The GSMA is looking to tie Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology to the growing momentum around 5G connectivity, announcing a new initiative aimed at encouraging the development of cloud-based AR and VR services.
Called “The GSMA Cloud AR/VR Forum”, the program has the backing of major mobile network operators including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telefónica, Telenor, TIM, Turkcell, and Vodafone. It was announced at Huawei’s 9th Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London, and also has the support of Huawei as well as fellow electronics brand HTC.
The aim is to encourage industry-wide cooperation in a bid to ensure that a shared infrastructure will help to foster the development of compelling market solutions from all concerned. As GSMA Chief Technology Officer Alex Sinclair explained in a statement announcing the initiative, “VR and AR are disruptive forms of immersive multimedia that, combined with operator edge cloud and 5G connectivity, will transform the cost structures of the enterprise and entertainment fields… but without a common approach and industry-wide collaboration we risk fragmenting the market from the beginning.” The creation of the GSMA Cloud AR/VR Forum, he said, “will overcome this hurdle and ensure we can scale compelling solutions faster.”
The collaborative efforts may in turn reinforce ongoing trends in related areas such as biometrics and image recognition, with major consumer tech companies like Apple and Google having demonstrated a growing interest in AR together with these other technologies in their latest smartphones.