Testing eXtended Reality (XR)

Testing eXtended Reality (XR)

Metaverse and extended reality (XR)

Extended reality (XR) serves as an umbrella term encompassing virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). This innovative concept integrates the physical and digital realms, effectively diminishing the distinction between actuality and technology.

By integrating and expanding upon the capabilities of VR, AR, and MR, a wide spectrum of possibilities emerges for virtual environments, significantly enhancing user experiences across various sectors:

  • Training and Education: Offers highly interactive and immersive simulations that merge physical and virtual learning spaces, revolutionizing how education and training are conducted.
  • Collaboration: Facilitates hybrid office setups and immersive meeting environments, bolstering remote collaboration and allowing for virtual participation and interaction, thus transforming traditional workspace dynamics.
  • Digital Twins: Empowers the remote control of machinery in sectors like manufacturing, logistics and warehousing, providing a virtual replica of physical assets for improved operation and analysis.
  • Gaming and Social Settings: Elevates home entertainment through immersive gaming and social experiences, offering a new level of engagement and interaction in virtual settings.
Extended Reality

XR technologies constitute a fundamental part of the metaverse as they provide interfaces to experience vast virtual worlds. The performance of XR-based technologies and services will be critical to delivering high quality metaverse experiences.
A compatible testbed setup is needed to learn more about the connectivity and performance of XR applications and devices and to assist in the validation of designs. This requirement stems from the necessity to thoroughly test the performance of XR-based applications over today’s 5G and Wi-Fi and future 6G networks. Such a testbed would encompass the entire journey of data from server to client, navigating through the intricacies of cloud computing architectures and ultimately reaching the end-user devices such as 5G smartphones tethered to AR glasses or VR headsets. The testbed allows the testing of an application across a variety of devices and their combinations, ensuring interoperability and optimal performance in real-world scenarios. This comprehensive testing environment enables content developers as well as design and test engineers to identify and address potential bottlenecks or performance issues, ensuring that XR applications deliver a high-quality, immersive experience to users across different platforms and network conditions.

Push 5G technology with XR applications

The rollout of 5G is still in its early stages and has not met the initial promises so far. Many consumers are yet to experience the benefits of this technology – the average revenue per user (ARPU) has not shown a significant increase compared to 4G LTE, making it difficult to invest further in the 5G technology (e.g. expand mmW frequencies where additional capacity is needed). Hence, the technology has reached a pivotal point. According to experts, 5G requires a push from a “killer app”. XR and the metaverse are considered a possible “killer app” and a critical driver in unlocking the full potential of the 5G technology.

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) thoroughly reviewed applications of extended reality (XR) in its Release 17. This review was crucial for pinpointing existing limitations and possible improvements in the current 5G standard to further finetune the 5G networks and 5G devices for seamless operation of XR-based applications. It set the stage for the next phase of 5G, known as 5G-Advanced, which is covered in Release 18. This release defined specific features and enhancements of functions with the explicit aim of optimizing 5G for XR. A crucial part of this process was a comprehensive analysis of various use cases that illustrated the practical application of 5G in enabling XR experiences. Among these, the scenario of 5G-enabled AR-animated avatar calls stood out as a particularly illustrative example. This use case not only highlights the innovative integration of 5G with XR but also serves as a valuable entry point for exploring the technological hurdles associated with testing XR functionalities over 5G networks.

Design and test challenges for the Metaverse and XR

XR technologies offer immersive interfaces to experience vast virtual worlds and can therefore be seen as fundamental to the metaverse. Providing a functional ecosystem of XR-capable applications and devices like AR glasses and VR headsets, chipsets to power mobile devices and network infrastructure components are therefore crucial to accessing and engaging with the metaverse in all its forms and variants.

High data rates and low latency are determining factors for XR services as they are vital to avoid issues like motion sickness and to create a smooth immersive experience.

While specific details among others depend on the device form factor, the targeted use case and its computing capability, XR devices for consumer applications generally need to be small, lightweight and even fashionable, but also need to have a low power consumption. Such requirements pose the challenge of reducing size and power consumption without compromising performance and capabilities.

It is for this reason that efficient energy use is particularly important in XR devices. This ensures longer usage times as well as sustainability – particularly in portable and wearable devices, which are integral to the metaverse experience.

The seamless interplay of all these different components, provided by different vendors, requires thorough testing to ensure they operate at the required level.

When testing XR devices, critical factors such as functionality, usability, performance, and user comfort are evaluated. The unique and advanced features of XR applications and devices mean that traditional testing tools and protocols may not be adequate. This adds a layer of complexity to XR testing, requiring specialized approaches to effectively assess these devices.

