IMC Newsdesk

Orbi heads for Telit to power VR football helmet

  • September 16, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

California-based Orbi is using the Telit FN980 5G data card for an American football helmet with 360˚ video cameras shooting in 8K at 60 frames per second (fps).

The 5G helmets let fans experience the game from the player’s perspective and highlight how Telit is enabling companies to add 5G to create breakthrough products and services.

Each helmet has six embedded cameras, which use the FN980 to stream footage to a remote server. Artificial intelligence stitches the feeds in real time into a single video delivered to audiences, such as broadcast TV and virtual reality (VR) headsets. The Orbi production systems can support all 22 players’ cameras during a game.

The FN980 lets Orbi and its clients, such as media companies, take advantage of the 5G networks currently installed at nearly half of all US NFL stadiums. Featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G modem-RF system, the FN980 is suitable for high-performance, bandwidth-intensive applications such as professional video broadcasting and digital signage.

“Imagine being able to experience the Super Bowl from a players’ point of view – live in 8K video at 60fps – on TV or a VR headset,” said Iskander Rakhman, CEO at Orbi. “The Orbi 5G helmet is the only commercially available headset that enables those kinds of revolutionary fan experiences. When we needed to select a 5G solution, our design house partner recommended Telit, which had exactly the data card we needed – and before any other vendor we considered.”

The data cards support all major frequency bands, whether mm-wave or sub-6GHz, giving helmet users more deployment flexibility. The FN980m supports the Qualcomm QTM525 mm-wave antenna module for near-the-ground, low-power indoor and outdoor applications. It also supports the QTM527 mm-wave extended-range antenna module for high-mount outdoor applications.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Telit and Orbi to unlock this new and exciting 5G application powered by the Snapdragon X55 5G modem-RF system,” said Gautam Sheoran, senior director at Qualcomm. “The Orbi 5G helmet is an innovative example of how 5G is addressing bandwidth intensive applications like professional video broadcasting that require the unprecedented speeds of 5G mm-wave.”

Dennis Kelly, Telit’s senior vice president for sales in the Americas, added: “Orbi is a prime example of how innovators and disruptors turn to Telit when they need the latest mobile technologies to make their vision reality. With the Telit FN980 series inside, the Orbi 5G helmet can take advantage of the newly ratified 3GPP release 15 standard and the rapidly growing number of football stadiums with 5G networks.”