Sir David Attenborough is to be holographically beamed before people’s eyes via an augmented reality app, as part of a trial to demonstrate the potential of 5G.
The broadcaster will take on a new form alongside scientifically accurate plants and creatures, offering users an immersive learning experience on the natural world.
BBC Studios is working on the project with immersive content company Factory 42, EE and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and it will be released alongside forthcoming BBC series The Green Planet.
The scheme is one of several backed by a £28 million Government fund which aims to show how 5G can be used to enhance connectivity and improve people’s lives.
Others include ways to heighten fan experiences at the O2 Arena and MK Dons’ stadium, testing of 5G-powered cargo ports, and boosting tourism sites such as the Eden Project.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: ‘The projects we’ve selected will demonstrate how the blistering speeds of 5G can put some rocket fuel in our economy and help businesses bounce back from the pandemic.
‘5G Create is about exploring new and inventive ways we can use 5G to give British industries a competitive advantage.
‘This cutting-edge app, fronted by broadcasting legend Sir David Attenborough, is set to be an inspiring example of how new technology can reconnect us with the natural world whilst demonstrating the power of 5G to a huge new audience.’
In London, O2’s Project Vista will use 5G to provide instant, multi-angle replays via smartphones during stadium events, while the MK Stadium, home to Milton Keynes Dons FC, plans to be kitted out with driverless taxis, smart parking management and robots.
The Eden Project in Cornwall will explore how 5G and 360-degree video can enhance the visitor experience.
On the Isle of Wight, people will be encouraged to take up yacht racing using immersive virtual reality experiences, to see how it could benefit the sports industry.
Yard cranes powered by 5G will be tested at the Port of Felixstowe, and at Bristol Port 5G will enable the real-time tracking of goods on the move, in a bid to establish resilient “ports of the future” that are smoother and more secure.
Cameras, drones and sensors powered by 5G will also get to work at BAM Nuttell’s construction sites in Kilsyth, Glasgow and Shetland.