AT&T Foundry powers up edge computing Test Zone in Silicon Valley to drive innovation in 5G era

AT&T is kicking off the first phase of an edge computing test zone at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, Calif. The first project getting underway at the test zone is a collaboration with GridRaster to test augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) experiences on mobile devices.

We’re working with GridRaster to test low-latency network access to cloud computation for enhanced AR/VR experiences on mobile devices. GridRaster provides the underlying compute and network stack to power high-end AR/VR experiences on mobile platforms. We’re bringing our next-generation, low-latency edge cloud. This combination will allow for compelling, immersive experiences without the blurry or choppy graphics that often come with mobile AR/VR apps on smartphones today.

“We’re working directly with developers, startups and third-party innovators to solve the latency dilemma that limits many existing AR/VR applications,” said Vishy Gopalakrishnan, vice president of Ecosystem & Innovation at AT&T. “Our ability to collaborate with the community and push forth rapid innovations is at the heart of this experiment.”

The AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto developed a test zone for third-party developers of emerging applications, such as AR/VR and self-driving cars, to experiment with the performance of their devices and applications on a next-generation edge computing network environment. Currently, the zone uses a 4G LTE connection. This will be upgraded to 5G potentially as early as the end of this year.

“The power of edge computing will ensure consumers have the best possible mobile AR/VR experience,” said Rishi Ranjan, CEO & Founder of GridRaster. “By moving the processing power to the cloud, and removing the physical distance between your device and the data center, mobile experiences will be dramatically enhanced. The software behind this edge computing test zone will help us get there, faster.”

AR/VR applications require digital overlays and high-end graphics to create virtual or augmented reality environments. Smartphones and other mobile devices have limited processing power and battery life, which lowers the quality of the overall user experience. To solve obstacles like these facing the future of mobile AR/VR experiences, the edge computing test zone aims to provide a seamless solution by enabling distributed computation in the cloud. The collaboration with GridRaster ensures the test bed software is ready for the challenge.

While this is the first step in the edge computing test zone, there is much more to come. Like all AT&T Foundry projects, the goal of this test zone will be to rapidly test and innovate alongside developers and other third-parties in our Silicon Valley ecosystem. From enhancing mobile AR/VR experiences to testing future 5G applications such as self-driving cars, the AT&T Foundry team in Palo Alto will continue to explore potential use cases and applications that could benefit from edge computing.

5G is about more than just speed. It’s about creating platforms to power entirely new classes of applications built on software, edge computing, and artificial intelligence. AT&T Foundry and the other innovation teams within AT&T are taking the lead on building these platforms to bring consumers the best possible experiences.

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