Apple, Google and Meta look set to win the approval of US regulators to release a new range of low-powered mobile virtual and augmented reality devices, all of which will tap into the airwaves used by WiFi-enabled devices. 

The new range of low-powered VR and AR products willutilise the 6 GHz band and “foster a new wave of innovation in devices that will benefit consumers in exciting ways and bolster US leadership in advanced wireless technologies,”  Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.

The low-power gadgets, which will include goggles and in-car connections, have been pushed forward in a proposal by Rosenworcel.

The proposal will be taken to a vote on October 19th, which looks set to be approved as Rosenworcel leads a Democratic majority at the agency, Bloomberg reported. 

According to the FCC, these new devices will be able to “usher in new ways that Americans work, play, and live, by enabling applications that can provide large quantities of information in near real-time”.

Two years ago, Apple, Google and Meta called for the US regulator to grant them access to the unlicensed 6 GHz airwave, claiming it would be “critically important to future innovations in augmented and virtual reality.”

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By GlobalData

All three of the companies will now be looking to use the 6GHz band to use with their upcoming AR eyeglasses and headsets.

Approval of the use of very low-power 6Ghz spectrum for AR/VR/XR devices seems likely, especially given comments by the FCC Chair, according to Steven J. Schuchart Jr., GlobalData principal analyst for enterprise infrastructure.

“Concrete data on how these companies plan to implement their very low power connectivity is thin on the ground, but it would be important for them to work with the Wi-Fi Alliance to ensure that these devices play nice with Wi-Fi 6E and in the future Wi-Fi 7,” Schuchart told Verdict.