European telecom operators Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Vodafone said they teamed up with deep tech company Matsuko to conduct a pilot of cross-operator holographic calling technology. The proof of concept harnessed the advantages of 5G connectivity (high speed, high bandwidth and low latency) to overcome some of the challenges in creating realistic 3D imagery, opening up a range of possible use cases.

The partners said they are also developing a platform that will combine real and virtual worlds via a mobile connection, using a smartphone camera to generate a 2D video that is subsequently rendered into 3D holograms in the cloud to be streamed to viewers in an AR/VR/MR environment with a previously unattainable clarity and sharpness.

They added that earlier network-related issues that impeded the smooth and natural holographic movement of the holograms have been resolved, resulting in unprecedented realism when viewed on a smartphone or other mobile device and without the need for a video headset.

Following the successful completion of the first phase of the collaboration, the parties pledged to continue improving the underlying technology, with a focus on quality of service. They are currently examining the potential for broadcast-like delivery, creating the possibility of airing entire events or presentations virtually with “stunning realism”. 

Cited future applications include person-to-person or ‘few-to-few’, enhancing communication in both consumer and business settings via mobile edge computing technology to ensure the most vivid and reliable VR and mixed reality experience.

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