The next generation of remote viewership

An average of 53,592 people across the globe gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the 2014 World Cup. Can you guess the size of the global in-home audience? The World Cup enriched the homes of more than 2.1 billion fans that year across 207 countries. With advancements in edge computing, a suite of new technologies will enable the next generation of remote viewership, helping to generate $63.5 billion in new revenue by 2030.

With this level of demand, we have to pose a question: Are there alternatives to attending live events that aren’t subject to the practical issues of having a limited number of physical seats? Let’s journey together to discover the possibilities.

It’s time to get an “edge” over in-person attendance

Would fans find alternatives compelling enough to adopt them? Such alternatives are now possible because of the massive strides made recently in edge processing technology. Edge processing creates powerful new ways to monitor and manage sensor-based devices – such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and holographic solutions that promise a fundamental change in the remote viewing experience.

The enticing potential of edge processing

To paint the picture, let’s look at two scenarios that illustrate the wonder and capability of edge processing.

Scenario 1: The market for consumer-grade, low-cost VR/AR head-mounted displays in the home is a nascent, but growing market. Here’s how it works: Fans at home engage in a fully immersive experience by donning a VR headset and streaming a live concert, game, or show. Behind the scenes, edge computing technology helps produce a low-latency, real-time immersive experience for users by capturing their movement and interactions. Highly tailored advertisements are presented during the live stream’s downtime moments.

Scenario 2: Now-available edge computing technology can collect the real-time motions and sounds of players or performers from volumetric data and transmit the data in the form of holograms populated by voxels, which are pixels in a 3D space, to other sites. With this technology, you can host live viewing events in physical locations for your fellow fans to gather and interact with each other. Holographic visuals provide a combination of social interactions and real-time live entertainment by offering visuals that look like the real players and performers.

What will it take?

To enable these edge computing-driven VR/AR solutions, investments will be required. Both in-home and location-based solutions will require investments in computing and storage. Storage needs could grow exponentially based on an estimated 21,000 petabytes of data being transmitted by VR devices in 2021 and 136,500 petabytes by 2030. Another thing to consider: 5G infrastructure, 5G radios, and GPU prices will drop considerably for these edge-enabled technologies to be widely adopted. Still, for major, globally popular events, the revenue potential far outweighs the added costs. Game on!

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