October 26, 2021 – MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2021 LOS ANGELES
KDDI Corporation (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan; hereinafter “KDDI”), Deutsche Telekom AG, MobiledgeX, Sturfee and Mawari have jointly developed a mobile application proof of concept to demonstrate an augmented reality (AR) application leveraging remote rendering (Mawari) and visual positioning (Sturfee) running on a common platform (MobiledgeX) across edge networks jointly provided by KDDI and Deutsche Telekom. This proof of concept (PoC) is expected to accelerate global edge-enabled extended reality (XR) application development and will be showcased in alignment with the GSMA Foundry Telco Edge Cloud (TEC) Pre-Commercial Trials initiative. A video demonstrating the PoC is available below.
The Concept: Harmonized Low Latency XR Enabling Services and Applications on Multiple Operator Edge Networks
To provide the best user experience, next generation mobile applications like XR require close proximity to support APIs and SDKs in backend code, and deliver the quality of experience and scale that mobile application users demand. To address that requirement, there’s a growing need for consistent APIs and cloud services to be deployed within MNO edge networks to support these next generation applications in an easy and consistent way. For MNOs, the challenge is speed, scale and collaboration. Today, MNOs cannot benefit from each other’s complementary market development, especially in the area of discovering new “in-network” services that will be required to power the next generation of apps and solutions.
Proof of Concept Overview: Bloom City mobile application
This trial shows the ability to run advanced, edge-enabled services across different geographies and MNO edge networks. Using the MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud 3.0 platform to provide unified access to KDDI and Deutsche Telekom’s 5G edge resources, Sturfee and Mawari were able to easily deploy and run services with optimal latency and bandwidth, creating a highly-differentiated mobile application experience.
In the Bloom City demo application, Mawari’s XR streaming solution delivers a real-time multiplayer experience featuring hyper-realistic, personalized digital assistants (developed in conjunction with “au VISION STUDIO”) that leads app users on a guided tour of Bonn, Germany or Tokyo, Japan. The digital tour guide and virtual, interactive billboard advertisements are overlaid atop the user’s real world view via Sturfee’s Visual Positioning Service (VPS), while KDDI and Deutsche Telekom-built servers running NVIDIA GPUs in edge networks provide performant compute access.
The MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform running on top of MNO edge infrastructure allows for the dynamic and optimized deployment of workloads that require location-based execution and reduced latency.
The Sturfee VPS also uses MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud to onboard backend services for satellite-imagery based high-precision localization systems, and allows deployment with just one API call to any target edge infrastructure connected to the system.
Mawari’s XR streaming format powered by datacenter GPUs allows the highest fidelity content to be streamed from the edge networks to XR devices, including smartphones and head-mounted displays that could otherwise not be processed by the devices. The result is unprecedented quality, saving cost, size and battery life, while supporting scalability.
A low latency connection to the edge network is required to correctly position and blend hyper-realistic content with the real world. The PoC makes full use of MNO edge networks to enhance ultra-low latency features of 5G, and is expected to realize a whole new platform distributing innovative XR services and experiences across the world.
For more information about the demo application, see here.
“We could successfully deploy XR core technologies (Sturfee VPS and Mawari’s Remote Rendering) as unified backend services on top of a common platform (MobiledgeX) across KDDI’s and Deutsche Telekom’s 5G edge resources, and demonstrated that immersive XR content did work correctly with ultra-low latency in Bonn, Germany and Tokyo, Japan,” says Kei Morita, Member of the Board, Managing Executive Officer, Personal Business Sector, KDDI Corporation. “We hope that the knowledge and findings acquired from this proof of concept would be broadly utilized to accelerate global edge-enabled innovative XR application development for the 5G Stand Alone (SA) Era.”
“We are very excited to be part of this collaboration to successfully deploy advanced XR applications on federated edge infrastructure in Germany and Japan. This joint effort is addressing the needs of the XR developer community for a fast and easy way to deploy their applications to users in markets worldwide. We will continue to push this global platform approach, leveraging common open APIs, to bring compelling 5G and edge enabled XR experiences to our customers,” said Dominik Schnieders, Head of Edge Computing / Cloud XR at Deutsche Telekom.
“The edge is becoming reality as key challenges around cross-operator compatibility, geographic location, latency, and app control and management on the telecom edge are proven to meet next-gen application needs. We are proud to continue playing a role to advance edge capabilities and experiences as these new networks are prepped for primetime deployments,” said Thomas Vits, Product Management Consultant, MobiledgeX.
