Enabling High-Quality Untethered Virtual Reality

Authors: 

Omid Abari, Dinesh Bharadia, Austin Duffield, and Dina Katabi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract: 

Today’s virtual reality (VR) headsets require a cable connection to a PC or game console. This cable significantly limits the player’s mobility and, hence, her VR experience. The high data rate requirement of this link (multiple Gbps) precludes its replacement by WiFi. Thus, in this paper, we focus on using mmWave technology to deliver multi-Gbps wireless communication between VR headsets and their game consoles. We address the two key problems that prevent existing mmWave links from being used in VR systems. First, mmWave signals suffer from a blockage problem, i.e., they operate mainly in line-of-sight and can be blocked by simple obstacles such as the player lifting her hand in front of the headset. Second, mmWave radios use highly directional antennas with very narrow beams; they work only when the transmitter’s beam is aligned with the receiver’s beam. Any small movement of the headset can break the alignment and stall the data stream. We present MoVR, a novel system that allows mmWave links to sustain high data rates even in the presence of a blockage and mobility. MoVR does this by introducing a smart mmWave mirror and leveraging VR headset tracking information. We implement MoVR and empirically demonstrate its performance using an HTC VR headset.

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BibTeX
@inproceedings {201463,
author = {Omid Abari and Dinesh Bharadia and Austin Duffield and Dina Katabi},
title = {Enabling High-Quality Untethered Virtual Reality},
booktitle = {14th {USENIX} Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation ({NSDI} 17)},
year = {2017},
isbn = {978-1-931971-37-9},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {531--544},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi17/technical-sessions/presentation/abari},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
}