S5GC demos 3D video conferencing at COP26
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:

The Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) has revealed successful results of immersive 5G-enabled technology trials it ran at the recent COP26 Summit alongside Holoxica and the University of Glasgow’s Communication, Sensing and Imaging group.

Holoxica and the CSI group hosted a 5G to 5G holographic 3D video conferencing demonstration from the S5GConnect Dumfries hub during the global summit in Glasgow which saw world and industry leaders meet to discuss climate change. The holographic equipment used in the demonstration can be used for meetings that would ordinarily require travel in the healthcare industry and in 3D Telemedicine.

Technologies used included two-way 3D videoconferencing between Dumfries and Glasgow, using Microsoft Azure Kinect 3D depth cameras, Nokia’s low latency 5G network which spans the University of Glasgow’s 5G testbed and Holoxica’s 3D Looking Glass Light Field displays which require no headsets. Dr Muhammad Ali Imran of the University of Glasgow said that “5G can enable more realistic virtual tele-presence that can move away from conventional two-dimensional screens replacing it with holograms”.

Also on the 3D call was ‘Peppa’ the University of Glasgow’s AI (artificial intelligence) robot, which has been programmed to allow tour guides to work remotely using the AI robot to guide visitors in key tourist locations across the city.

FIND OUT MORE - THE BIG INTERVIEW: Philip Mason talks to chair of The Scotland 5G Centre Julie Snell

A final trial saw the broader demonstration of what the group claims is the country’s first teleoperation of a robotic arm over 5G. Launched earlier this year by the University of Glasgow, the tele-operational 5G robotic arm uses a haptic feedback controller that allows the user to feel senses of touch, motion and pressure. According to the researchers, the robotic arm could potentially be used across the manufacturing, healthcare and education sectors with further use in driving lessons and testing being investigated currently.

Paul Coffey, chief executive of S5GC, said: “The test bed built at the University of Glasgow is creating a major step change in ideas and adoption of 5G technology. The ability for students to be able to take part in complex work from another country is exciting and beneficial for the learner and the academic partner. Giving remote access to world leading facilities to a larger number of people worldwide is hugely beneficial.

“We are able to create multiple use cases which generates an ecosystem for 5G and leads to further applications across manufacturing, healthcare and education sectors. The market for remote solutions in the robotic market alone is predicted to be worth 16.8 million dollars by 2023, the potential for use of 5G across sectors is of enormous economic benefit.”

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