Edge Computing Test Zone to Be Set Up In Silicon Valley

AT&T are testing Edge Computing systems to improve VR and AR mobile applications.

The demands of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications can be hard on the battery life and components of smartphones. Developers often are forced to make a compromise between battery life and graphical fidelity. AT&T are now setting up a system in Silicon Valley which will alleviate this issue by outsourcing high-end processing to the cloud using an Edge Computing system.

The Palo Alto Edge Computing test zone is being set up to allow developers, engineers and technology companies to test the efficacy of the Edge computing system and its ability to improve the latency, graphics and realism of high-end smartphone applications, such as those involving VR or AR.

VR and AR applications tend to be draining on battery life, and efforts to resolve this problem result in a reduction in graphical fidelity. Letting cloud computing take some of this strain would appear to be an obvious solution, but since the servers and data centres are often a long way from the user’s device, this can result in high levels of latency, which can cause simulation sickness in VR applications. Edge computing resolves this issue by moving the data processing closer to the user, by installing processors in locations such as cell towers and other locations through the mobile network.

“Our goal in this experiment is to find the right architecture, the right services and the right business value in this ecosystem,” said Igal Elbaz, head of the AT&T Foundry. “It’s all about moving quickly and collaborating closely with third-party innovators and developers.”

AT&T do not currently have any specific projects set up for testing the Edge Computing network, but the company is inviting contributions and collaborations from various technology companies in the Palo Alto area who might benefit from the technology. The initial test area covers several miles, and its location means that establishes companies and start-ups can all work directly with AT&T to evaluate the technology.

Further information can be found in a white paper published by AT&T which goes into further detail on the project.

VRFocus will continue to report on new innovations in the VR and AR areas.

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