KDDI, Deutsche Telekom, MobiledgeX, Sturfee, and Mawari Announce the First Global PaaS Collaboration to Accelerate XR Application Development on an Edge Computing Platform

BARCELONA, Spain, June 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS -- KDDI Corporation (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Makoto Takahashi, President and CEO; hereinafter “KDDI”), Deutsche Telekom AG (headquartered in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany; Timotheus Höttges, CEO; hereinafter “Deutsche Telekom”), MobiledgeX, Inc. (headquartered in California, U.S.A.; Jason Hoffman, CEO; hereinafter referred to as “MobiledgeX”), Sturfee, Inc. (headquartered in California, U.S.A.; Anil Cheriyadat, CEO; hereinafter referred to as “Sturfee”), and Mawari, Inc. (headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Luis Oscar Ramirez Solorzano, CEO; hereinafter referred to as "Mawari") have jointly developed a proof of concept (PoC) in order to realize the world's first (Note.1) PaaS (Platform as a Service) for XR applications development provided as a common platform on edge computing platforms provided by each telecom operator. This PoC will be launched in June 2021 in alignment with the GSMA Telco Edge Cloud (TEC) initiative (Note.2 & Note.3).

The Challenge: Deploying Low Latency Applications on Multiple Operator Edge Networks
Edge network platforms are intended to support AR / VR, automatic driving, robotics, and other applications that take advantage of the low latency of 5G. Next generation interactive media apps (XR) require closer proximity to supporting APIs and SDKs in their backend code, to deliver the quality of experience and scale that is required. This is because media is generated from all participants’ locations and cameras in real time and any lack of synchronization could produce a poor user experience. There is a growing need among application developers for consistent APIs and cloud services to be deployed within the edge networks to support these next generation applications in an easy and consistent way.

However, for developers who want to release their applications globally, this can lead to longer development times and higher operating costs. This is because edge networks are provided by each telecom operator, so it is necessary to individually deploy, test, and operate middleware such as APIs for each operator network in each country.

For the telecom operator, the challenge is speed, scale, and collaboration. Today, telecom operators cannot benefit from each other's complementary market development, especially in the space of discovering new “in-network” services that will be required to power the next generation of apps and solutions.

The Solution: PoC Overview
In this PoC, KDDI and Deutsche Telekom will collaborate with Mawari, MobiledgeX, and Sturfee to solve the challenges of efficiently delivering applications on a global scale.

KDDI and Deutsche Telekom will collaborate with Mawari, MobiledgeX, and Sturfee to make a Visual Positioning Service (VPS) -- provided by KDDI's development partner Sturfee, which is compatible with the MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform -- and deploy it as a PaaS to KDDI and Deutsche Telekom's edge network.
In addition, the SDK provided by PaaS will be embedded into the AR app on a smartphone, and a 3D virtual human application called "coh" will be distributed from KDDI and Deutsche Telekom to the smartphone XR app. "coh" is created and provided by KDDI's creative team "au Vision Studio”.

KDDI and Deutsche Telekom will demonstrate that this PoC can be used to efficiently develop low-latency XR applications that are running on smartphones, smart glasses, and other XR devices.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at: 

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5ead83ff-f5c9-4281-b899-15ea5b209722

Detail: Key Steps in the PoC Process

  1. For the global deployment of XR applications, KDDI and Deutsche Telekom will build a platform that can efficiently deploy XR applications by leveraging the MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud 3.0 platform that integrates and manages access to telecom operators in each country and enables applications to be easily deployed to each operator network.

  2. Using the platform built by KDDI and Deutsche Telekom, VPS, a spatial recognition technology of Sturfee and XR content streaming technology provided by Mawari will be deployed to the edge networks of both companies.

  3. Will also develop an API/SDK as PaaS to enable collaboration between Sturfee’s VPS and Mawari’s XR streaming technology.

  4. Will demonstrate that KDDI's Virtual human “coh”, planned and developed by KDDI's creative team "au VISION STUDIO" (Partner: Aww Inc.), is streamed by leveraging Sturfee’s VPS and Mawari’s XR streaming technology from the MobiledgeX powered edge cloud in both Japan and Germany.

  5. To make it easier for application developers and content creators to deploy XR content globally, the API/SDK developed in this PoC will be made available on the "au VISION STUDIO" project introduction website in October 2021.

The five companies are currently participating in the TEC Trial promoted by GSMA and aim to realize PaaS through this PoC to solve customer issues and create global business opportunities.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at:  https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c979f1e3-3994-40a5-aef8-f1454f54023a

For the future:
KDDI will continue to develop use cases that utilize edge networks in preparation for the commercial deployment of 5G SA, as well as promote the realization of a platform that enables the provision of edge-enabled applications of the same quality anywhere in the world via any telecom operator's network.

The role of each company:

KDDI:
Overall promotion of this PoC, provision of edge network and implementation of this PoC

Deutsche Telekom:
Provision of edge network and implementation of this PoC

MobiledgeX:
Providing 5G application distribution independent of underlying operator cloud choices, both public and private, and with common interfaces across telecom operators

Sturfee:
Providing VPS technology as part of edge network service for real-time spatial understanding of surroundings utilizing edge networks and deployment of VPS to KDDI’s and Deutsche Telekom’s edge network using MobiledgeX technology

Mawari:
Deployment of XR Streaming Solution for KDDI's "Virtual Human" to KDDI’s and Deutsche Telekom’s edge network using MobiledgeX technology, and integrated with Sturfee’s VPS on MobiledgeX

(Reference)About au VISION STUDIO(https://au5g.jp/visionstudio
This team is responsible for planning, creating, and implementing advanced experiences in society based on the knowledge of XR measures that KDDI has been working on, in addition to cutting-edge technologies and ideas such as 5G and XR, as a single team.

