February 21, 2020 – Spatial, creators of a holographic collaboration platform, along with mobile mixed reality headset manufacturer Nreal, and Qualcomm Technologies, are together joining forces with South Korean cellular carrier LG Uplus, Japanese telecommunications operator KDDI, and German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom respectively, to work towards the acceleration of mass market adoption of AR collaboration.
The partnership will aim to provide enhanced collaboration, featuring more participants with richer presence, highly complex 3D content, and more diverse content formats. Spatial will also make its platform available on consumer 5G devices later this year.
Spatial states that its device agnostic AR collaboration software, coupled with Nreal’s lightweight, large field of view mixed reality glasses, will deliver a platform and app combination for 5G. Enabled by smartphones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 or 865 Mobile Platforms and participating carriers’ 5G networks, the joint effort will help to deliver an accessible, mobile remote presence solution that isn’t limited by physical space, according to the companies.
Spatial co-founder and CEO, Anand Agarawala, commented: “Spatial is already in use and being actively explored by a significant portion of the Fortune 1000. A large part of that interest is driven by improved access to hardware and, as 5G networks and mass market headsets like Nreal Light become commonplace, we’re throwing jet fuel into that fire. This combination of hardware, chipset, and carrier giants is a perfect storm for AR just like what drove the mobile revolution in the early 2000s with smartphones, high speed mobile data, and app stores.”
Each company will work together to share technical requirements and best practices, with an overall aim of driving innovation forward, as well as furthering product development and innovation across all fronts.
“This combination of hardware and software offers a perfect example of what can be achieved through the power of 5G,” said Yasuhisa Yamada, Deputy General Manager for the Product and Customer Service Sector at KDDI Corporation. “At KDDI, we anticipate the coming era of 5G technology as we work to make the world a more enjoyable place by integrating telecommunications and life design. I believe that XR technology is an essential part of that process, and through this partnership with Nreal, we will create experiential value that will bring excitement to our customers. Moving forward, we will conduct verification tests using XR technology in every possible field together with our partner firms as we pursue the creation of new business models for the age of 5G.”
Brian Vogelsang, Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., said: “Qualcomm Technologies is committed to connecting and enabling the ecosystem to make XR the next mobile computing platform and our work with Spatial is an exemplary proof point”. He added, “With mass deployment of 5G through global operators and XR viewers coming to the enterprise and consumers with partners like Nreal tethering 5G smartphones using Qualcomm Snapdragon, we are excited to transform remote presence through holographic telepresence and virtual collaboration with Spatial platform in 2020.”
Chi Xu, CEO of Nreal, stated: “We’re excited to be collaborating with Spatial, to support their vision to make cross-collaboration in the workplace, using AR, a reality on the Nreal Light platform”, adding, “Favoured for its affordability, lightweight form factor, and robust developer support, Nreal Light is the go-to mixed reality device for developers with mass market ambitions”.
According to Daewon Song, the head of the LG Uplus Future Device Unit, it is 5G networks that will bring about the change in the way people communicate. The 3G networks helped enable a transition from voice calling to video calling, and 4G networks make that video calling popular to the public. Now, with 5G networks, it is expected to promise the network infrastructure necessary for virtual reality-based communication, potentially through the use of virtual 3D avatars, to make video calls even more realistic.
Song added: “LG Uplus is working with Spatial for [a] telepresence solution, to prove the validity and potential of Spatial’s telepresence on Nreal AR glasses. What this collaboration fosters, through the strength of the LG Uplus 5G network, is a feeling of closeness [and] working together, no matter where you are. Combined with the boundless possibilities of XR as a medium, we are looking for a way to change the customer’s everyday life.”
Video credit: Spatial/YouTube