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Oct 04 2018

Have 5G, will play!

Gamers. Animators. Cosplay artists. Techies. It was a pleasure to host a joint Nokia-AT&T 5G technology showcase for such a talented and passionate audience at RTX 2018 in Austin.

RTX 2018 is an annual internet, gaming and anime event for Rooster Teeth (an independent content company owned by AT&T) and their fans held in Austin, London and Melbourne.

When AT&T invited Nokia to partner with them at RTX, we got to work right away with the detailed testing and logistics planning process. The team put the 5G system through rigorous testing in the Nokia 5G SmartLab in Irving, Texas. We even diagrammed the booth tech room layout down to the last cable.

The attention to detail in the planning stages paid off with a flawless execution onsite. At the venue, the 5G system was unpacked, installed and running within a few hours of receiving the crates. A holo-station application from AT&T was run over the Nokia 5G link for the event. This involved a live volumetric video capture of a performer (cosplay artists, anime experts and celebrities from Rooster Teeth) projected to headsets worn by audience members. Audience members could see a hologram of the performer while simultaneously interacting with each other in this unique mixed reality environment.

Volumetric video is an emerging technology that allows true 3-dimensional capture of content. It’s the next leap forward from spherical 360° video capture, where a viewer can view omnidirectional content and perceive depth to a very limited degree. With the free-viewpoint experience that volumetric capture offers, the viewer can walk around inside the video and explore the content from all possible angles.

Volumetric video over 5G will transform our lives by allowing us to cross new frontiers in entertainment and gaming. Merging this technology with augmented and mixed reality will lead to an explosion of possibilities in virtual tourism, education, e-commerce, interactive social meetings, and so much more.

The reaction of fans at RTX 2018? They loved it! They were as excited about the holo projection technology as they were about 5G. One game developer shouted out, “The future is now, people!” They peppered us with questions on everything from what kinds of download speeds 5G will provide to how Nokia designs antennas for the mmWave spectrum. They launched impromptu brainstorming sessions on what new jobs 5G would create in the digital entertainment industry and in robotics and mixed media.

For me, the highlight of the show was when a brilliant 11-year old boy stopped by with his grandma. He asked dozens of questions, starting with the all-encompassing, “How does 5G really work?.” He was delighted when I invited him into the tech room, and we spent a happy half hour talking about the various components and what differentiates 5G from today’s technologies. I could almost see the neurons in his brain firing as he contemplated how 5G could transform his life.

At the end of our chat, he won my heart when he shook my hand and declared, “Thank you! Visiting the tech room was my favorite part of the whole event!”

Can you imagine how this young genius along with the creative, inventive people all over the world will transform our lives with 5G? I’m looking forward to it!

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokia and @nokianetworks using #5G, #gaming, #RTX18

About Monisha Jain

Monisha Jain is the Head of 5G Special Projects. Her background in Physics and Computer Science and her passion for psychology drive her to think about the ways in which the universe enables technology and people to interconnect in ways that do the most good.

Tweet me at @monisha_jain1

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