Pokemon Go headed to the Edge 230Deutsche Telekom is building an "Edge infrastructure through decentralized cloudlets." Niantic Pokémon GO will be one of the first apps, with other AR/VR nets joining in. Controlling autonomous cars probably cannot work, but coordinating them and working with the connected car's onboard computers could yield remarkable results.

Cloud servers with ample processing power will be located in one of Deutsche Telecom's 17 facilities that connect all of Germany or one hop closer to the consumer. What I'm calling an "Edge/core network" does not deliver the 1 ms to 10 ms Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon once thought would be required for augmented reality. The DT network is designed for 20-25 milliseconds away, in parts of DT's backhaul system closer to the cloud than the consumer.

Imagine that a different player controls each of the figures in the illustration, moving them around and interacting with each other. "Niantic’s Real World platform for Augmented Reality"  supports "real-time mass multiplayer experiences, persistence and visual occlusion, through contextual computer vision." Watch the two-minute video below to understand what that means, hard to describe in words.

5G enthusiasts assume the "Edge" is close to the consumer: last mile, C-RAN, or maybe metro pop. That's what the telco network people assume. I thought the same until Jason Hoffman of MobiledgeX described the distributed cloud due in 2019 his parent company, Deutsche Telekom is building.

MobiledgeX offers an API that allows developers like Niantic to do their thing. It's designed to connect other carriers as well, perhaps Telefonica Deutschland. I would have expected MobiledgeX's parent company to baulk at that. Hoffman thinks that would be like a phone network that couldn't connect to others. A Verizon user wouldn't be able to call a friend on AT&T. A DT exclusive system would be much less attractive to prospective customers.

This may be an "Edge network for the early years," although it doesn't have the many thousands or tens of thousand distributed cloud servers required for even lower latency. No carrier is committed to 1 ms latency, the dream of 5G planners. Verizon and AT&T are building to 10 ms. Swisscom's early tests are 25 ms. Neither they nor anyone else have publicly committed to building a large and expensive network closer than DT's. 

"Edge/core network" is about as logical as "jumbo shrimp."  I wanted to be more precise because a dozen different definitions of "edge networks" is confusing people, myself included. 

A logical next step is interchanging traffic information. DT and experts believe connected cars can never be controlled from the cloud, even one closer than 20-25 seconds. What would the car do when it was out-of-range or in an area with a malfunctioning cell? What would happen if a hurricane disabled part of the network? The car engineers don't believe solutions are likely anytime soon.

But "edge/core networks" can work closely with the computers in the car, providing a constant feed of crucial information. The interaction can be informed by the information from other cars, sometimes as simple as which lane to choose to even the flow at toll booths. A "road server" 25 milliseconds away can act like a game server, defining an environment for the car but not maintaining constant control of the brakes. 

Hoffman is remarkable, one of very few in this space who can "think different." Nearly everyone else says, "This is our 5G network, better and faster than our 4G. These are user cases that fit." Without innovative ideas like Hoffman's, those "use cases" may never work well enough. 

Wired called Hoffman a pioneer in cloud computing. He's an irrepressible character with a PhD in Molecular Pathology who once led a large part of Ericsson and has depth in the technologies. He believes technology should be, "Unique. Easy to use. Zero barrier of entry. Obvious when you see, not obvious when you haven't." 

What could be more important on the Internet than Pokémon?


Deutsche Telekom, Niantic and MobiledgeX Partner to Create Advanced Augmented Reality Experiences Over New Mobile Network Technologies


 | Source: MobiledgeX

Niantic to Bring Proprietary Real World Platform for Augmented Reality Gaming to Deutsche Telekom’s MobiledgeX Edge Servers And 5G Network to Create Scalable End-User Experiences

BERLIN and SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Deutsche Telekom and Niantic, Inc., creator of leading Augmented Reality games Pokémon GO and Ingress PRIME, today announced a technology partnership that will bring Niantic’s Real World platform for Augmented Reality gaming to Deutsche Telekom’s MobiledgeX Edge servers and 5G network. Initial results of the partnership will be shared soon.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Niantic to leverage the Niantic Real World Platform to help showcase the best of DT’s 5G Network and MobiledgeX Edge infrastructure to help deliver scalable end-user experiences,” said Alex Jin-Sung Choi, Senior Vice President Research and Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom.

Niantic’s Real World Platform bridges the physical and digital worlds with advanced functionalities including real-time mass multiplayer experiences, persistence and visual occlusion, through contextual computer vision. These advanced features will take full advantage of Deutsche Telekom’s ultra low latency network technology to provide seamless customer experiences, including the Edge infrastructure being built through decentralized cloudlets.

“We’re hard at work on technology that bridges the physical and digital worlds to pave the way for new entertainment experiences, advanced robotics and scaled adaptive computing,” said Michael T. Jones, Senior Executive, Niantic. “We’re excited to partner with Deutsche Telekom and MobiledgeX to access ultra low latency networks and develop systems that would enable the full potential of our Real World Platform.”

Niantic will begin to integrate its Niantic Real World Platform through the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of MobiledgeX on Edge servers. The partnership will jointly demonstrate the capability of this new network technology to enhance high-speed synchronous multiplayer AR interactions in a shared environment. This will open up new dimensions for shared experiences and introduce lower friction access networks for Niantic’s AR Cloud, part of the Niantic Real World Platform.

“We are very excited to work with Niantic Inc, the world leader in Augmented Reality gaming.  As a wildly successful company that creates uniquely collaborative gaming services, they recognize and are ready to harness the benefits of edge solutions today. Their needs of spatial understanding, real-time responsiveness and multi-player collaboration are a proxy for many other companies' use cases and edge dependent experiences,” said Jason Hoffman, President and CEO of MobiledgeX.

About Deutsche Telekom AG
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world`s leading integrated telecommunications companies, which provides fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers, and information and communication technology solutions for business and corporate customers. DTAG owns several affiliate companies such as its telecommunication entity in Germany Telekom Deutschland GmbH (TDG), and various others across middle and eastern Europe in countries like Poland (T-Mobile Poland), Austria (T-Mobile Austria), etc About Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom Company profile

About Niantic, Inc.
Niantic, Inc., builds mobile real-world experiences that foster fun, exploration, discovery and social interaction. The company’s immersive real-world mobile games Pokémon GO and Ingress are currently available on the App Store and Google Play. Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite is Niantic, Inc.’s third game and is being co-developed with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Niantic has also developed its industry-leading Niantic Real World Platform which allows unprecedented ways to model, understand, and share reality. Originally incubated within Google, Niantic, Inc., spun out in 2015, with investments from Google, The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo.  More recently, Niantic was valued at over $2 billion with Series-B funding led by Spark Capital, NetEase and other investors. For more information on Niantic, visit www.nianticlabs.com