasses could be around in the next year or two. Downsizing all of the electronics to fit inside glasses will take longer, but Travers believes that an impending middle ground will be glasses tied to a small portable belt package with a 5G connection and all-day battery. It’s not the endgame on the road to lightweight cloud-based AR, but it’s an important step in showing how 5G can take AR to a new level.

Vuzix Next Gen glasses

The next version of the Vuzix AR glasses will pack their electronics in slim glasses that hardly reveal that they are AR hardware. The next milestone is the integration of 5G technology into these temples.

Vuzix

AR glasses still endure the skepticism of the First launch of Google Glass. But Travers believes Glass’s short and rocky history has benefited AR in general. “I know they get a lot of balls on their faces but, heck man, the only way to get there is to start and move the ball forward.”

Paul Travers has long been an AR innovator and has had many other insights into AR that he shared with Brian Cooley in the video above.


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What now is a video interview series with industry leaders, celebrities, and influencers covering trends affecting businesses and consumers in the midst of the “new normal”. There will always be changes in our world and we will be here to discuss how to navigate through all of that.

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