Immersive Interconnected Virtual and Augmented Reality: A 5G and IoT Perspective


Despite remarkable advances, current augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) applications are a largely individual and local experience. Interconnected AR/VR, where participants can virtually interact across vast distances, remains a distant dream. The great barrier that stands between current technology and such applications is the stringent end-to-end latency requirement, which should not exceed 20 ms in order to avoid motion sickness and other discomforts. Bringing AR/VR to the next level to enable immersive interconnected AR/VR will require significant advances towards 5G ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) and a Tactile Internet of Things (IoT). In this article, we articulate the technical challenges to enable a future AR/VR end-to-end architecture, that combines 5G URLLC and Tactile IoT technology to support this next generation of interconnected AR/VR applications. Through the use of IoT sensors and actuators, AR/VR applications will be aware of the environmental and user context, supporting human-centric adaptations of the application logic, and lifelike interactions with the virtual environment. We present potential use cases and the required technological building blocks. For each of them, we delve into the current state of the art and challenges that need to be addressed before the dream of remote AR/VR interaction can become reality.

Journal of Network and Service Management