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Museums of the future

How 5G can power media and entertainment to create the cultural heritage sites of tomorrow

In Italy, students at our 5G Academy have been 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 – and augmented and virtual reality, and 5G, are no exception.

In Italy, teams of students at Capgemini’s 5G Academy, run in collaboration with Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, have gained hands-on experience of how these new technologies can be applied.

One of the teams has been working on how to revolutionize media and entertainment experiences at cultural heritage sites such as museums, galleries, and places of historic interest. Here, they share insights into how their work.

How can 5G help museums and galleries to 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,” says analyst consultant Attilio Giampaglia.

“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 customized tours, adjusting the length of the tour and what you see, so you get the best out of the visit and stay safe.”

How does 5G connectivity power these next-level AR experiences?

Team member Gianluca Damiani answers: “5G connectivity allows you to 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, explains Gianluca. “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?

Team member Raffaele Capasso says: “One of the things we will see is increased personalization. Through big data analytics, we will be able to have better customer profiling, and this will help to generate hyper-personalized cultural experiences that are more effective and inclusive, and guarantee deeper degrees of learning and engagement.”

How are you using 5G and augmented reality (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,” explains analyst consultant Anna De Luca. “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 example, smart glasses can enable people to be guided through the ruins by ‘virtual” local citizens, see the crowd in the ancient city forum, and watch gladiators fight in the arena.

“With 5G, the only limit to the visitor-experience revolution is the imagination of those who create it,” says Anna.

How else is 5G going to have an impact on leisure and entertainment?

Team member Alessia Festa is looking forward to seeing the advantages that 5G 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.”

“Our hope is that we will move from a ‘tactile’ internet to a ‘thinkable’ internet”, says team member Federico Luongo. “Touchable tablets and smartphones will be replaced by devices you can interact with through your 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, combined with microscopic biosensors. “These innovative user interfaces will be the next great evolutionary step in the field,” says Federico.

A winning team

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.

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