Mobile Devices

Verizon acquires AR startup to expand future options for 5G

03 October 2019

Jaunt's augmented reality service in action. Source: JauntJaunt's augmented reality service in action. Source: JauntVerizon Communications Inc. has acquired Jaunt XR, an augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) startup, for an undisclosed amount.

One of the benefits of 5G, the next generation of wireless communications, is the promise that it will eventually allow users to do more than with their smartphones. One of these applications is in the realm of VR/AR.

VR/AR on smartphones is relatively common, but because current communications technology is not as fast as 5G, it can get bogged down. 5G promises not just faster speeds — up to 10 times that of current 4G LTE — but low latency. This will allow VR/AR games and other VR content to run seamlessly without slowing or stuttering.

The deal for Jaunt will bring the company’s AR software, called XR Cast, into the Verizon fold. The AR technology allows people to record 3D augmented reality holograms, view and stream them in real-time as well as share a 3D video that can be manipulated to see any angle on social media. The technology allows people to film subjects from a 360° perspective, then output a hologram that matches the subject’s appearance. These images can then be used to capture scenes.

Because 5G is in its infancy but holds much promise, equipment vendors, telecoms and other companies are experimenting with what the technology might be able to do in the future. For instance, SK Telecom has also started a project involving AR and VR for eSports viewing.

Other projects have emerged as well, including testing new ways for emergency services to be more efficient, HD maps for future self-driving cars, 8K televisions, and improving outdoor robots and intelligence agriculture.

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