Nvidia Says GeForce Now Will Enable Wireless Streaming VR/AR

by Jamie Feltham • March 18th, 2019

GDC isn’t the only major tech event going on this week. The GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2019 is also currently underway in Silicon Valley. GPU maker Nvidia just hosted its keynote and there are some interesting notes on the VR front.

Specifically, the company revealed that it’s expanding its RTX Server lineup, increasing its cloud computing capabilities. Basically, it’s now got better technology running intensive applications in cloud data centers streamed right to your given device. In a blog post announcing the news, the company revealed it will have VR and AR applications running on “cloud-based hardware” at this week’s event.

Going a step further, Nvidia also announced that its cloud streaming platform, GeForce Now, will “enable wireless VR and AR.” Currently available in Beta, GeForce now enables streaming of traditional games to a normal display.  In theory, bringing the experience to VR headsets could allow high-fidelity VR games to run on headsets that don’t have to local compute power to support them. We saw something similar at MWC last month when HTC demoed 5G streaming on its Vive Focus headset.

Exactly when we’ll see any real-world results for all these big claims is unclear. The question with any kind of streaming service is always concerned with quality and latency. The latter is crucial for VR; anything more than a fraction of a millisecond of latency and the user will notice the drag.

“At AT&T Foundry, using NVIDIA CloudVR software, we were able to play an interactive VR game, over a 5G radio streamed from an RTX Server,” the developer wrote in its blog. “The result was a great end user experience, with only 5ms of network delay and no observable performance loss.”

If Nvidia can deliver on these claims it will be big for VR.

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