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

EE and BT Sport are unveiling pioneering uses of 5G which re-imagine the experience of watching and performing sports, dance, music and theatre 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 enable users to take control and engage in an event from any angle of their choosing.


For example, rugby fans can take the experience of being at a match or event to previously unmatched levels with real-time, data-rich AR insights such as ball trajectories and kick distances. Boxing fans can bring fight nights into their own living room with highly immersive holographic videos which puts them up close to the boxers as they fight. Meanwhile, dancers, musicians and other artists can remotely demonstrate, teach and engage with students and fans using EE’s 5G network to provide real-time interactive experiences.


The prototypes are the first outputs from an EE and BT Sport-led project, 5G Edge-XR, which demonstrates how the potential of EE’s 5G network, paired with cloud graphics processing units, can enable consumers to view events in a range of new, highly immersive ways. 5G Edge-XR is supported by The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), The Grid Factory, Condense Reality, DanceEast, Salsa Sound and The University of Bristol. Other high-end XR services being explored by the project address the needs of industries as diverse as construction, health and retail.


Lisa Perkins, Research Realisation Director, 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 uncompromised audio and visuals. We’re excited to be unveiling experiences that could transform sports, culture, and the arts as well as demonstrating the benefits 5G can bring to people and businesses.”


Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport, said: “EE and BT are again demonstrating the powerful creative and operational benefits that 5G technology can bring to sports and broadcast. These new experiences, which capitalise on the breadth of broadcast and mobile expertise across BT and EE, re-affirm the important role that 5G will play in re-imagining how sport is watched both at stadia and via television.”


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


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