ERICSSON & VERIZON
3D HOLOGRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS
Voxon was approached by Ericsson early 2018. With their new 5G networks being developed globally, Ericsson was looking for something to highlight just why 5G will make a difference to businesses and peoples lives. Sharing volumetric data was one of those benefits that 5G had over previous generations which just simply have the bandwidth to communicate 3D volumetric data. Ericsson and Verizon knew that there was no better way to highlight 5G than by bringing science fiction into the present and create holographic communications. Voxon had created the holographic displays, now we just needed to communicate from person to person in true 3D. Ericsson partnered with the USA network provider Verizon to work with Voxon to create a world first. Ericsson and Verizon, using Voxon’s world leading 3D volumetric technology, were to conduct live 3D volumetric conference calls over 5G between the Ericsson booth and the Verizon booth, at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Los Angeles. This demonstration would also be used to emulate a video conference call between a doctor and a radiologist viewing, manipulating and discussing DICOM data from a patient CT or MRI scan, with the doctor viewing the DICOM data on a separate floor mounted VX1.
The challenge was to test and present Voxon’s volumetric display, the VX1 in a vertical form factor so that attendees at the conference could sit down in different booths and chat face to face, not on a screen, but in true 3D volumetric form, using two Intel RealSense depth cameras to capture the user’s face. Some small engineering changes needed to be made to ensure the VX1’s ran perfectly when vertical in orientation. Software would need to be developed to allow for point to point 5G communications streaming between the two Voxon units.
- Software for face tracking integration to keep the user’s face being displayed when being moved around would need to be developed
- Software development to allow positional object control from one VX1 to unit to another VX1 unit over 5G for the DICOM medical demonstration
- The testing of positions and lighting for the two Intel RealSense Depth Cameras
- Both Ericsson & Verizon booths were to be constructed in the USA with Voxon providing the specifications of the Vertical VX1 stands so the booth could be built around the units perfectly
- Ventilation of the units taken into consideration if enclosed
- Audio / microphone positions needed to be considered as well
Why 5G was required
Volumetric data encompasses 3 dimensional data (x,y and z axis) which requires exceptional bandwidth. Intel RealSense cameras capture this data and we were looking to send this data uncompressed in real-time to help highlight that 5G has an integral part of future communications. After all, both Ericsson and Verizon wanted to show the world something that couldn’t be done in the past. Real-time holographic communications was the perfect showcase for 5G.
Results and Future Plans
This project went to plan perfectly, with both Verizon and Ericsson ecstatic with the results, making their booths be two of the busiest booths at Mobile World Congress with a constant crowd of people wanting to see and be part of 3D holographic conferencing, a world first. On time, on budget and the ‘wow factor’ that was required for a 5G launch.
The Bonus: How Holographic Communications Exceeded Expectations
Although the video above doesn’t quite capture 3D facial images like you see it real-life, the closeness of the physical attributes gave a presence that you just don’t get form a 2D screen. Emotionally, people felt they were closer to that person and that there was more of a connection. With distance between family and loved ones often playing a part, the 3D nature of the volumetric communications highlighted that this could really bring family members closer together. It was actually better in real-life than anyone was really expecting.
“We worked with this incredible company, Voxon, out of Australia to deliver the world’s first 5G Holographic Video Conference Call. It took months of planning but worked perfectly and we had 5-10 people deep queueing to see the technology over the two days.” – Craig Jackowski, Manager – Technology – Verizon Innovation Program
The closeness of the physical attributes gave a presence that you just don’t get form a 2D screen. Emotionally, people felt they were closer to that person and that there was more of a connection. With distance between family and loved ones often playing a part, the 3D nature of the volumetric communications highlighted that this could really bring family members closer together. It was actually better in real-life than anyone was really expecting.
STAR WARS MOMENT:
What was once only the realm of science fiction, Voxon Photonics has now made idea of holographic communications possible.
Bigger, Brighter, Faster, Higher Resolution
Watch the video with sound below….