Testing solutions for the Metaverse and XR

As a leader in test and measurement solutions, Rohde & Schwarz provides a cutting-edge testbed setup that allows the testing of a seamless operation of XR-based applications on mobile devices and chipsets. QoE and performance of AR and VR devices and applications as well as chipsets to be tested.

At the core of this setup are our R&S®CMX500 5G one-box signaling tester combined with our R&S®ATS1800C chamber, that emulates either a 5G NR or Wi-Fi network to test XR applications tested from an end-to-end perspective.

We provide a controlled environment for testing AR glasses or VR headsets, tethered to 5G devices via Wi-Fi to measure parameters like throughput and latency under various network conditions by emulating different traffic models and traffic patterns. The setup allows the extensive testing of mobility scenarios (e.g. handovers), where typically peaks in network impairments (e.g. IP jitter) are experienced. Due to the parallel support of 5G and Wi-Fi, comprehensive interoperability and performance tests can be performed to check the offloading capabilities from the cellular to non-cellular networks and vice versa. It is essential to verify that the transition does not affect an application’s performance. Our solution can test different parameters and emulate the streaming of 3D content to users.

You can also benefit from our setup by mimicking congested networks or challenging radio frequency (RF) conditions and testing the performance of applications under such parameters. A robust and reliable user experience even under less ideal circumstances can thus be verified.

Comprehensive XR testing: Your benefits

Use our testbed setup to evaluate XR-based applications and services in a controlled environment. Benefit from our Rohde & Schwarz solutions through features such as:

  • Quality assurance: Ensuring reliable performance and quality of experience (QoE)
  • XR-driven growth: Helping to achieve efficiency at scale, tapping into new sources of revenue and, most importantly, enhancing the customer experience with a fully immersive and functional XR application or device

Want to discuss your specific XR test cases with our experts?

Test solutions for XR applications

R&S®CMX500 5G one-box signaling tester

Perfect for evaluation of XR-based applications and services in a controlled environment to ensure optimal performance and QoE.


R&S®ATS1800C Compact 3GPP-compliant OTA chamber

Provides a controlled environment for testing extended reality devices over the air (OTA) from R&D to conformance.


Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom join forces to realize 5G-enabled AR-animated avatar calls

Press release 08.02.2024

Toward the metaverse:

Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom join forces to realize 5G-enabled AR-animated avatar calls

Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom have collaborated to address this need, developing essential tools to test XR use cases thoroughly prior to market launch. At Mobile World Congress 2024, visitors can experience a first demonstration of how to enable tomorrow’s augmented reality.

Featured extended reality content

The role of 5G and 6G

Video: The role of 5G and 6G

The full potential of the Metaverse and XR can only be realized once it is possible to deliver interactive content at high resolutions with no perceptible latency. This requirement is driving innovation in network capabilities.

Join us and get an introduction to addressing new network challenges. Discover how 5G and 6G will enable the next generation of immersive experiences.

Watch Video

What is the Metaverse?

Video: What is the Metaverse?

Join us as we delve into the fundamental ideas of the Metaverse and its symbiotic relationship with extended reality (XR). Discover how these emerging paradigms promise to reshape our reality and propel us into a new era of connectivity and experience.

Watch Video

5G extended reality application testing

Video: Testing XR applications: Avatar calls using AR glasses

Animated avatar calls using augmented reality are one of the key application areas for 5G-Advanced. The R&S CMX500 radio communication tester empowers network operators to evaluate XR-based applications and services in a controlled environment, ensuring optimal performance and quality before mainstream deployment.

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Webinar: The metaverse and XR - a first test and measurement perspective

This webinar provides a comprehensive test and measurement perspective on 5G and 6G technologies as enablers of immersive virtual environments.

Register now

Testing extended reality (XR) based applications over 5G

Video: Testing extended reality (XR) based applications over 5G

This video shows a lab-based XR testbed for testing XR from and End-2-End (E2E) perspective.

Watch Video

Extended reality testing FAQs

What do VR, AR, MR and XR stand for?
  • VR = virtual reality: Users are entirely immersed in a simulated digital environment or a replica of reality
  • AR = augmented reality: Overlay of digital information on images of reality viewed through a device (e.g. providing real-time information on the go about nearby shops and restaurants, such as opening hours or special offers)
  • MR = mixed reality: All variants where virtual and real environments are mixed
  • XR = extended reality: Comprises VR, AR and MR
What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is an immersive, persistent, pervasive, interconnected virtual 3D world shaped by extending reality (XR) applications where people can gather to work, shop, play, and socialize. It is about creating an enveloping, experimental environment and experiences and interactions within these digital spaces.

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