The 5G TELUS Lab: the future of creativity

Lenovo’s story has always been about shaping computing intelligence to create a better world. With a wide portfolio of technology products, the company delivers on its vision of "Smarter Technology for All" through products, solutions, software, and services that individuals, communities, businesses, and entire populations need to fulfill their potential.

Companies all over the world are gearing up for 5G, the fifth-generation cellular technology that makes wireless networks several times faster and enables the transmission of vast amounts of data. 5G is already used for a range of applications that include self-driving cars, virtual reality, and even remote surgery.  5G’s ultra-fast speeds and lower latency, when combined with augmented or virtual reality also hold a host of new possibilities for the entertainment industry.

Media and entertainment ‘experiences’ enabled by 5G will generate up to $1.3 trillion (£0.9 trillion) in revenue by 2028, according to a report commissioned by Intel and carried out by Ovum. The report suggests that 2025 will represent a ‘tipping point’ for 5G in entertainment and media. By that time, the report forecasts that around 57 percent of wireless revenue globally will be driven by the capabilities of 5G networks and devices. By 2028, Intel and Ovum expect that number to rise to 80 percent.

Zú is Montréal’s newest creative hub initiated by the legendary Québec entrepreneur and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. A non-profit organization whose mission is to gather, help and promote creatives in the entertainment sector to develop world-class innovative projects.

Lenovo partnered with TELUS and Zú to establish the first-ever experimental 5G laboratory in Canada entirely dedicated to the creative and entertainment industries. The 5G TELUS LAB is a creative, testing, and experimental space fitted with cutting-edge technological equipment to push the limits of digital creativity. 

Based on the 5G network from TELUS and using Motorola Edge+ phones, Lenovo ThinkStation workstations, gaming laptops and the ThinkSystem SE350 Edge Server compatible with 5G, the 5G TELUS Lab empowers creators to explore cutting-edge technologies such as AR/VR, 3D holograms, mobile gaming, interactive storytelling, live volumetric performance, and 4K live streaming. This innovative space offers an average speed of 1.2Gbps in downloads and 142Mbps in uploads with a latency between 9 and 13ms.

“5G network speeds will transform all facets of life, including entertainment, and the entrepreneurs enrolled in Zú’s incubation programs are at the forefront of utilizing this technology in their creative projects,”  said Colin McIsaac, executive director and general manager of Canada at Lenovo. “Providing our hardware, devices, and expertise to the 5G TELUS Lab aligns with Lenovo’s commitment to developing smarter technology for all and helps ensure that the full potential of 5G is achieved in the years to come.”  

Figure 1: 5G TELUS Lab – Edge Connectivity for AR/VR use case

The 5G TELUS Lab consists of:

  • Advanced in-building wireless networks, including pre-commercial experimental 5G spectrum
  • A VR/AR room for immersive content: virtual, augmented or mixed reality projects
  • Two editing rooms, ideal for video editing, audio mixing, post-production or color correction projects.
  • Six Lenovo multifunction workstations equipped with creative, animation and production software suites to create mixed content for 3D animation, modeling, simulation, design, architecture or engineering projects and many more.

One example of leveraging the 5G Lab capabilities is using the OVA Stellar X App on the secure, compact and rugged Lenovo SE350 Edge server for enabling artists with VR headsets to create immersive content with easy drag and drop.

“Edge computing is enabling new use cases and transforming user experience.  Lenovo, TELUS and Zú are helping young professionals and entrepreneurs unleash their creativity with ultra-low latency 5G technology and compute capabilities running workloads at the edge.” says Charles Ferland, Vice President & General Manager Edge Computing & Communication Service Providers at Lenovo

Lenovo products and tools equip young creatives and entrepreneurs in the entertainment sector with a suite of pre-commercial, cutting-edge tools that allow them to test and optimize their projects in a real-life setting, well in advance of the mass rollout of 5G. 

Lenovo supports Zú’s mission to team up with the very first cohorts of “incubees” enrolled in the incubation program for better structuring their business and delivering added value to their organization.

Whether providing faster speeds for data transfer on set or creating innovative film or gaming experiences, the combination of 5G, edge computing, artificial intelligence, and mixed reality may just usher in yet another golden age for the entertainment industry.

Editor’s note: This article is in association with Lenovo.

(Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash)

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