A Verizon executive detailed a strategy of focusing on three primary enterprise use cases for AR and VR employing its 5G spectrum and multi-access edge computing (MEC) capabilities, moves it claimed are needed to address complexity and fragmentation in the sector.
T.J. Vitolo, director of product engineering technology and product development, told Mobile World Live core AR and VR use cases spanning remote expertise, training and simulation are already in use by large enterprises.
He stated each of the core areas were relatively horizontal and can be employed across manufacturing and healthcare industries, indoors and outdoors.
“We consider them the healthiest, the most adopted, the most viable and the best return on investment for the users.”
Vitolo argued it is key to find the right combination of bandwidth, software and glasses for each application while also keeping them simple to use.
Verizon’s services employ its private 5G, C-Band and ultra-wideband services and spectrum with its MEC to create uninterrupted connections from the radio to the device without a drop in latency.
The operator uses Microsoft Azure for the private 5G edge network connections and Amazon Web Services’ public cloud for the set-up accessed by field technicians.
Vitolo stated the operator conducted a number of field trials, but is not pitching a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. He cited providing overlays of information on wearables used by field technicians as an example.
AR and VR technologies are also finding traction for training purposes: in addition to overlaying manuals and guides, digital twins enable relatively unskilled employees to fix a problems on a manufacturing floor without extensive or costly training, Vitolo noted.
For simulation, medical students can practice on high fidelity cadavers to learn how to operate on patients.
A surgeon could also use information collected from an MRI to make the correct incision on a patient by having the overlay point to the right spot.
Vitolo said Verizon is forming numerous partnerships to better understand the use cases and the network needs, along with the correct wearables and software for each application.
“There are no formal partnerships in place today, but as we start to roll out products we’ll see a very tight partner ecosystem”.