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The United States Federal Communications Commission today opened up 6GHz Wi-Fi spectrum to low power devices like AR/VR wearables (via The Verge). This means that AR/VR devices like Apple's Vision Pro headset will be able to operate on the 6GHz band, though it is unclear if the initial version of the Vision Pro will be able to take advantage of this functionality.

apple-vision-pro.jpeg

Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and more teamed up in 2019 to ask the FCC to allow Very Low Power (VLP) devices that transmit at a low power threshold to use 6GHz spectrum without restrictions, which the FCC has now approved. The approval is for short range, tethered connections between two devices, such as the Vision Pro headset and an iPhone or an in-car system like CarPlay and an iPhone.
Recognizing the need to provide even more flexibility and foster unlicensed innovation, the Commission established rules that permit devices that operate at very low power (VLP) across short distances and provide very high connection speeds, which are ideal for the types of high- data rate cutting-edge applications that will both enrich consumer experiences and bolster the nation's economy. These include, for example, advanced augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), wearable sensors and technologies, and variety of Internet of Things devices.
The FCC says that its new rules limit devices to low power levels and subject them to other technical requirements that will allow them to operate while protecting licenses that carriers have for 6GHz spectrum. Devices can, however, access higher power levels when subject to a geofencing system that prevents interference to licensed operations.

Article Link: FCC Says Apple Can Use Faster 6GHz Spectrum for Headsets, CarPlay, and More
 

Verified Whiskey

macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2023
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Anyone know what frequency Thread operates on? Interested to know the speed difference here. Thread is near instant for smart home things!
 
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dannyyankou

macrumors G5
Mar 2, 2012
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The iPhone 15 Pro supports 6 GHz Wi-Fi. So remind me again why you can't use lossless AirPods with it?

Edit: I'm getting Wi-Fi mixed up with Bluetooth, never mind. But there's no reason you shouldn't be able to use lossless with the iPhone 15 Pro since both that and the AirPods Pro 2 use Bluetooth 5.3
 
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jz0309

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Sep 25, 2018
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Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and more teamed up in 2019 to ask the FCC to allow Very Low Power (VLP) devices that transmit at a low power threshold to use 6GHz spectrum without restrictions, which the FCC has now approved.
what did the FCC do during those 4 years. I mean specifically on VLP? run tests? studied specs?
 

MegaBlue

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2022
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Tennessee, United States
Yep, I got it mixed up with Bluetooth lol. But still, the AirPods Pro that support lossless with the Vision Pro have Bluetooth 5.3, and so does the iPhone 15 Pro. They haven't clearly explained the technical limitation.
They have - AirPods Pro (with USB-C case only) have an updated version of the H2 that operates a new protocol over 5GHz. The Vision Pro also has an H2 built in for this connection.

“But my iPhone has 5GHz Wi-Fi” true, but this connection for lossless on the AirPods Pro with USB-C isn’t Wi-Fi.
 
Jun 8, 2022
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This isn't just good news for Apple Vision, but for XR in general. This means we can expect low latency VR streaming in the very near future.

This is especially good for the rumored Valve Deckard, as Valve has been working on a wireless PCVR headset that uses a similar band to allow for low latency VR streaming.
 

sw1tcher

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Jan 6, 2004
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The iPhone 15 Pro supports 6 GHz Wi-Fi. So remind me again why you can't use lossless AirPods with it?

Edit: I'm getting Wi-Fi mixed up with Bluetooth, never mind. But there's no reason you shouldn't be able to use lossless with the iPhone 15 Pro since both that and the AirPods Pro 2 use Bluetooth 5.3
Isn't it because the (old) AirPods Pro 2 don't support high def audio codecs like LDAC and aptX? They don't even support Apple's own Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), right?
 

erikkfi

macrumors 65816
May 19, 2017
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it is unclear if the initial version of the Vision Pro will be able to take advantage of this functionality.

This will be reserved for the most Pro Vision they've made yet (coming 2026).
 
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Fuzzball84

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2015
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Do you think the Sega genesis gamepad was inspiration for the Vision Pro headset 🤔

Maybe the designers drew its outline and then worked with that... they only later realised they could have used a scuba mask...
 
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zach-coleman

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2022
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Yep, I got it mixed up with Bluetooth lol. But still, the AirPods Pro that support lossless with the Vision Pro have Bluetooth 5.3, and so does the iPhone 15 Pro. They haven't clearly explained the technical limitation.
Current Bluetooth has a range of like 50 feet. The Vision Pro will be inches away from the headphones. Seems pretty clear to me that it just doesn’t have the range to be useful on a phone.
 

NEPOBABY

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2023
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Makes little difference.

We're seeing more and more wireless devices just cause interference everywhere in every form.

Bluetooth devices still lose connection after so many versions and upgrades.

Most 4G and 5G phones still don't get close to top speeds because of interference, buildings and so many people connected to the same tower.

Airdrop still randomly glitches and fails after a decade.

Phone calls still drop in the middle of a call.

Yeah, bring on more interference.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G5
Jan 5, 2006
12,524
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Redondo Beach, California
Anyone know what frequency Thread operates on? Interested to know the speed difference here. Thread is near instant for smart home things!
Thread is not at all "high speed". It is designed to send very simple and short packets of data over a mesh network. It runs at 2.4 GHz so it is better for traveling through walls and such. Thread is designed for reliability, not speed.

6 GHz is not good for traveling through walls but is OK for the VERY short distances involved here. We are not even talking about getting across a room. maybe just "arm's length". or a little more.
 
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