“Sturfee’s customers demand immersive 3D experiences, requiring blending 3D digital content naturally with the physical environment. We are excited to work with partners to bring our Visual Positioning Service (VPS) on edge computing infrastructure to deliver a constantly great user experience. This team of partners has ably demonstrated the powerful capabilities that can be unlocked when core VPS infrastructure is running on an edge network. The app is also a model for how to have a city bloom with layers of rich, dense AR content,” said Barton Denny, Head of VPS Business, Sturfee.
“This is an ambitious collaboration that we’re honoured to be a part of.” said Luis Oscar Ramirez Solorzano, CEO at Mawari, Inc. “The dream of a future with synthetic reality experiences has been unfulfilled by the lack of key enabling technologies until now. We are proud to contribute our XR streaming platform to this collaboration powered by KDDI and Deutsche Telekom edge infrastructure. Our proprietary 3D Streaming CODEC enables the highest content fidelity to be streamed at scale to even lightweight smartphones where processing and battery power is limited.
Jointly-developed proof of concept will feature hyper-realistic virtual human from KDDI’s au VISION STUDIO, demonstrating development and testing of XR enablers and applications harmonized across multiple mobile network operator (MNO) edge networks and infrastructures.
Watch the demonstration below:
About KDDI Corporation
To individual customers, we provide smartphone, mobile phone, and other mobile communication services as well as fixed-line services including “au HIKARI.” Furthermore, we are also providing MVNO services within group companies such as UQ Communications in addition to mobile services under the au brand. Going forward, we will further expand and integrate telecommunications services with life design services such as commerce, finance, energy, entertainment, and education to provide new forms of experience value for the enjoyment and convenience of our customers. In order to do so, our goal is to understand customers’ needs by analyzing various types of data, offering appealing proposals, and becoming an important part of our customers’ lives.
About Deutsche Telekom AG
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies, with some 235.8 million mobile customers, 27.3 million fixed-network lines, and 21.3 million broadband lines. We provide fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, Internet, and IPTV products and services for consumers, and information and communication technology (ICT) solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries. With a staff of some 229,170 employees throughout the world, we generated revenue of 80.5 billion Euros in the 2019 financial year, about 66 percent of it outside Germany. (All figures taken from the 2019 Annual Report).
About Mawari Inc
Mawari, Inc. has been pioneering the creation of cloud rendering and streaming technology for interactive XR experiences since 2018. Since then, Mawari’s partner list is a who’s-who of visionary innovators in telecom and entertainment including Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Adways Co., Ltd, AFK Australia and KDDI Corporation. As part of its larger technology stack, Mawari has developed a proprietary, XR-focused 3D Streaming Platform that renders 3D content in the cloud and delivers it efficiently to devices. Core to this is Mawari’s unique, patent-pending 3D Streaming CODEC / compression technology that minimizes the weight of 3D content and enables real-time rendering and streaming to smartphones and XR glasses. Mawari’s mission is to accelerate the arrival and widespread adoption of synthetic reality experiences to meet the demands of its visionary clients and has been working relentlessly to solve real-world challenges to meet the demands of visionary XR partners.
About MobiledgeX Inc
MobiledgeX is working with global mobile operators to deliver full control over multi-cloud edge deployments. The company’s MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform provides a common interface for managing application workloads anywhere, abstracted from underlying infrastructure, to maintain control over data, privacy and security. It also provides device native SDK and matching engines for operator and third-party application developers to maximize performance and efficiency for cloud-native applications at the edge. MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud is proven via trials, PoC and deployments that span more than 20 global operators and a range of next-gen app developers. MobiledgeX is an edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom AG and headquartered in San Jose, California.
About Sturfee Inc
Sturfee Inc. is a technology company developing breakthrough solutions in Visual Positioning Service (VPS) enabling smartphones, wearable, and autonomous machines recognize 3D surroundings and operate intelligently using AI and computer vision. Our mission is to create a highly scalable 1:1 machine readable representation of the world from the skies and ground. We offer 5G AI infrastructure as a service providing spatial intelligence to any camera device simply with a few images taken from the ground. In other words, we allow machines to “see” the world through cameras similar to how humans do. Once our cities become VPS-enabled, the possibilities are endless. Augmented Reality (AR) is the first use case we enable.