5G industry news

CONNECTED FUTURES: A 5G Smart Tourism Showcase

  • 18 minute read
  • Published by Lucy Woods on 19 Feb 2019
  • Last modified 21 Feb 2019
West of England backs the future, bringing together the UK’s leading tech pioneers for ambitious 5G Smart Tourism Showcase
  • BBC R&D demonstrates new app with VR/AR content bringing history of Roman Baths to life
  • Award-winning Smartify reveals an enhanced 5G gallery experience via bonus content including audio stories and videos
  • University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab invites audiences to share 5G experiences across Bristol and London inter-connecting testbeds in Bristol, Digital Catapult and King’s College in London 
  • Industry innovator Landmrk invites visitors on an interactive, 360 video-guided tour around Bristol highlighting vast contrast between 4G + 5G capabilities
    Mo-Sys immerses audiences in a 5G-powered virtual world with their innovative StarTracker ViewFinder
  • Industry leaders Mativision and InterDigital present a simultaneous 360° VR experience, revealing how 5G removes barriers to multiple users experiencing shared synced content through providing cost-efficient delivery over novel 5G network technology
  • Zeetta Networks, Bristol City Council, IBI Group and Bristol is Open show how network slicing can support large-scale public events making them safer and easier to manage
  • West of England Combined Authority, one of the first combined authorities in the country, leads £5m 5G Smart Tourism project to encourage the adoption and use of 5G technology by venues, businesses and people. 

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 NetOSÆ makes 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 RapideÆ 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.


Follow on Twitter: @WestofEnglandCA #5Gsmarttourism #5Gfutures


Press Contacts
Rebecca Ladbury | Rebecca@ladburypr.com | 07941 224 975

Danya Agababian | danya@ladburypr.com 

Notes to editors

This diverse collaboration includes 5G network hosts/research bodies (University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab), service providers (Zeetta Networks, CCS, Inter Digital and Bristol is Open) tourism and business support organisations (Destination Bristol), visitor destinations, tech hubs (Digital Catapult and Bristol VR Lab), SMEs and large businesses (BT, IBI Group, Smartify, Mativision, Landmrk, Bristol Futures Global and Mo-Sys), media and content companies (BBC) and public sector partners (West of England Combined Authority, Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bristol City Council).

Schedule Saturday 16 March | BRISTOL

We The Curious | 10am-4pm
Mativision, Mo-Sys and Zeetta Networks to present combined events across the day, plus a 5G Smart Tourism “welcome desk” with information about the various events

Millennium Square | 10am – 4pm
Zeetta Networks demonstration screens in marquee, a Smartify info area plus University of Bristol network demonstrations, a BBC and Aardman Animation demonstration of their Roman Baths project and Bristol City Council demonstrations

Bristol City Council, Bristol is Open and IBI Group - visitor safety demonstrations including the big screen

Anchor Square (Outside the front of We The Curious) | 10am-4pm
Mobile monitoring van, with displays of Zeetta Networks, Bristol is Open, IBI Group & Bristol City Council’s Harbourside monitoring systems, showing the “before and after” benefits of 5G compared to the use of standard wi-fi and 4G

M Shed | 10am-4pm
Smartify stand and demonstration

Keynote speeches and Panel Discussions | 10am – 4pm | Bristol VR Lab
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.

About 5G in the West of England

5G has the potential to revolutionise the way people live and work across the West of England. Bringing speeds 10 to 20 times faster and the capacity to support billions of digital devices with much greater reliability and security, the technology provides super-fast, ultra-reliable networks with seamless uninterrupted connectivity which means an end of signals dropping out in tunnels, no time-consuming switching between service providers and new techniques like ‘network slicing’ means no more network collapse because there are too many users in one place.  Whilst this new level of reliable connectivity offers huge opportunities for business and is likely to bring significant growth for the region’s tech sector, it will also revolutionise the Internet of Things (IoT) which could transform everything from assisted living to motoring to air quality.

About the West of England Combined Authority

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is made up of three of the local authorities in the region – Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Working with our partners including the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, North Somerset Council and other partners, our aim is to deliver clean and inclusive economic growth for the region and address some of our challenges, such as productivity and skills, housing and transport.

WECA has secured £5million of government funding enabling them to test new 5G technology that could hold the key to a more advanced and sustainable future for the West of England. www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk

About University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab

The University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab brings world leading knowledge and expertise in 5G networks, and leads the technical design and 5G deployment in the project. The project delivers five unique use-cases using the University’s 5GUK Test Network, funded by DCMS, showcasing two primary 5G KPIs; Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) through innovative augmented, virtual and mixed reality applications. Advanced network functions such as intelligent mobile edge computing and multi-site network orchestration are also deployed in the testbed, driving international standards in 5G network design

About BBC R&D

BBC Research & Development plays a key role in shaping the future of media technology by developing and licensing prototypes of systems to bring new and improved forms of content to our audiences, and influencing international standards. It advises the corporation 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 do we need to lead, follow or ignore.

About Bristol is Open

Bristol Is Open has created a secure, private, research and development city wide test bed that enables Smart City experiments and pilots to be undertaken and assessed with the intention to scale for the benefit of all. It is an entity to create collaboration between private sector, city authorities, academia, innovators and citizens. Bristol is Open is a joint venture between Bristol City Council and University of Bristol.

