Date: 16th May 2019
Nice, France, May 14 2019 – The University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab is leading the team behind the 5G-enabled Tourism Experience Catalyst project, being showcased at this year’s Digital Transformation World in Nice, France (14-16 May).
The aim of the TMF Catalyst program is to bring together buyers and end users with solutions and technology providers from across the media and telco space to collaboratively develop proof-of-concept projects. These rapid-fire projects focus on driving technical innovation to build demonstrable solutions to solve industry challenges.
The team, led by Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab, brought together other key members of the UK Government’s 5G Testbeds and Trials ‘5G Smart Tourism’ project – Cambridge Communications Systems Ltd (CCS) and Zeetta Networks Ltd – as well as the creative might of BBC R&D and Oscar-winning Aardman animations.
The result was the 5G-enabled Tourism Experience Catalyst project – a truly ground-breaking, advanced proof-of-concept, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in history using a virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) application enabled by 5G network technology. Using consumer devices, visitors are able to ‘see’ back in time at one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions, The Roman Baths. Such innovations are increasingly important for a market that is worth an estimated US$32bn to the UK and US$7.6tr globally.
As Catalyst leader, the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet lab was responsible for the technical architecture and the use-cases or applications.
Prof. Dimitra Simeonidou, Director of the Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol said:
“5G offers high bandwidth, low latency and edge computing and will transform our future digital society and economy, impacting key sectors, including: transport, health, education, manufacturing, and in this occasion, tourism. The University’s Smart Internet Lab has pioneered research on 5G technologies, and experiments on its 5GUK Test Network, the UK’s first urban 5G End-to-End Testbed, delivering international and national impact”
Mobile Heritage Virtual Reality Location application
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are two of the most demanding use cases for 5G. BBC R&D and Oscar winners Aardman have developed an augmented reality application that provides complex overlays and animations that help to bring to life the ruins of the Roman Baths in Bath, UK. The Mobile Heritage Virtual Reality Location application helps people understand and appreciate the history of a heritage site.
‘We love exploring new ways to bring stories to life through emerging technologies, pushing creative boundaries that celebrate the craft, humour and storytelling that Aardman are famous for. Not least the Roman Baths 5G AR application where we produced beautiful 3D models of the building and its incredible history that were put to the test through advanced 5G technologies’, said Chloe Barraclough, Interactive Producer at Aardman.
“BBC R&D is exploring how to create and deliver new kinds of content to delight our audiences. This project has shown us how 5G can enable delivery of visually-rich VR/AR content to users, taking advantage of features such as mobile edge computing.” said Graham Thomas Section Head for Immersive and Interactive Content of BBC R&D.
Network Slicing, MEC and Millimetre Wave (mmWave)
The Heritage application is enabled by a 5G network which uses unique capabilities such as network slicing, low latency and MEC to deliver a resilient service tailored for high-volume tourism scenarios. Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS) use millimetre wave (mmWave) wireless radios to provide very high bandwidth, high-speed connections that enable MEC. Zeetta Networks provides network control and a sliced network environment that segregates and protects the demands of complex services. The full capability will be demonstrated at IBC 2019 in September.
“CCS’s Metnet mmWave access and backhaul technology has been central to the successful delivery of the 5G Smart Tourism trial in Bristol and Bath, and we are now demonstrating the wider potential of these capabilities in this new Visitor Experience Catalyst. Working with an exceptional team of partners, we are highlighting exactly what this collaborative approach can deliver in terms of 5G innovation and performance, and providing a really outstanding showcase for exciting, immersive services for mobile users.”
“Anyone who has tried to use a smartphone in a crowded location has experienced the impact of congestion on mobile (4G/LTE) and Wi-Fi networks. Many applications also have a detrimental effect on battery life. The catalyst demonstrates why 5G, with its ability to support huge numbers of connected devices, and mobile edge computing, which offloads power-hungry processing, is essential for a good visitor experience” said Vassilis Seferedis CEO of Zeetta Networks. “This Catalyst exceeds the capabilities of existing networks and proves the need for 5G in tourism.”
Extension of the catalyst at IBC 2019
The catalyst consortium will continue to develop the capabilities of the proof-of-concept. At IBC2019 as well as the Mobile Heritage application, the team will demonstrate an important Public Safety capability using an incident area network (IAN) as well as enhancing the millimetre wave, network slicing and deployable enterprise networks.
Find out more about University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab on their website.
Find out more about Aardman on their website.
Find out more about BBC R&D on their website
Find out more about CCS on their website
Find out more about Zeetta Networks’ advanced networking software on their website.
