oogle, Apple, and Meta have secured the green light from US regulators to tap into a spectrum band, marking a significant move toward the emergence of new mobile virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) devices.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a unanimous decision to open up the 6GHz band for a "new class of very low-power devices." This development clears the way for the release of innovative devices, including AR glasses and in-car connectivity solutions from these tech giants.
The 6GHz spectrum will enable these AR glasses to seamlessly connect with smartphones and allow smartphones to establish links with vehicles, introducing a new dimension to the concept of connected experiences.
Meta's North America policy vice president, Kevin Martin, expressed support for the FCC's decision, emphasizing that it empowers companies like Meta to leverage wireless technologies to shape the next era of computing. This advancement promises to enhance the functionality of future devices, even when operating away from robust Wi-Fi connections.
Google's hardware division, Pixel, hailed the significance of the 6GHz band, stating it has become pivotal for the future of wireless connectivity. The FCC's decision to open this spectrum is celebrated as a victory for Pixel users and American consumers, as it now opens up possibilities for high-speed peer-to-peer WiFi communication.
The VR and AR industry's trajectory has seen various shifts in recent years, with fluctuations in investment and deal value. In 2019, VR hardware and software deals peaked at a substantial $578 million. However, this value declined in subsequent years, dropping to $309 million in 2020 and further to $262 million in 2022. As of 2023, the industry has witnessed a total deal value of $102 million. This data reflects the evolving landscape of VR and AR technology, demonstrating its potential for transformation in the tech world.