Lisa Perkins, BT’s director of research and applied innovation, reveals how a science-fiction technology is becoming real.
Yes, volumetric video exists and holds the future firmly.
Few have contemplated the wide-ranging effects this new technology could have on many industries. We’ve played with volumetric video and other cutting-edge technology at our organization. With financing from the UK government’s 5G Create project, Lisa state that she was able to bring together six industry leaders under the guidance of BT Media and Research teams to build the 5G Edge-XR partnership to push cutting-edge technology.
Under 5G Edge-XR, Lisa’s team is making enormous strides to mainstream augmented and virtual reality technologies like volumetric video. Working with 5G Edge-XR helps us design and test real applications of our research.
This technology’s potential is only becoming clear and we see that its prevalence in future is expected to rise drastically.
What is volumetric video?
Using volumetric video, a person, object, or environment can be recorded in three dimensions and viewed remotely from any conceivable perspective.
5G’s low latency connectivity, in conjunction with compute power located at the edge of the network, makes it possible to stream volumetrically captured objects, like musicians performing on stage or a boxer fighting in a ring, seamlessly to a display, where they can be experienced in the same way our brains perceive an object moving in front of us.
As though we were sitting in our living rooms, we will be able to watch concerts from just a few feet away, walk all the way around the stage, or even get in the middle of the action.
With volumetric video, live events may be transmitted online in three dimensions at broadcast quality, letting viewers watch from any angle.
Transforming remote working for business
We’ve all recently experienced a digital-communications-driven civilization. Our virtual environment should feel natural and straightforward when we can’t be together.
Business and remote teamwork are examples.
Casual conversations with coworkers, like while brewing coffee, can lead to productive thinking. We recently discussed how volumetric technology could let us hold virtual meetings, exchange information, and communicate beyond what’s possible on a flat screen.
Remote workers in design and manufacturing can meet virtually around 3D virtual models of structures and goods to communicate and make adjustments, allowing supply chain parties to respond in real time and promoting a smoother work flow.
This technology will benefit firms in communications, entertainment, healthcare, and education.
Volumetric video capture may change how we communicate with family. Imagine chatting with a faraway loved one in real time and 3D, as if they were next to us on the couch.
Volumetric video will enable virtual workplaces, which will benefit enterprises of all sizes. By organizing presentations and meetings locally, a company can reduce its carbon footprint.
It will change how we view sports, art, and live theatre. Imagine a global sporting event or theatre performance projected onto your coffee table in 3D.
Volumetric technology has uses beyond broadcasting and communications. Consider the retail industry; eventually we’ll be able to digitally try on things to assure a decent fit and aesthetic before buying them. You may even look at for-sale houses without entering.
Future classrooms will let teachers create immersive learning environments.
Hospitals will soon have 3D patient photos. A hologram of the patient’s heart may help in diagnosis. Virtual labs and volumetric studies of microscopic organisms would boost scientists’ ability to interact, experiment, and exchange research across continents, leading to new knowledge, improved diagnostics, and novel treatments.
3D modelling software allows workers to generate and share full-scale models, which increases quality control.
Why is 5G such a key part of this new technology?
We are the leaders in the world when it comes to improving network capabilities, and we will never stop trying to come up with new ways to make our clients’ networks faster and more connected.
5G will completely change what we can do as a mobile network, as well as a provider of technology and as a creator of new technologies.
It will make it possible for us to use volumetric technology in our daily lives. Since volumetric video needs 5G, there is no other way to do it.
Even the most powerful smartphones have trouble rendering and showing a high-resolution, three-dimensional image in full screen mode. This is because it takes a lot of processing power.
Because of this, the amount of processing power needed to stream a video with a lot of data is more than what the mobile devices on the market can handle.
On the other hand, the combined efforts of 5G Edge-XR are opening up whole new possible paths.
At the edge of the 5G network, there are facilities for edge computing and high-end graphics processors. This means that complicated processing can be done on remote computers before being quickly sent to your device over 5G.
The technology that is needed to measure volume is not ready yet. On the other hand, it will soon be a reality, which will be good for places like schools and hospitals, businesses and homes, stadiums and other places where shows are held, and so on.
By using 5G’s low latency and high bandwidth speed, we can make sure that volumetric video becomes a technology that we can use every day and benefit from. We will then be able to use the technology. I have no doubt that we are close to making a big step toward a technology that will make a big difference in our overall quality of life.
It will change the way all BT customers connect and use bandwidth every day, letting huge amounts of data flow at speeds that have never been seen before.
The Bottom Line
The primary goal of volumetric video is to provide viewers with an experience that is more immersive. By transforming the performers into photo real holograms that you can sit next to, volumetric video brings the performance to you so that you don’t have to go to a theatre for a play or a concert. So, get ready to welcome the new technology which is on the brink of being prevalent.
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