LIVE FROM AR & VR WORLD, LONDON: A Telenor Pakistan digital strategy consultant predicted 5G will be a game changer for the deployment of immersive technologies in emerging markets.

Jawad Arshad (pictured, far right) pointed out the level of connectivity required for a fully immersive augmented or virtual reality experience is not yet available in many emerging markets. This currently presents a barrier the expert believes will be removed by 5G.

In a panel session, Arshad encouraged operators to begin experimenting with augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) now to ensure they are ready for widespread rollouts by identifying and overcoming potential barriers.

Another issue is the slow rate of adoption of new technologies in regions such as Asia, but he was positive this would also change as price points lower over time, as was seen with smartphone penetration.

Down the road this will present operators with opportunities in terms of selling AR and VR content through direct carrier billing: Arshad highlighted monetisation as another element operators should begin considering sooner rather than later.

As for hardware, he said Telenor’s retail presence will be ideal for selling VR devices.

“As an operator we are enabling an ecosystem for developers to use our strength to build new use cases,” he explained.

Industry benefits
Meanwhile Mark Rosam, head of innovation, motorsports at McLaren Applied Technologies (pictured, centre) said it is important to find a champion of such technology in the company who can demonstrate its advantages to executives.

While constructing cars are McLaren’s band DNA rather than selling immersive content, Rosam noted AR and VR offer benefits in areas including design checks.

Paul Davies, associate technical fellow at Boeing Research and Technology (pictured, second from right) said he found the biggest challenge at the moment to be how to move technology from a silo environment when it is demonstrated, to real-world applications.