The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorised the use of the 6GHz band for low power devices such as wearables, a move designed to spur development of new augmented and virtual reality applications.

In a statement, the agency expects the ruling will bring forward a more flexible ecosystem of “cutting-edge applications” and allow wearables such as AR/VR glasses to operate alongside Wi-Fi-enabled devices. 

US technology companies including Meta Platforms, Google, Apple and Microsoft have lobbied the FCC to expand the use of 6GHz band to ease the development of metaverse-related gadgets, claiming access will support faster connectivity via tethering and in turn enhance performance. 

Notably, big tech has previously faced setbacks in introducing smart wearables, with Google abandoning plans to launch its smart glasses for example.

In an emailed statement seen by Bloomberg, VP of North America policy at Meta Platforms Kevin Martin said FCC’s decision will “allow companies like ours to use new wireless technologies to build the next wave of computing”. 

The 6GHz band will offer a total of 850-megahertz of spectrum, providing “very high connection speeds, which are ideal for the types of high data rate cutting-edge applications that will both enrich consumer experiences and bolster the nation’s economy”, the FCC said. 

The authority also pointed to the potential in wearable sensors and IoT devices.