Notes to editors
About the 5G Visitor Experience Catalyst
This Catalyst capitalises on 5G technology enablers (MEC, network and service slicing) to creatively enhance visitor experiences and safety at heritage sites.
Through our ‘Mobile VR in Heritage Location’ use case we investigate how to deliver rich and engaging video-based experiences to users exploring one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK, the Roman Baths. Users will be offered the ability to ‘see’ via a consumer mobile device a view of a place as it would have been in the past. We will produce content and create innovative delivery solutions through AR/VR mixed applications, thus creating new opportunities for heritage sites to present new immersive experiences to visitors.
Through our ‘Public Safety’ use case we explore how 5G can improve public safety at Bristol city’s harbour, where 31 people have died in the last 5 years. Enhancing “barrier-line-cameras” that are triggered when someone falls in the water, we support mobile thermal imaging (TI) cameras which require very high bandwidth to convey real-time video to a control room.
“Network Slicing” enables us to protect and prioritise that service for the duration of the incident even in a highly congested network, reverting dynamically.
This Catalyst is led by the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab and brings together Aardman, BBC R&D, Cambridge Communications Systems Ltd, Zeetta Networks Ltd.
About Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol and its 5GUK Test Network
The Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol is a hub for internet research which addresses grand societal and industrial challenges. We perform cutting edge research on optical and wireless communications and offer a unique holistic approach to hardware and software co-design, solving critical problems in the global internet evolution. We are world leaders in 5G convergence research and have deployed 5G capability in Bristol city centre focusing on the convergence of fibre infrastructure and 5G wireless access. The University of Bristol’s 5GUK Test Network is the UK’s first urban 5G End-to-End Testbed.
Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) and co-founded in 1976 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is an independent and multi-award-winning studio. It produces feature films, series, advertising, interactive entertainment and attractions for both the domestic and international market. Their productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm reflecting the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning content for cinema, broadcasters, digital platforms and live experiences around the world. In November 2018, Aardman became an Employee Owned organisation, ensuring that the studio remains independent and securing the creative legacy and culture of the company for the future. www.aardman.com
About BBC R&D
BBC Research & Development plays a key role in shaping the future of media technology. It develops and licenses prototype systems to bring new and improved forms of content to our audiences as well as influencing international standards. It advises the BBC on what is coming in the future: what it needs to be involved in and influencing, what the winning and losing technologies are likely to be and what the corporation needs to lead, follow or ignore. https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd
About Cambridge Communication Systems Ltd.
CCS (Cambridge Communication Systems) is the creator of Metnet – the world’s first self-organising mmWave mesh for Gigabit backhaul and access applications. From dense urban cities to rural communities, Metnet can be deployed for 4G LTE and 5G small cell backhaul, Enterprise and Residential Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), Smart City, Wi-Fi and CCTV backhaul.
In major live deployments, Metnet is powering networks to mmWave 5G performance – intuitively, scalably, flexibly and cost-effectively. Delivering high capacity, ultra-low latency and ultra-fast deployment, Metnet is optimised for performance edge and multigigabit capacity.
Metnet’s proven capability is trusted at the heart of some of the world’s most demanding and data-heavy networks, including a pre-5G network for Telefonica O2 in London, at the heart of the world’s largest financial centre.
With a unique self-organising mesh solution for enabling 5G – and beyond – CCS’s innovation and vision is delivering connectivity around the world.
For regular updates, follow us at twitter.com/ccs_multipoint
About Zeetta Networks
Zeetta Networks enables smarter networks. The company leads the development of open, programmable networks based on an advanced, patent-protected software controller called NetOS® that provides full network visibility, control and management through a single-pane-of-glass.
NetOS® enables network splicing® of any combination of network technologies (Fixed, Wireless and low-power IoT) to create a single virtualised network topology that can be then sliced into network slices (sub-networks) on-demand to meet specific user or application requirements. The ability to dynamically slice and splice the network resources across wireless and fixed technologies is protected by the company’s patents.
Zeetta Networks commercially deployed NetOS® in several enterprise projects across Europe and successfully demonstrated 5G Network Slicing in early 5G testbeds like the 5G Smart Tourism and 5G Rural First projects. NetOS® allows enterprises and service providers to control their fixed and wireless networks seamlessly, driving operational efficiencies and creating new monetisation opportunities. With the additional of NetOS Rapide, Zeetta Networks has extended its NetOS® product portfolio to support the creation and control of ad-hoc or “pop-up” networks.