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New Mobile Virtual and Augmented Reality Devices Set for Approval by US Regulators

US regulators are poised to grant approval to Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Apple Inc., and Meta Platforms Inc. for the deployment of a new range of mobile virtual and augmented reality devices. These devices include goggles and in-car connections. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced a proposal on Wednesday that would allow these low-power gadgets to tap into airwaves used by Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The FCC is set to vote on October 19, with the proposal expected to be approved due to Rosenworcel leading a Democratic majority at the agency.

By tapping into the 6 GHz band, these devices would stimulate innovation and advance wireless technologies in the United States. Rosenworcel stated that this move would “foster a new wave of innovation in devices that will benefit consumers in exciting ways and bolster US leadership in advanced wireless technologies.”

The capability to access unlicensed spectrum has been a longstanding request by Google, Apple, and Meta. Two years ago, the tech giants pleaded with the FCC, citing the critical importance of unlicensed spectrum for future innovations in augmented and virtual reality. These companies are all working on augmented reality eyeglasses and the 6 GHz band could be used to connect these devices with smartphones.

Moreover, exchanging navigation data between smartphones and vehicles is another pivotal application that could benefit from the use of the 6 GHz band. This development has the potential to revolutionize the way Americans work, play, and live, as it enables applications that can provide large quantities of information in near real-time.

In addition to this proposal, the FCC will also address net neutrality rules for broadband providers at its October meeting.

Sources:

– Federal Communications Commission
– FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

Definitions:

– Virtual Reality (VR): A technology that immerses users in a simulated environment, often through the use of headsets or goggles.
– Augmented Reality (AR): A technology that overlays digital information onto the real world, enhancing the user's perception and interaction with their surroundings.
– Federal Communications Commission (FCC): An independent agency of the United States government responsible for regulating communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.