This IBC Accelerator Challenge aims to showcase an advanced, high-performance 5G network to connect real-time centralised graphic and spatial XR computing power into an end-to-end solution operations system to centrally stream premium, immersive virtual reality content to head-mounted displays.  

Calling for participant expertise:

  • SDK to allow VR rendering/streaming from GPUs into HDMs  

  • Cloud-based software solution (to complement SDK) 

  • XR Edge Computing / VR rendering: Video streaming software provider

  • 2D & 3D Graphics Production (via Original IP / XR Studios)

  • Solution provider for enhanced localisation

  • Solution provider for the management for centralised GPU-driven computing power node & pipeline infrastructure

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Champions

Telenet/Liberty Global (project lead), Park Entertainment

Challenge & Innovation

The innovation in this proof of concept (PoC) will be to create a 5G use case using centralised streaming of VR with 5G connectivity, using either private cloud or an edge, to result in real-time, high-speed, simultaneous experiences delivered to multiple users in multiple locations, with the focus on at-home entertainment until on-location venues can reopen and operate safely. 

The challenge will be to future proof remote 5G production, improve the VR content experience for fans and push the creative IP, technical boundaries and capabilities to utilise hardware resources to test how far 5G can go.

Main KPIs of Innovation: 

  1. Centralised environment, 5G network and head-mounted display (HMD) integration 
  2. To showcase the impact of 5G’s speed and low-latency connectivity with operational performance testing/ network performance testing 
  3. XR spatial computing streaming solution, VR game and HMD integration 
  4. Interoperability / software testing 
  5. Building a capability map/architecture/functionality paths (5G-to-VR-to-HMD) 
  6. Showcase a growth in a new 5G blueprint, aiming for a broadcast quality experience with high-end IP creation studios 

Key PoC deliverables

A scalable solution for 5G-VR blueprint & commercialisation:  

  • Identify best use scenarios and limitations of the setup 
  • Identify tools or methodology to test network performance and validate operation guidelines 
  • Using creative IP with 5G, contribute towards democratisation of location-based virtual reality (LBVR) to change perceptions into becoming a more mass adoption entertainment format 

Centralised environment, 5G network:

  • A test bed with demonstration setup in several locations in-home, within a specific LBE, safety-controlled location, or, in a movable “LBE truck” with fully integrated 5G network infrastructure 

Streaming solution, VR content/experience and HMD integration:

  • The streaming solution should be able to stream in 4K quality to an Android based streaming device and integrate into VR games as a normal gaming client. (Added latency from streaming software is preferred <3ms) 
  • The HMD needs to report its real-time location and controller info back to the streaming server
  • The VR content/games need to be able to synchronise players in different physical locations, and different play zones set up into the same virtual zone  

Key Deadlines

Participant application deadline: 24 July 2020

Proof of concept development: June - September 2020

IBC Showcase: 8-11 September 2020

Why 5G centralised streaming for LBVR?

Virtual reality is one of the fastest growing entertainment formats that transports a fan to interactive, immersive, multidimensional worlds, be it together in a physical space, or apart in various locations. In January 2020, PwC estimated VR/XR to contribute “up to £1.5 trillion to the global economy by the year 2030”, and when powered with 5G connectivity, VR’s inclusive creativity can thrive with no boundaries.  

Experienced in real-time, in groups remotely or within multiple locations, its popularity has also included bringing immersive, multi-player experiences direct into fan’s homes, more specifically since the global self-isolating due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since existing premium LBVR experiences rely on high performance gaming hardware and dedicated localisation setup, (resulting in extra cabling and weight for the user to carry), this IBC PoC solution will provide an industry use case to set up a LBE-like environment in space that fits the user, regardless of location, and without the obstructions and health hazards of extra equipment.  

For further information: accelerators@ibc.org

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