Mobile World Congress (MWC) is gearing up next week in Barcelona to play host to the latest and greatest in mobile technology, including the presumed Microsoft HoloLens 2. Today AT&T, Ericsson, Intel and Warner Bros. announced that they’ll be showing off a new implementation there of their combined efforts to bring 5G to location-based AR/VR venues using a new Batman experience.
Late last year the companies created a proof-of-concept demo running at the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles, where students got a chance to experience what they call “a context-aware, mixed-reality experience” designed by USC’s Mobile & Environmental Media Lab.
Now fully kitted with a bonafide Batman experience to its name, the setup is said to let MWC-goers “see how Batman defeats DC Super-Villain The Scarecrow in an action-packed immersive experience using a digital model of their encounter.”
While not much is known at this time—including exactly which AR/VR hardware the companies are using—the experience is said to include a fully integrated 5G network powered by Ericsson Radio Base Stations and enabled by Intel Xeon Scalable processors and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform, allowing expo visitors to “interact in the environment while being mobile.”
With the experience the companies hope to show off “a way forward for lightweight mixed reality devices,” a press statement says.
The collaboration between AT&T, Ericsson, Intel and Warner Bros. (with DC) is slated to demonstrate 5G’s capabilities, such as low latency, high bandwidth, fast scalability, and also how it will provide “a faster network and the flexibility for enabling an enhanced, multi-user mixed-reality experience.”
While it could be more bluster than muster at this point—we’ve seen 5G-powered setups in the past that did little more than deliver high-speed internet to backpack-mounted computers—the fact that Warner Bros. is eyeballing the out-of-home immersive entertainment sector using the technology could be a sign of greater implementations.
“At Warner Bros., we look forward to continuing to explore the power of 5G to deliver high-quality location-based entertainment experiences to our fans,” said Justin Herz, exec. vice president of Warner Bros. Entertainment’s digital product, platform and strategy division. “It is by working closely with partners who are leaders in 5G that we can develop compelling immersive user experiences that will break through to a mass audience and bring our most iconic characters, such as DC’s Batman and The Scarecrow, to life.”
The demonstration will be available in both the Ericsson booth (#2O60 in Hall 2) and Intel booth (#3E31 in Hall 3) in Fira de Barcelona, taking place February 24 – 28 in Barcelona, Spain.
We’ll have feet on the ground in Barcelona next week, so check back soon for breaking news and all things AR/VR.