David Attenborough to front government-funded 5G AR app

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Sir David will appear in "very high-resolution holographic video"

Sir David Attenborough is to front an augmented reality app letting users see exotic plants and animals in their own surroundings, as part of a government drive to prove the uses of 5G.

The Green Planet AR app has been given £2.3m government funding as one of nine 5G test projects given a total of £28m.

It will be released alongside The Green Planet, Sir David's forthcoming BBC series that will show plants in detail.

The five-part documentary series is expected to be broadcast in 2022.

Sport replays

Augmented reality superimposes virtual objects on to the world around us, meaning the app's users will be able to use their smartphones to see Sir David and "meticulously detailed graphics of exotic plants and animals" as if they were in front of them.

The app will help prove "how new technology can reconnect us with the natural world whilst demonstrating the power of 5G to a huge new audience", according to Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman.

The app will be available in "set locations" around the UK. Developer Factory 42 said it does not yet know how many locations, but they could include parks, visitor attractions like Kew Gardens and urban settings. Users will need a 5G-enabled device.

The other projects sharing the £28m funding include one to provide live, multi-angle HD video streams and replays on phones at sporting events; one to allow people to experience exhibits at The Eden Project in Cornwall from their own homes; and one to control the 113 cranes at the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk.

They follow nine other 5G trial projects that were awarded a total of £35m in February 2020.

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