As excitement continues to build about what 5G networks will do to boost the wireless industry, London-based telecommunications company. Vodafone recently put 5G’s potential on full display with a 5G demonstration of holographic calling.
Steph Houghton, captain of the Manchester City and England women’s national soccer teams, was a key part of the demonstration. While Houghton was stationed at Vodafone’s Manchester office, she appeared on stage before an audience in Newbury as a live 3D hologram. The audience could not only see Houghton, but hear her too, as she answered a young fan’s question about what it takes to good team captain.
How the 5G holographic call worked
Vodafone had a camera and audio system that recorded audio and video signals in Manchester. From there, the company sent the audio and video through Codecs over the 5G network, which Newbury received. Meanwhile, the Codecs in Newbury were also connected to the 5G network and converted back to audio and video signals that were displayed on the screen.
Back in Newbury, there was also a camera facing the stage in that relayed a signal back over the 5G network so Houghton could see the stage from Manchester. The video of Houghton in Manchester was sized and routed into a projector to display Houghton’s hologram on stage in Newbury. The image was filmed and transmitted in actual scale.
“Our holographic call over 5G was designed to show the exciting possibilities that this new technology can bring to many people and businesses,” Vodafone’s UK Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty told Connected Real Estate Magazine. “In sport it can aid remote coaching and training as well as bring sports fans closer to their idols. The speed and responsiveness of 5G can also enable a range of life changing applications such as a surgeon remotely joining a theater and lead to great leisure activities including 4K gaming on the move.”
Vodafone plans to expand its 5G strategy further and will look to set up trial areas in seven cities and grow to approximately 1,000 sites by 2020.
“5G will also give rise to much smarter buildings in which office systems are more easily connected and controlled only when they are needed to save energy costs,” Petty told Connected. “Much in the same way videoconferencing has become a mainstream service, holographic calls have the potential to become commonplace in the future.”