In a significant move, the United States Federal Communications Commission has opened the doors for AR/VR devices, including Apple’s Vision Pro headset, to operate on the 6GHz band. Although the actual compatibility of the initial Vision Pro model with this spectrum is yet to be clarified, the implications of such a development are far-reaching.
Back in 2019, leading tech giants including Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, and Qualcomm, among others, joined forces to petition the FCC. Their plea centered on permitting Very Low Power (VLP) devices, known for their low power transmission threshold, to utilize the 6GHz spectrum without any hindrance. The FCC’s approval has now made this a reality. However, the permission specifically relates to short-range tethered connections between two devices. This could include linkages between devices like the Vision Pro headset and an iPhone, or perhaps between an in-car system, such as CarPlay, and an iPhone.
Highlighting the reasoning behind this decision, the Commission noted the urgent need to offer more versatility and nurture unlicensed innovation. The established regulations will allow VLP devices to operate across short spans, delivering remarkably high connection velocities.
Such dynamics are particularly suited to next-gen high-data-rate applications, which are not only set to elevate consumer experiences, but also promise to reinforce the national economy. Potential beneficiaries of this move encompass the realms of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), wearable technology, and a broad spectrum of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
To ensure a seamless operational environment, the FCC has set out guidelines that cap the power levels of these devices. Alongside this, the Government agency has outlined certain technical prerequisites.
Interestingly, there is provision for these devices to tap into increased power levels, provided that they adhere to a geofencing system designed to negate any interference to the licensed operations.