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5G Seen as Crucial to the Development of Merged Reality

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In the not-too-distant future, headset viewers will let people interact with both real and virtual spaces at the same time, a combined virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) approach called merged reality (MR). According to communications company Ericsson, 5G will be crucial to making that possability a reality.

Ericsson surveyed 9,200 VR-savvy consumers in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and South Korea, collecting the results in a report called "Merged Reality." This MR future can't happen if people are tied to their computers or plugged into bulky headsets, respondents said. What's needed is 5G connectivity: 36 percent believe 5G will create a fast, stable, high-speed platform for mobile VR, while 30 percent of VR early adopters say 5G will lead to the creation of wireless VR headsets.

Latency has to be reduced for VR to become social, and 31 percent of early adopters believe 5G will help that happen. Respondents also see 5G reducing the lag that results in VR nausea, and helping increase headset battery life.

"Increased use of AR and VR will move us towards a merged reality where users no longer separate between what is augmented, virtual, and physical," the report says. "Merged reality will allow us to transition from an internet of information to an internet of ‘realities.'"

For more thoughts on the future of VR, AR, and MR, download Merged Realities for free (no registration required).

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