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AR and VR as Next Generation Technologies: Is your IT Infrastructure Ready?

Daniel Sim, Director, Channel Business, Vertiv Asia | March 21, 2017
The growth AR and VR means new challenges for IT leaders. Here's your guide to the key technology considerations.

Vertiv Logo This article is sponsored by Vertiv

Executive Trialing AR and VR Technologies

Something interesting is happening today in the tech world: smartphones are now starting to take a backseat in terms of "new technologies." What's replacing it? Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), drones and even robots. If last year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) here in Asia was any indication, it's that many organizations are now racing to develop the latest in "intelligent" technology.


Among these technologies, VR dominates trend predictions for 2017 with a promise of a Virtual Experience Economy in the future. While VR is largely associated with games and entertainment (VR horror games, anyone?), it has the potential to be used in more meaningful ways such as in education (development of STEM education), research, and possibly in healthcare. On the other hand, we are all familiar with AR thanks to Pokemon Go.


In the near future, AR and VR are set to become more prolific and more accessible to tech savvy consumers. For organizations looking to mine this potential, technology and infrastructure must be robust enough to handle the surge in demand and avoid disappointing consumers. At the core of it all, IT leaders must invest in bolstering and modernizing the data centre to enable widespread adoption of these technologies.


Vertiv has just released an e-book to guide IT decision makers and leaders for their VR and/or AR deployments. I have listed down a few key areas that you can explore to help you prepare for your own VR/AR journey:


Managing massive data volumes


VR and AR applications require a huge amount of data and delivering these experiences across the network will present a major challenge. It is estimated that a video at the 6K resolution used by the GearVR headset could be 20 times the size of today's full HD video.


To facilitate this, VR will require significant investment in upgraded broadband networks. This is something that policy makers and businesses alike are working on. These advances in connectivity and video compression are something that technologists need to be watching closely. Understanding where to source effective solutions should be top of mind. As VR scales up, IT leaders will also need to start selecting data centre locations based on broadband and network capabilities.


Edge computing


While IT professionals have little control over broadband infrastructure, they can explore edge computing. Edge computing places data centres closer to end users so that compute power, storage and analytics reside locally. This strategy provides an alternative to the traditional approach where data centers are remote and data has to travel vast distances before it can be processed. Edge computing will be critical to ensuring that immersive experiences are delivered seamlessly.


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