Rohde & Schwarz Join Forces with Slalom

Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom pave the way for immersive AR experiences

Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom have joined forces, creating indispensable tools to rigorously test XR applications before they hit the market. At Mobile World Congress 2024, attendees will have the opportunity to witness an initial demonstration showcasing the advancement of augmented reality for the future.

Rohde & Schwarz is dedicated to creating a safer and more interconnected world through its divisions in Test & Measurement, Technology Systems, and Networks & Cybersecurity. As a privately owned company headquartered in Munich, it operates with independence, long-term vision, and a commitment to sustainability. In the fiscal year spanning from July 2022 to June 2023, Rohde & Schwarz recorded a net revenue of EUR 2.78 billion, employing approximately 13,800 professionals worldwide as of June 30, 2023.

Slalom stands as a forward-thinking consultancy firm, bridging the realms of business, technology, and human connection to cultivate value. They are supported by a network of over 700 technology collaborators, 12,000-strong workforce across eight nations and 49 locations empowers individuals and enterprises. They are proud of their continuous accolades as one of the best workplaces, which includes being listed in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for eight years running.

The investigation of extended reality (XR) applications by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in Release 17 was instrumental in recognizing current constraints and potential enhancements within 5G specifications. This paved the way for the advancement to 5G-Advanced in Release 18. A significant focus for 5G-Advanced lies in the advancement of animated avatar calls utilizing augmented reality, marking a crucial step towards broader integration into the metaverse.

Rohde & Schwarz, a prominent provider of test and measurement solutions, has forged a partnership with Slalom, an innovative professional services company, known for its ability to generate value at the intersection of business, technology, and humanity. Together, they have established a cutting-edge laboratory environment dedicated to XR-based use cases. At the heart of this collaboration is the R&S CMX500 5G one-box signaling tester by Rohde & Schwarz.

This setup enables network operators to assess XR-based applications and services within a controlled setting, ensuring optimal performance and quality of experience (QoE) for their subscribers well in advance of widespread deployment. Slalom’s animated avatar is powered by a cloud computing architecture integrated with the R&S CMX500. This device emulates a 5G network, facilitating a Voice over New Radio (VoNR) connection to the end-user device.

The end-user experience is brought to fruition through a Motorola edge 40 pro 5G smartphone connected to Lenovo ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses, where the avatar is showcased. Additionally, the system incorporates a loopback of audio samples, setting the stage for forthcoming audio quality evaluations utilizing the POLQA algorithm. A pivotal aspect of the avatar’s animation is its head movement emulation, crafted to convey attentiveness during calls.

Christoph Pointner, Senior Vice President for Mobile Radio Testers at Rohde & Schwarz, expresses enthusiasm, stating, “We are excited to bolster our application testing capabilities through our collaboration with Slalom. This partnership establishes a sturdy groundwork for the wireless ecosystem, expediting the market integration of XR-based applications and services to pave the path for the metaverse.”

Sam Andrews, serving as the General Manager at Slalom, highlights the groundbreaking collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz, introducing an inventive approach to evaluating XR experiences comprehensively. This method takes into account the network, device, and application aspects to ensure seamless outcomes for end users, thereby opening up novel prospects for enterprises.

Jason Inskeep, who specializes in Advanced & Converged Architectures, Mobile, and 5G at Slalom, emphasizes the importance of crafting fully integrated solutions spanning from the network to the application layer, ultimately benefiting customers by enhancing resiliency, efficiency, and scalability while paving the way for new revenue streams and exceptional customer experiences.

This joint effort between Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom paves the path for more immersive and personalized virtual interactions. This innovation promises consumers a heightened sense of presence and engagement, particularly evident during voice calls. Attendees at the Mobile World Congress 2024, held at the Rohde & Schwarz booth 5A80 in hall 5 of Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, will witness a demonstration of the AR-animated avatar call test bed.


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