About Digital Catapult

Digital Catapult is the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation Centre, driving early adoption of technologies to make UK businesses more competitive and productive to grow the country’s economy. We connect large established companies, startup and scaleup businesses and researchers working with artificial intelligence, immersive technologies, and future networks to discover new ways to solve big challenges in the manufacturing and creative industries. Through this collaboration businesses are supported to develop the right technologies to solve problems, increase productivity and open up new markets faster. Digital Catapult runs an intensive 5G programme, building and operating 5G testbed facilities in Brighton and London. It is at the forefront of engagement with the UK digital innovation community to give them exposure and hands-on experience with 5G technologies and supporting them to deliver new products and services that take advantage of the most advanced features of 5G technology. As well as breaking down barriers to technology adoption for startups and scaleups, our work de-risks innovation for large enterprises and uncovers new commercial applications in the advanced digital technologies that underpin a modern industrial economy.

About IBI Group

IBI Group is a global team of dedicated and experienced technology professionals, planners, engineers, designers and architects who share a common desire – applying human-centred design and technology to create the resilient, connected, smart cities of tomorrow.  At IBI Group we believe that the smart city is all about connecting the pieces of a community rather than the individual elements. From responsive expertise to relevant applications to real results, IBI Group does this with creativity, experience, and technology. Our knowledge in integrative sustainable urbanism can be used for different applications at different scales to produce the tangible results of a hallmark smart city.  This has been evidenced in a range of such projects globally, including Bristol and Glasgow’s future city programmes, our partnership with India’s number 1 ranked smart city Bhubaneswar, and throughout North and Central America.

About InterDigital®

InterDigital develops mobile technologies that are at the core of devices, networks, and services worldwide. We solve many of the industry's most critical and complex technical challenges, inventing solutions for more efficient broadband networks and a richer multimedia experience years ahead of market deployment. InterDigital has licenses and strategic relationships with many of the world's leading wireless companies. Founded in 1972, InterDigital is listed on NASDAQ and is included in the S&P MidCap 400® index. InterDigital is a registered trademark of InterDigital, Inc.

About Landmrk

Landmrk is a mobile web platform that enables clients to place digital content in set locations in the real world. Opened by clicking a URL, users are shown a map with set 'hotspots for them to navigate towards. Once they arrive, they can open the content or experience -- which can be anything currently supported by the mobile web. Landmrk has run campaigns for music artists as diverse as Ariana Grande, Shakira and Bring Me The Horizon. It has also worked with children's TV property "Pip Ahoy!", Carling Cider and got "Homeland" fans out on the streets of Manhattan to become Special Agents.

About Mativison

Mativision produces and delivers live interactive 360° content and immersive applications (VR/AR & MR) since 2012. From live entertainment to enterprise training and medical education our clients include Facebook, Google, Samsung, FOX, MTV, Universal, Warner Bros, Vodafone, Unilever, Novartis, Jeep, Fiat and Coach. With proprietary, field-proven, end-to-end workflow which captures and live-streams directly to all platforms, Mativision is widely recognised worldwide as the trusted partner for the live streaming in VR of events of any scale from small venues to stadiums and arenas, as well as the distribution of VR content to unlimited number of viewers without any geographical limitations.

About Mo-Sys

We build and design advanced camera robotics and high-precision camera tracking for the film and broadcast industries. Over the last twenty years we have worked on numerous award-winning films including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Social Network, Life of Pi, Gravity, Spectre, Birdman, The Shape of Water and Aquaman. Our patented StarTracker technology which we now use for VR and AR applications was originally developed for the broadcast industry and the need for the virtual studios. To date it has been installed at more than 100 television studios across the world such as the BBC, Sky, ABC, NHK, ESPN, FOX, NEP, and CNN among others.

About Smartify

Smartify is a free app which helps people make meaningful connections with art. Using image recognition technology, Smartify instantly identifies artworks by scanning them on your smartphone. Through Smartify, users can unlock the stories behind the art, create a digital personal art collection, and share with the Smartify community. Smartify is available at a global network of partner venues, including some of the world’s most popular museums. Smartify is a social enterprise supported by the British Government agency InnovateUK and the European Union. In 2018 the app won numerous awards including the UN World Summit Award for Culture and Tourism; three Webby Awards (Best Art/Experimental; Best Use of the Mobile Camera and People’s Choice); the GLOMO for Most Innovation App at the Mobile World Congress and Apollo Art Magazine’s Digital Innovation of the Year.

About Zeetta Networks

Zeetta Networks enables smarter networks. The Bristol-based Start-Up is leading the development of open, programmable networks.  Zeetta Networks developed an advanced patent-protected software-defined network controller (SDN-C) called NetOS®. NetOS® is based upon the Linux Foundation’s Open Daylight. NetOS® provides  full network visibility, control and management through a single PC screen. NetOS® enables network slicing and network splicing ® of any combination of network technologies (Fixed, Wireless and low-power IoT) to create a single virtualized network with multi-technology networks slices or sub-networks created on demand to meet specific user requirements.  The ability to combine wireless and fixed technologies is unique. Zeetta Networks commercially deployed NetOS® in the world-famous Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol in 2016.  NetOS® allows enterprises to control their fixed and wireless networks seaslessly, driving operational efficiencies and slicing creates new monetization opportunities.  In 2019 Zeetta Networks will be extending it’s portfolio for enterprises and carriers including solutions for temporary or “pop-up” networks.  Zeetta has also successfully demonstrated 5G Network Slicing in the DCMS 5G Smart Tourism and 5G Rural First projects.

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