In Italy, students at Capgemini’s 5G Academy are using augmented reality to create the cultural heritage sites of tomorrow.
The development of technologies that will power our connectivity in the future is accelerating at pace. Central to the next leap forward are augmented and virtual reality, and 5G. In Italy, teams of students at the Capgemini 5G Academy, run in collaboration with Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, have gained hands-on experience of how the new technologies can be applied. One of the teams has been working on how 5G can revolutionise media and entertainment experiences at cultural heritage sites such as museums, galleries and places of historic interest. Here, members of the team outline the latest innovations.
How are you bringing 5G and AR to enhance the visitor experience at cultural sites?
We have been focusing on how we can use 5G at archaeological sites and in museums. It can be applied to disrupt what people expect of standard visitor or user experiences. Using 5G-enhanced smart glasses, for example, we can enable people to interact with the pictures and statues around them as they explore a museum or site. During a visit to Pompeii, for instance, smart glasses could let them be guided through the ruins by “virtual” local citizens, see the crowd in the old city Forum, and watch gladiators fight it out in the arena. With 5G, the only limit to the visitor-experience revolution is the imagination of those who create it.
Anna De Luca, analyst consultant
What can 5G offer museums and galleries to help them survive in an age of social distancing?
5G allows you to offer a home visit experience through virtual reality (VR) technology with high-quality standards and almost instantaneous interactions with the virtual world around you. It transforms the traditional concept of a visit, making it immersive, fun, and interactive. For in-person visits, if you have to avoid crowds, it can be used to offer customised tours, adjusting the length of the tour and what you see, so you get the best out of the visit and stay safe.
Attilio Giampaglia, analyst consultant
How does 5G connectivity power these next-level AR experiences?
It lets you transfer data and information to a server. This makes implementing AR technology much easier – we can build AR glasses that don’t need to house a processor unit, and that don’t have to be physically connected to a computer. This is crucial. It means we can create AR devices that are more comfortable and perform better. Also, one of the main challenges of AR is creating a seamless link between the real and the digital worlds. With the high speed that 5G technology offers, and innovation in AR, there will be less of a divide between traditional and digital museums.
What will our cultural experiences of the future look like?
One of the things we will see is increased personalisation. Through big data analytics, we will be able to have better customer profiling, and this will help to generate hyper-personalised cultural experiences that are more effective and inclusive, and guarantee deeper degrees of learning and engagement.
Where else is 5G going to have an impact on leisure and entertainment?
We are looking forward to seeing the advantages it will bring to the world of gaming. 5G will open the doors to an all-round virtual reality experience, enabling even faster and more engaging interactions, and it will be applied in exciting ways to appeal to people of all ages and interests.
Where will the technology be heading in 10 years’ time?
Our hope is that we will move from a “tactile” internet to a “thinkable” internet. Touchable tablets and smartphones will be replaced by devices you can interact with through thought. For example, to change page on your Kindle, instead of swiping with your finger you could just think of doing it. The main enablers of this new technology will be 6G+, AI, and machine learning technology that can interpret cerebral signals, and microscopic biosensors. These innovative user interfaces will be the next great evolutionary step in the field.
At the Capgemini 5G Academy, media and entertainment was one of four areas of focus. Teams also collaborated in the fields of manufacturing, insurance, and healthcare, innovating to develop 5G solutions that will directly benefit tomorrow’s world.