Why Virtual Reality Is in the IBC Spotlight

VR and AR Tech Need Interconnection to Get Real

Virtual and augmented reality are continuing their rapid growth and ascension into the mainstream, and both technologies are being examined in-depth at the annual International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), which kicked off today in Amsterdam.

Equinix is here at IBC and all-in on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), not just because it is undeniably cool, but because we’re experts in the interconnection that makes it happen.

Virtual and augmented reality can’t look like actual reality without high-performance, low-latency connections. We help VR and AR companies implement an interconnection-first approach by using an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) strategy that brings their partners and users closer to themselves and to each other, for the superior connectivity they need.

We’re also involved with a little VR filmmaking as a funding partner for the Emmy-nominated short, Wonder Buffalo, which will make its European premiere at IBC.

VR and AR are a huge part of the future in media and entertainment and other industries, and we’re excited about the role interconnection plays in driving their growth.

The consensus: exponential growth

Projections on AR and VR growth all indicate the industry is expanding at a remarkable clip.

For instance, IDC projects the AR and VR market will increase from $11.4 billion this year to nearly $215 billion in 2021, with a scorching compound annual growth rate of 113%. IDC also estimates sales of AR and VR headsets will increase from less than 10 million units in 2016 to nearly 100 million units by 2021.

IBC organizers have scheduled a number of AR-, VR-related events to capitalize on the expanding interest in these technologies. At Equinix, we’ll be busy helping people understand just how important interconnection – private data exchange between businesses – is to AR and VR ventures.

Our global interconnection platform, Platform Equinix™, spans 44 global metros and is home to more than 9,500 companies, including 2,750+ cloud and IT services providers. Cloud service providers are essential to delivering the VR and AR experience – for example, the rendering that creates the 3D images at the heart of the technologies. Companies can create a hybrid cloud model on Platform Equinix that directly connects them to cloud-based rendering services while keeping their assets securely on a private cloud.

Platform Equinix also hosts more than 1,600 network service providers and a variety of content delivery networks, some of which are participants in our growing Equinix Media Cloud Ecosystem for Entertainment™ (EMCEE). These are the partners, along with cloud service providers, that AR and VR companies need to interconnect with on Platform Equinix for secure, instant distribution of their content to users globally.

Closer is the key

Proximity is at the heart of an IOA strategy, and it’s why an IOA approach is really the answer for the AR and VR industry. Real-time responsiveness is absolutely critical to many of the industry’s latency-sensitive applications. Even a few milliseconds of lag between user action and application response can ruin the experience, whether it’s gaming or some kind of interactive viewing. An IOA framework brings all the players closer together using low-latency, high-bandwidth, direct and secure interconnection to clouds and network peers via a variety of interconnection solutions offered by Equinix. Those include the Performance HubCloud Exchange and Internet Exchange.

A number of VR and AR companies are already on board with Equinix, including Snapchat, which is leading the way in AR technology with applications such as its World Lenses feature, which inserts animated objects into the real world through smartphone screens.

No matter how AR and VR technology evolves, interconnection will be critical to making it work, and Equinix will be ready to help it happen.

Read more about EMCEE.

And get details on how to deploy an IOA strategy with our IOA playbook.

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