In the first of its kind, a group of telco companies have joined forces to deliver a meeting connecting people in Canada, New York and London as holograms using 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) technology.
Bell Canada, Verizon and Vodafone worked on the project, joining forces with Matsuko, which has created the world’s first real-time software-only solution for holographic presence using just a single camera to stream holograms in spatial computing (VR/AR).
The companies said that interacting with holograms of humans rather than avatars can provide a more personal experience for many applications such as remote healthcare, collaborative working, and education but the technology could also be applied to television news, tech collaborations or even live events streamed to users of virtual technologies.
The meeting was enabled by the speed of 5G combined with the quick response times of MEC, which moves the necessary computing closer to the edge of the network. This ensures a more reliable and consistent hologram by removing delays resulting from multiple hops between different locations and across the internet.
Speaking about the project, Giorgio Migliarina, Vodafone group director of business products and services said: “Multi-party holographic calling can make people feel more connected and productive, whether collaborating across classrooms, offices, hospitals or at home. The smooth and natural movement of these holograms will become more prevalent with the growing availability of 5G and edge computing technology.”
Bell Canada, Verizon and Vodafone came together under the auspices of industry body, the 5G Future Forum (5GFF), which is inviting independent software vendors (ISVs) globally, who either currently use 5G MEC or have it on their development roadmap, to apply to join the organisation’s acceleration programme. The programme is designed to expand and interconnect the global MEC ecosystem by partnering and engaging with developers.