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What are Smart Entertainment Devices and AR/VR?
Consumers are becoming increasingly home-centric – work, education, healthcare, shopping, and entertainment must come to their homes rather than them spending time and money commuting to the office or school, or traveling to a shop, hospital, or movie theatre. With augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies, the boundaries of the real and digital worlds are intertwined. You can put on an AR/VR head mounted display (HMD), grab a pair of hand-held controllers, and feel truly immersed in a 3D game or movie. Or you can enter a virtual, photo-realistic shopping center straight from your doorstep, try on new clothes, or see what a new sofa would look like in your own living room. The number of AR/VR applications that enhance consumer experience and make our lives more efficient is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26% in the AR/VR device market globally by 2027.
Wireless Challenges in AR/VR Entertainment Devices
Wearable AR/VR devices present unique wireless design challenges. They must be extremely energy efficient to maximize battery life and recharging interval, and minimize battery weight while processing high-bandwidth video for a natural visual experience. The latency between the VR controllers and HMD is critical – they must communicate with a minimum delay to deliver prompt responses to gestures and motion. And, fulfilling all power consumption, bandwidth, and latency requirements in AR/VR, device makers must master multiprotocol wireless design for complicated product form-factors such as VR eyeglasses.
Silicon Labs Solutions for Smart Entertainment Devices
Silicon Labs provides you with a broad wireless portfolio to design appealing AR/VR devices with reliable, low-energy, and low-latency connectivity. Our ingenious multiprotocol solutions combine Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Proprietary on a minimum footprint, reducing design complexity, and BoM costs. Coupled with seamless SDK integration in various modes such as NCP and SoC, we can help you launch AR/VR enabled, wireless smart entertainment devices with a quick time to market. Our Secure Vault, the most advanced IoT security solution, is certified PSA Level 3, ensuring a safe virtual experience for your users.
Design Considerations for Wireless Entertainment Devices
What should you consider when designing and developing wireless AR/VR-based smart entertainment devices? Here are our top tips for product managers and developers.
1. How to choose the best wireless protocols for AR/VR entertainment devices?
AR and VR applications have three critical wireless requirements: low power consumption, low latency, and stable connection. Silicon Labs provides high-performance Proprietary, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi solutions for demanding indoor environments such as homes and gaming centers. Our FG22 (Proprietary), BG22, and BG24 (Bluetooth LE) are ultra-low power, high-performance SoCs providing the smoothest ultra-low transmit and receive power for the HMD and control devices. Their exceptional RX sensitivity reduces retransmissions and output power. RS9116 and SiWx917 have the best VR-class latency for Wi-Fi video streaming.
2. How to Optimize Energy Efficiency for AR/VR entertainment devices?
Power efficiency is vital for enhancing the user experience of battery-operated and rechargeable devices such as VR controllers, smart glasses, and AR/VR headsets. For the most energy-efficient Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, BG22 is the right choice. It combines the best-in-class ultra-low transmit and receiver power with a high-performance Cortex M33 for advanced functionalities. RS9116 and SiWx917 offer single and dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ax) with market-leading power efficiency, Bluetooth LE co-existence, Bluetooth Classic (dual-mode), and the world’s most energy-efficient WLAN associated mode for enabling always-on Wi-Fi connectivity on battery-powered devices.
3. How to Protect AR/VR entertainment devices from Cyber-threats?
Security is one of the key concerns for the users of connected devices. It’s easy to understand why. Both the HMD and VR controllers can act as gateways to the home network for malicious attacks. Silicon Labs’ Secure Vault™ is the most advanced IoT security solution, enabling you to protect your wireless entertainment devices from the most sophisticated cyber threats and gain the users’ trust.
Wireless Design and Compact and Complex Product Form-Factors
Many AR/VR-enabled entertainment devices and wearables such as smart eyeglasses are challenging objects for designers. Silicon Labs offers several compact wireless solutions to simplify product development. The RS9116 B00 SiP module packs ultra-low-power Wi-Fi, Bluetooth dual-mode, and an RF-certified antenna into a form factor of 4.63 x 7.90 x 0.9 mm. BG22 (Bluetooth) and FG22 (Proprietary) SoCs feature dimensions of 4 x 4 mm. The new Bluetooth LE CSP SoC, BG27, with a size of 2.6 x 2.3 mm, supports extremely small designs.
Block Diagram of an AR/VR Smart Entertainment Device
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