CONNECTED FUTURES: A 5G Smart Tourism Showcase
West of England backs the future, bringing together the UK’s leading tech pioneers for ambitious 5G Smart Tourism Showcase
On Saturday 16th March 2019, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) will host Connected Futures, a 5G Smart Tourism Showcase in venues across Bristol, unveiling the results of the UK’s most ambitious 5G testbed to date. Revealing the incredible transformative potential of 5G technology for audiences, visitor attractions, investors and public services, the showcase will bring together some of the UK’s leading 5G tech pioneers for a day of innovative, cutting edge demonstrations, playable experiences, talks and workshops at M Shed, Millennium Square and We The Curious.
The Connected Futures showcase marks the culmination of a year-long project of new 5G technology and infrastructure in the West of England developed by University of Bristol Smart Lab, and will bring together the SMEs who have been working to demonstrate the ground-breaking power and potential of 5G to show off their progress, offering a vision of what a 5G enabled future allows.
The 5G Smart Tourism project is led by the West of England Combined Authority, working at the forefront of innovation in next generation networks like 5G, and funded by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. It brings together 19 organisations and oversees the creation of a testbed to demonstrate 5G capability, establishing the West of England as a world-leader in the development of advanced fixed and mobile communication systems.
During the one-day showcase, visitors will be invited to take part in a series of innovative events ranging from virtual reality to augmented reality to 360° video and locative media, allowing them to sample a wide range of the future applications of 5G technology and its undoubted potential to transform tourism and commercial activity in the region.
Digital Minister Margot James MP says, "We all want to have fast, reliable and uninterrupted connectivity on the go and our 5G testbeds being rolled out across the country will help to make that possible. The Connected Futures Showcase in the West of England will highlight the exciting potential of 5G technology, with the opportunity to enhance the experience of millions of visitors for years to come."
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles says, “The West of England is well placed to become a smart region – we are already recognised as a centre of excellence, as home to the largest cluster of digital expertise outside London. We are leading the way in technology and our businesses and universities are at the forefront of innovation in next-generation networks, including 5G. We are ambitious to help support a commercial roll out of 5G infrastructure in the West of England and we see 5G as having a role in helping us address mobility across the region and in helping with digital inclusion.”
The Connected Futures 5G Smart Tourism Showcase will include demonstrations from:
BBC R&D – will demonstrate the potential of augmented reality with a high bandwidth network, building on their successful 5G trial at the Roman Baths in Bath of an app developed with Aardman Animation, which combined Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) content to bring three periods of the Bath’s rich history to life; beginning with the mythical discovery of the hot springs by King Bladud, through disrepair and final renovation during the Victorian Era.
University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab – invites attendees to share 5G events in Bristol and two locations in London, and create a perfectly synchronised experience for the remotely located audiences. Key 5G technologies deployed and managed across all three locations will provide the connectivity and latency required for audiences to feel in the same natural space.
Mo-Sys - will use the latest tracking technology and augmented reality to put new life into the landing gear of the Airbus A430-200 aircraft in the We The Curious exhibition. Audiences can get up close and personal, enabling them to view the entirety of a commercial airplane. Using their innovative, patented technology audiences will experience the potential of 5G-powered technology, fully immersing them in a photorealistic virtual world without the burden of having to wear an uncomfortable and heavy headset.
Zeetta Networks, Bristol is Open, IBI Group, Bristol City Council and University of Bristol - will demonstrate how 5G technology, which is being delivered over the University of Bristol 5G testbed, can enhance the planning, management and incident response within an urban setting, particularly at large outdoor public gatherings, like festivals. Zeetta Networks NetOSmakes this possible by allowing the whole architecture of the network to be controlled and sliced to deliver a range of advanced consumer and safety-critical services required by a particular event. There will be demonstrations of cutting-edge systems developed and deployed by Zeetta Networks working with their use case partners Bristol is Open and IBI Group, to fit within the Bristol Smart Operations Centre. These systems use real-time analytics to detect incursions into dangerous areas, left objects as well as unauthorised people and vehicles - cultivating safer environments on the Bristol Harbourside, managed by the Bristol Smart Operations Centre, and delivering faster response times for the emergency services to reach those in need. The public will have a rare opportunity to witness the cutting-edge Bristol Operations Centre at work. Zeetta Networks will also demonstrate their new NetOS Rapide for temporary or "Pop-up Networks”, supporting a rapid response vehicle for managing incidents in an urban setting.
Mativision, InterDigital – through a simultaneous, 360° VR experience, captured on the streets of Bristol during Bristol Pride Day and Harbour Festival, industry leaders Mativision and InterDigital will demonstrate how 5G can overcome current barriers to multiple users experiencing shared content in sync through novel cost-efficient 5G network technologies that reduce the needed capacity in the network for those experiences. Audiences will be immersed in the vibrant environments of Bristol Pride parade and Harbour Festival events, savouring the sights and sounds of two of the most important days in Bristol’s burgeoning festival calendar. Mativision are a global leader in delivering 360° VR platform experiences and this is a unique opportunity to experience their work, while InterDigital’s solution will reduce the costs for those 360° VR services. This cost reduction is achieved through utilizing opportunistic Layer 2 multicast, enabled by the deployed 5G network infrastructure and realized by InterDigital’s innovative FLIPS (Flexible IP Services) solutions.
Smartify -the creators of this multi award-winning app that provides instant information about artworks on show in public galleries across the world, will showcase their new digital initiative that can deliver an enhanced pre- and post-gallery experience for visitors, and engages younger audiences who expect ever increasing digital interaction with products. Through the app, audiences can delve deeper into the exhibits at Mshed, via bonus content like audio stories and videos that add colour to the history of each object. The showcase presents a rare opportunity to experience this app on specialised 5G handsets and the speed and clarity of a 5G connection within a heritage environment.
Landmrk – an innovative mobile web location-based experience platform that rewards users with compelling content experiences. Visitors will be invited to respond to an interactive, 360°video-guided tour around Bristol illustrating the truly transformative capabilities of 5G. Demonstrating the contrast between 4G and 5G video capabilities, audiences will be able to wander the streets around We The Curious and discover hidden video content before landing in Millennium Square where they will be able to experience the power of 5G on dedicated Samsung handsets.
Digital Catapult’s 5G programme is delivering innovation in 5G that is uniquely underpinned by technical capabilities. Digital Catapult is a key partner in both setting up and delivering the 5G Smart Tourism project. It has led the use cases and demonstrations work package by supporting the companies in their product innovation journey using 5G. It has also led the investigation on novel business models enabled by the project. In addition, Digital Catapult has connected its 5G London testbed to the 5GUK Exchange during the project, providing access to and showcasing the most advanced solutions delivered during the 5G Smart Tourism project in Bristol.
Alongside the activity in Millennium Square there will also be a series of talks and seminars in the Bristol VR Lab. These sessions will include opportunities to hear in more detail about the 5G Smart Tourism project from both a 5G infrastructure and hardware perspective and the specific trials that have been completed here.