EE and BT unveil new sports and arts experiences based on 5G and extended reality

  • EE and BT unveil new ways to watch or experience sports and performing arts using the power of 5G technology
  • Innovation with EE’s 5G network, BT Sport, BT Applied Research and external partners brings highly immersive and personalized experiences
  • Project supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport under the 5G Create program to develop new 5G use cases and technical capabilities

EE and BT Sport unveil pioneering uses of 5G that reimagine the experience of watching and enjoying sports, dance, music and theater through virtual, augmented and mixed reality applications.

Using everyday devices such as smartphones, tablets and TVs, as well as the latest augmented reality (AR) headsets, the new prototypes allow users to take control and participate in an event from anywhere. whichever angle they choose.

For example, rugby fans can take the experience of being at a match or event to unparalleled levels with real-time, data-rich information such as ball trajectories and kicking distances. Boxing fans can bring fight nights into their own living room with highly immersive holographic videos that bring them closer to boxers as they fight. Meanwhile, dancers, musicians and other performers can demonstrate, teach and engage with students and fans remotely using EE’s 5G network to deliver real-time interactive experiences.

The prototypes are the first results of a project led by EE and BT Sport, 5G Edge-XR, which demonstrates how the potential of EE’s 5G network, combined with cloud-based graphics processing units, can allow consumers to view events in a variety of highly immersive ways. 5G Edge-XR is backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), The Grid Factory, Condense Reality, DanceEast, Salsa Sound and the University of Bristol. Other high-end XR services explored by the project meet the needs of industries as diverse as construction, healthcare and retail.

Lisa Perkins, Director of Research Delivery, BT, said: “Our work at Adastral Park alongside world-class innovators including BT Sport and our 5G Edge-XR partners demonstrates how EE’s 5G network can support services that deliver uncompromising audio and visuals. We are excited to unveil experiences that could transform sport, culture and the arts, as well as demonstrate the benefits 5G can bring to individuals and businesses.

Jamie Hindhaugh, COO of BT Sport, said: “EE and BT are once again demonstrating the powerful creative and operational benefits that 5G technology can bring to sports and broadcasting. These new experiences, which capitalize on the breadth of broadcast and mobile expertise across BT and EE, reaffirm the important role 5G will play in reimagining the way sport is watched both in stadiums and through television.

At the home of Saracen rugby in London, EE and BT have unveiled the following new experiences, aspects of which are being developed by BT Sport for future launch. The demonstrations were supported by BT Media & Broadcast’s TV OB service.

Rugby: Providing fans attending the match with never-before-seen match information and accompanying experiences, the app offers real-time mixed reality overlays on smartphones, tablets and AR headsets. Features include game data overlaid on players, ball trajectories, win line visuals, kick distances, possession data and alternate camera viewpoints. Additional features under consideration include alternative partisan commentary, localized in-stadium advertisements and information on finding directions to the stadium.

Boxing: A one-of-a-kind immersive sports experience, bringing live fights from the ring to the front room. It provides real-time volumetric video to create so-called “holographic boxers” that are synchronized with the live TV broadcast. Volumetric video can be placed, for example, on a spectator’s coffee table while they watch the fight live on their TV. Replays can be viewed in slow motion from any angle during breaks, as well as battle data. Additionally, a Hype Mode feature provides an entertaining streaming experience with fun, action-themed on-screen descriptions for key moments and graphic-lined hit trackers such as flames of fire.

MotoGP: The ultimate augmented reality motorsport fan experience. The prototype offers an immersive presentation of the race through a virtual multi-screen viewing suite offering 17 different video panels. Additionally, viewers can access a scale map of the circuit showing the position of the riders throughout the race, as well as a Parc Fermé area featuring life-size 3D renderings of the team’s motorcycles with a spatial sound. Content viewable on the 17 live video panels includes: the race helicopter view, bike cameras on up to seven different bikes, replays, a timing panel showing individual rider times and a scoreboard. interactive leaders showing the position of the runners in the race.

Dance / Music / Theater: discover how 5G and AR can be used to transform the way we watch live and recorded dance, music and theater performances. The experience features live-streamed AR dance classes, led by a remote dance artist who is presented as a volumetric hologram mixed with the real world using AR glasses.

Soccer: Provides a fully immersive “as if you were there” experience for football fans. It delivers an immersive experience using the BT Sport app’s existing 360 degree service combined with spatial sound and dynamic graphics to deliver 8K 360 degree multi-camera viewpoints, screens showing the TV match feed live, squad rosters and match info, integrated match info graphics. showing team scores, the clock, and an interactive timeline that allows users to jump straight to key match events. Additionally, it provides spatial audio specific to the location of the camera and the orientation of the user.

The new results are the latest industry collaboration around the use of world-class 5G networks between EE, BT Sport, BT Applied Research and BT Media & Broadcast:

  • In October 2020, EE partnered with BT Sport to launch Matchday Experience on the BT Sport app, giving fans the most immersive sports viewing experience in the UK, including Watch Together – the only service in the UK allowing fans to watch, view and chat with up to three other friends, alongside any BT Sport broadcast, through a split-screen interface.
  • In 2019, BT Sport collaborated with BT’s Media & Broadcast arm to broadcast the world’s first live 8K test show, at the IBC exhibition in Amsterdam.
  • In 2018, BT Sport and EE achieved the world’s first live broadcast on 5G using remote production, providing two-way transmission from Wembley Stadium to the ExCeL exhibition center in London.

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