Taking it to the mobile edge

Edge demos at MWC 2019 - from multiplayer gaming to live TV production to sensors feeding AR glasses. Plus a look at the growing range of edge-focussed hardware.

At Mobile World Congress, an eye-catching multi-player game saw players interact using an AR layer on their phones, delivered in real time from an edge platform. The game was developed by  Pokemon Go’s Niantic and users played on  Samsung Galaxy S10+ devices was called Codename: Neon.

The same edge platform from MobiledgeX – its Edge-Cloud R1.0 product – was supporting an AR demo on the SK Telecom booth. Here, sensors embedded in various objects communicated with the edge platform that then relayed that state information to an application that delivered the information as an AR overlay on glasses wearers. So the glasses, fed with live sensor data, were able to give the wearer updates on the state of the device in question. Here’s a pic, taken with expert skill through the glasses (thanks Piotr), of a server with live chip state info overlaid in AR.

Through a glass darkly, etc…

On the Telefonica stand, a live 5G link supported eSports team Movistar Riders as they played Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in a multiplayer session on the stand. The players linked up to an edge server via a 5G router to 5G antennas above the action.

5G Antennas above the Telefonica booth

Movistar Riders, er… riding.

5G router (front) with those antennas on the rigging up above.

Also on the Telefonica booth, two or three live TV demos took place. This one show-cased a live green screen production with a camera connecting over 5G, and production software at the edge from idronia. Telefonica had wireless cameras with backpack routers that could access the 5G network, as well as cabled cameras.

Telefonica and idrionia’s 5G TV production demo schematic

On the Taiwan pavilion, ITRI showed its intelligent edge design (iMEC), and to demonstrate the benefits there was VR gaming on site too, illustrating  the low latency application that the wireless edge could support. The Brogent game players communicated via an LTE eNodeB to ITRI’s iMEC platform.

In the Conference, assisted living company Aira described how edge platforms provide the low latency it requires to provide a descriptive service to the visually impaired that wear its glasses.

Aira glasses wearers get real time descriptions of the environment around them.

Interdigital’s booth had a simulation of drone fleets being managed from an edge based controller that analysed telemetry data from the drones and controlled their movements accordingly.

All this and no doubt we have barely scratched the surface of the edge demos on show.

The edge was such a buzz that even the plain old hardware was being showed off – it’s been a while since so much metal was proudly out in the open at MWC.

The HPE EL8000 product, designed to support vRAN software was launched just before MWC. HPE had a high profile customer in Samsung Networks, with the vendor using the platform to integrate its vRAN software. Lenovo had its own edge box on the China Mobile stand and Alpha Networks also had a new MEC blade available. Hardware company  Kontron Communcations was demonstrating its own range of blade form factors, also designed to support vRAN and other distributed apps. The SymKloud blade was in operation in a vRAN demo that highlighted contained an edge video streaming app on Mavenir’s booth.

The HPE EL8000 product, designed to support vRAN software was launched just before MWC. HPE had a high profile customer in Samsung Networks, with the vendor using the platform to integrate its vRAN software. Lenovo had its own edge box on the China Mobile stand and  Alpha Networks also had a new MEC blade available . Hardware company  Kontron Communcations was demonstrating its own range of blade form factors, also designed to support vRAN and other distributed apps. The SymKloud blade was in operation in a vRAN demo that highlighted contained an edge video streaming app on Mavenir’s booth.

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