Verizon is one of the biggest backers of 5G technology and has been instrumental in pushing the technology’s rollout countrywide this year. In their latest effort to popularize the technology they used their Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband during the production of the world premiere for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this week on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
The 5G technology was used with Disney Studios production cameras, which were linked to devices that were connected to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. 5G was also used to send the high definition video coming from the cameras to the broadcast truck and was integral in helping Disney Studios producers splice red carpet moments into the broadcast, which was being live-streamed on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The premiere’s use of 5G is part of a larger effort by Verizon, Walt Disney Studios StudioLAB and ILMxLAB to examine how they can use the technology to enhance live entertainment.
“Both the StudioLAB and Verizon believe 5G will fundamentally change everything about how entertainment media is created, distributed and consumed,” Nicki Palmer, chief product development officer at Verizon, said in a statement.
“Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network is built to support transformative breakthroughs and has the potential to remake entire industries. Our relationship with Disney extends beyond 5G to offer customers the very best streaming through Disney+ offers for Verizon customers. Whether it’s for consumers or businesses, we’re delivering unique and enriched experiences,” Palmer said.
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The Star Wars event featured many other instances of innovative technology used with the backing of 5G. Verizon joined forces with ILMxLAB to create virtual Sith Jet troopers in an “authentic Star Wars environment.”
Verizon’s next generation motion picture studio RYOT used motion capture technology powered by 5G to create the virtual figures, which were showcased at the after-party following the premiere.
The Star Wars troopers were projected onto a large LED wall screen at the event yet each figure was operated by actors wearing motion capture suits miles away at Verizon Media’s 5G studio.
People at the event could talk to the troopers and even interact with the virtual figures in what Verizon called “feature film quality standing in a high-quality 3D environment.” Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband provided the basis for the fun feature because of its low latency, which facilitated the real-time interactions between actors and fans as well as the immediate feedback and two-way communication.
Both Verizon and Walt Disney Studios have made 5G a priority, announcing at a conference in January that the companies planned to try and generate new businesses and solutions to persistent problems that movie productions faced.
“The speed and low latency of 5G can unlock incredible creative capabilities,” said Ben Havey at Disney Studios StudioLAB. “We want to give storytellers early access to this new technology so they can continue to bring unparalleled experiences to audiences around the world.”