The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made a pivotal decision that promises to shape the trajectory of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies.
By allowing low-power wearable technology to access the 6 GHz frequency band, a new era of digital interaction looms on the horizon. With significant tech companies primed to harness this newfound potential, the metaverse is poised for a transformative shift.
The Commission has adopted new rules to allow very low power devices to operate in the 6 GHz band alongside other Wi-Fi-enabled devices: https://t.co/HFaf2Hbh4M
— The FCC (@FCC) October 19, 2023
Bridging the Digital Frontier: The Power of 6 GHz
The 6 GHz frequency band is not just any spectrum. Known for its rapid transmissions and reduced latency, it offers unmatched potential for digital connectivity. Moreover, the FCC’s endorsement of its use for very low-power devices paves the way for groundbreaking applications, especially in wearable technologies.
The FCC had previously granted access to the 6 GHz band for specific devices in 2020. They acknowledged its critical role in the evolution of Wi-Fi technologies. However, the latest decision stands apart. It aims to elevate user experiences by providing faster and more efficient ways to connect devices. Still, it also underscores the future of AR/VR wearables and their integration with vehicles for sharing navigation data.
However, the freedom to use the 6 GHz band comes with its own responsibilities. The administration of U.S. electrical networks and long-distance communications services, among many others, rely on this spectrum as their foundation. Accordingly, the FCC has stressed the need to adhere to extremely low power restrictions to protect the current services using the same band.
Furthermore, the FCC has floated the idea of expanding the 6 GHz band’s use to encompass additional low-power devices. This proposed change would permit these devices to operate at heightened power levels. Nevertheless, the stipulation remains: they must incorporate geofencing to prevent interference with licensed operations sharing the frequency.
Metaverse Titans Gearing Up
With the regulatory landscape evolving, tech behemoths like Meta, Apple, and Google are gearing up to leverage this new resource. Recent collaborations between Meta and Ray-Ban have already witnessed the birth of innovative AR glasses. Apple is rumored to be on the brink of a similar release. Notably, these industry firms approached the FCC in 2020, advocating for their wearables to access this specific frequency spectrum.
Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses vs. iPhone 12 Pro pic.twitter.com/vHezTBQedn
— Thiago Vasc. (@othiagovasc) October 17, 2023
Moreover, introducing devices like Apple’s Vision Pro signals a transformative shift in metaversal interactions. Unlike traditional VR setups focusing solely on immersive experiences, Vision Pro blurs the lines between the real and the digital. Its capabilities extend beyond mere visuals. KPMG’s Head of Metaverse, Alyse Su, opined that Vision Pro’s functionalities, particularly the “EyeSight” technology, are set to redefine metaversal interactions.
One of the standout features of this technology is its ability to gauge a user’s emotional disposition based on their pupil movements. Through the seamless integration of artificial intelligence, it can interpret these cues to deduce emotions. Industry insiders believe such innovations will guide developers toward a future where neuroscience and generative AI are pivotal in delivering bespoke digital experiences.
The Road Ahead
In essence, the decision by the FCC isn’t merely a regulatory nod. It’s a cornerstone for the future of wearables and our forthcoming interactions within the metaverse. The horizon promises many innovations that challenge our current perceptions of what’s achievable in augmented and virtual reality.
As the digital and physical worlds continue to intertwine, regulatory decisions like these, which shape the tapestry of our digital future, cannot be understated.