KDDI's past activities
KDDI is promoting the commercial deployment of ed\ge networks and the implementation of various use cases, including the commercial launch of AWS Wavelength in December, 2020 and the non-commercial demonstration experiment of HYPER LANDSCAPE at Miraikan- The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in March, 2021.

(Note.1)This is the world's first PoC for the realization of PaaS for AR applications using edge networks provided by telecom operators in each country. (As of June 29th, 2021, according to KDDI Corporation, Deutsche Telekom AG, MobiledgeX Inc., Mawari, Inc.)

(Note.2)The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors.

(Note.3)TEC is an abbreviation for Telco Edge Cloud, a concept promoted by the GSMA for the realization of an interoperable platform for edge networks provided by telecom operators. The TEC trial is a mechanism to promote the trial with the support of GSMA toward the realization of the TEC concept.

KDDI Quote
“We’re excited to be working with Deutsche Telekom, MobiledgeX, Sturfee, and Mawari to make this functional proof of concept (PoC) a reality,” says Kei Morita, Member of the Board, Managing Executive Officer, Personal Business Sector, KDDI Corporation. "The PoC makes full use of MEC, which enhances ultra-low latency features of 5G, and is expected to realize a whole new platform distributing innovative XR services and experiences, created by KDDI's creative team: au Vision Studio, across the world. KDDI will keep leading to provide customers with advanced MEC toward the 5G SA era.”

Deutsche Telekom Quote
“For a faster return on their development effort, the XR developer community require a fast and easy way to deploy their applications to users in markets worldwide,” says Dominik Schnieders, Head of Edge Computing / Cloud XR at Deutsche Telekom. “We are very excited to collaborate with KDDI and MobiledgeX to demonstrate a consistent cross-operator platform that will push XR forward and result in more immersive, exciting, and entertaining edge-enabled services for our customers.”

About KDDI Corporation
To individual customers, we provide smartphone, mobile phone, and other mobile communication services as well as fixed-line services including "au HIKARI." Furthermore, we are also providing MVNO services within group companies such as UQ Communications in addition to mobile services under the au brand. Going forward, we will further expand and integrate telecommunications services with life design services such as commerce, finance, energy, entertainment, and education to provide new forms of experience value for the enjoyment and convenience of our customers. In order to do so, our goal is to understand customers' needs by analyzing various types of data, offering appealing proposals, and becoming an important part of our customers' lives.
https://www.kddi.com/english/corporate/kddi/our-business/personal/.

About Deutsche Telekom AG
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies, with some 235.8 million mobile customers, 27.3 million fixed-network lines, and 21.3 million broadband lines. We provide fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, Internet, and IPTV products and services for consumers, and information and communication technology (ICT) solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries. With a staff of some 229,170 employees throughout the world, we generated revenue of 80.5 billion Euros in the 2019 financial year, about 66 percent of it outside Germany. (All figures taken from the 2019 Annual Report).

About Mawari Inc.
Mawari, Inc. is a pioneer in cloud rendering and streaming technology for interactive AR experiences. Mawari provides an AR-focused streaming SDK that renders 3D content in the cloud and delivers it efficiently to devices. Core to the AR Streaming SDK is Mawari’s unique, patent-pending compression technology that minimizes the weight of 3D content and enables real-time rendering and streaming to smartphones and AR glasses. Mawari’s mission is to accelerate AR’s widespread adoption and has been working relentlessly to solve real-world challenges to meet the demands of visionary AR/XR partners including Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Adways Co., Ltd, AFK Australia and KDDI Corporation.

For more information, please visit https://mawari.co.jp or contact [email protected].

About MobiledgeX Inc.
MobiledgeX is working with global mobile operators to deliver full control over multi-cloud edge deployments. The company’s MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform provides a common interface for managing application workloads anywhere, abstracted from underlying infrastructure, to maintain control over data, privacy and security. It also provides device native SDK and matching engines for operator and third-party application developers to maximize performance and efficiency for cloud-native applications at the edge. MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud is proven via trials, PoC and deployments that span more than 20 global operators and a range of next-gen app developers. MobiledgeX is an edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom AG and headquartered in San Jose, California.

For more information please see https://mobiledgex.com or contact [email protected].

About Sturfee Inc.
Sturfee Inc. is a technology company developing breakthrough solutions in Visual Positioning Service (VPS) enabling smartphones, wearable, and autonomous machines recognize 3D surroundings and operate intelligently using AI and computer vision. Our mission is to create a highly scalable 1:1 machine readable representation of the world from the skies and ground. We offer 5G AI infrastructure as service providing spatial intelligence to any camera device simply with a few images taken from the ground. In other words, we allow machines to “see” the world through cameras similar to how humans do. Once our cities become VPS-enabled, the possibilities are endless. Augmented Reality (AR) is the first use case we enable.