To kick off this year’s digital Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Verizon chief executive officer and chairman Hans Vestberg delivered a keynote on how 5G is transforming everything from the way students learn to the way people experience sports, concerts, museums and even deliveries.
Vestberg announced a new activation that Verizon is launching tomorrow called The Met Unframed, an immersive virtual art and gaming experience that gives people access to augmented reality (AR) versions of the Met’s art collections. The move follows a similar activation for which Verizon teamed with the Smithsonian to bring parts of the museum to life through AR by scanning a QR code on Verizon’s virtual museum site.
As the pandemic forced people indoors, Verizon leveraged 5G to bring immersive sports experiences into people’s homes. For example, in November it debuted its 5G SuperStadium experience in the NFL app, enabling fans to watch the Giants vs. Buccaneers game from seven different camera angles, see real-time stats and experience a “holomoji,” or video overlay, of their favorite player via AR. Vestberg says that in 2021 Verizon will roll out 5G to 28 NFL stadiums.
To help bridge the digital divide, Verizon’s chief responsibility officer Rose Stuckey Kirk says the company is equipping underserved middle and high school students with virtual reality (VR) technology through its Innovative Learning program to help bring lessons to life. Its goal is to deploy 5G technology to 100 schools by the end of 2021.
Mariah Scott, president of Skyward, also appeared during Vestberg’s address to explain how 5G enables her company to manage drones remotely to deliver packages, a method it’s testing in partnership with UPS.
The cancelation of live musical events also called for 5G. In November, Verizon and Snapchat launched the first 5G-enabled Landmarker Lens that brought to life a performance by Black Pumas at the New York Public Library. The performance was shot in Verizon’s branded content studio RYOT, using motion capture technology to track the lead singer’s movements and come to life through a 3D Bitmoji on Snapchat.
Verizon also outfitted the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles into the first 5G-enabled music club with a live, 360-degree multi-cam experience that lets people enjoy live music shows from home. Vestberg says Verizon is deploying the same technology to 15 Live Nation venues in the US, from Miami to New York.
“My own hope and aspiration is more than often that we use [5G] for good—for learning, for sharing, for preserving and protecting and community-building…to reap the greatest outcomes for everyone in our society,” says Vestberg.