Unleashing the true potential of extended reality (XR) applications, a cornerstone of the emerging vision of a metaverse, requires providing them with seamless and pervasive connectivity over wireless cellular networks such as 5G and 6G. However, deploying wireless XR applications will impose new visual and haptic requirements that are directly linked to the quality-of-experience of XR users. These requirements can only be met by wireless 6G connectivity that offers high-rate and high-reliability low latency communications (HRLLC), along with new functionalities such as environmental sensing and situational awareness. Therefore, in this talk, we explore the potential of using wireless 6G networks operating at the terahertz (THz) frequency bands for meeting HRLLC requirements of XR applications, and providing them with integrated sensing and communications functionalities. To this end, we first explore the achievable performance of real-time XR applications over 6G, in terms of the system reliability quantified as a rigorous function of the tail of the end-to-end (E2E) delay. We present analytical and simulation results that show how abundant bandwidth and low molecular absorption are necessary to improve the XR application reliability, although their effect remains secondary compared to the availability of line-of-sight. Then, we develop a novel framework for exploiting uplink XR communication links to perform high-resolution sensing, i.e., extracting situational information in the centimeter range. We show how this new paradigm can seamlessly integrate communications and sensing while utilizing the same waveform, spectrum and hardware. We then summarize key results on the role of AI and edge AI in enabling future wireless applications, and we conclude with an overview on other key open problems in these spaces.
Walid Saad (S’07, M’10, SM’15, F’19) received his Ph.D degree from the University of Oslo in 2010. He is currently a Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he leads the Network sciEnce, Wireless, and Security (NEWS) laboratory. His research interests include wireless networks, machine learning, edge computing, game theory, security, unmanned aerial vehicles, cyber-physical systems, and network science. Dr. Saad is a Fellow of the IEEE. He is also the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2013, the AFOSR summer faculty fellowship in 2014, and the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in 2015. He was the author/co-author of ten conference best paper awards at WiOpt in 2009, ICIMP in 2010, IEEE WCNC in 2012, IEEE PIMRC in 2015, IEEE SmartGridComm in 2015, EuCNC in 2017, IEEE GLOBECOM in 2018, IFIP NTMS in 2019, IEEE ICC in 2020, and IEEE GLOBECOM in 2020. He is the recipient of the 2015 Fred W. Ellersick Prize from the IEEE Communications Society, of the 2017 IEEE ComSoc Best Young Professional in Academia award, of the 2018 IEEE ComSoc Radio Communications Committee Early Achievement Award, and of the 2019 IEEE ComSoc Communication Theory Technical Committee. He was also a co-author of the 2019 IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper and of the 2021 IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper. He is an Editor for several major IEEE Transactions