The UK’s first 5G-enabled immersive lab has now opened

By James Rogerson 21 May 2019

Media City 5G

Companies wanting to get a head-start on 5G applications, particularly those involving augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality, will now be able to, as Digital Catapult’s Immersive Lab has just been unveiled at The Landing at MediaCityUK in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Unveiled by Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, the Immersive Lab is the UK’s first 5G-enabled virtual and augmented reality facility, and has had over £100,000 pumped into it.

As well as AR, VR and mixed reality equipment, the Immersive Lab also houses green screens, and it has been created through a partnership between Digital Catapult (the UK’s leading digital innovation centre) and The Landing itself (which is MediaCityUK’s tech hub specialising in high growth tech start-ups).

It’s designed as a space for both large corporations and tech start-ups to create and test new 5G products and even to collaborate on them.

Paul Billington, managing director at The Landing, said: “The new Immersive Lab will drive innovation and collaboration for organisations large and small working with AR, VR and Mixed Reality. It is a fantastic asset for The Landing programme, and all the tech innovators based here, as it will enable them to create new products and content.”

5G is taking off in Salford

This isn’t the only 5G facility at The Landing, as it joins Vodafone’s Innovation Hub, which similarly aims to provide a space for entrepreneurs and start-ups to test, develop and commercialise 5G products, though there’s seemingly less of a focus on AR and VR from Vodafone’s facility. Vodafone has also switched on a 5G testbed in Salford.

Digital Catapult for its part has also been busy on 5G projects, not just launching this Immersive Lab, but also for example working to bring a 5G network to the Brighton Dome to make for one of the first 5G-powered large scale performance, arts and cultural venues in the UK.

About James Rogerson

Sub-Editor at 5G.co.uk

James is sub-editor at both 5G.co.uk and TechRadar. Also works as a researcher/ technical writer for 5G.co.uk and several other websites including TechRadar, T3, Smart TV Radar, 3G.co.uk with work on the web, in print and on TV.

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