FCC opens 6 GHz band for low-power AR/VR devices

Ryan Daws is a senior editor at TechForge Media, with a seasoned background spanning over a decade in tech journalism. His expertise lies in identifying the latest technological trends, dissecting complex topics, and weaving compelling narratives around the most cutting-edge developments. His articles and interviews with leading industry figures have gained him recognition as a key influencer by organisations such as Onalytica. Publications under his stewardship have since gained recognition from leading analyst houses like Forrester for their performance. Find him on X (@gadget_ry) or Mastodon (@gadgetry@techhub.social)

The FCC will allow low-power wearable technology, including AR and VR devices, to access the 6 GHz frequency band without the need for a license. This decision comes amidst a surge in mixed reality devices flooding the market.

The FCC’s announcement enables low-power devices to use the 6 GHz band, offering faster speeds, enhanced bandwidth, and lower latency. According to the FCC, this decision will stimulate economic growth and enrich consumer experiences.

Leading tech giants – including Meta, Apple, and Google – petitioned the FCC in 2020 to open up this frequency spectrum for their low-power AR/VR wearables. Meta recently launched its Quest 3, while Apple is gearing up to ship its Vision Pro in early 2024. Meta and Apple are also working on AR glasses.

The FCC’s move allows for the connection of AR/VR devices to smartphones and facilitates the sharing of navigation data with vehicles, opening up new avenues for user interactions and experiences in the expanding metaverse.

However, the FCC has taken careful measures to balance innovation with the protection of existing services.

The newly established rules limit permitted devices to very low power levels and include specific requirements to ensure nationwide operation while safeguarding licensed services operating in the same band. The band is not only vital for next-generation Wi-Fi but also used by services managing the US electric grids and long-distance phone services, necessitating stringent FCC oversight.

This decision marks a significant step towards a metaverse future, where immersive experiences and cutting-edge applications seamlessly integrate into our daily lives.

(Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash)

See also: GSMA: Smartphone ownership surpasses 50% yet digital divide persists

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