AT&T and Ericsson Team Up to Deliver Live 5G-Powered 3-D AR Test Performance with Axel Mansoor

AT&T* continues to use the power of 5G to introduce ways consumers can enjoy the things they love. Now, we’re demonstrating how 5G technology could one day allow them to connect to their favorite music and artists. Using 5G technology and machine learning, this was the first known time an artist was able to give fans a live 3-D augmented reality (AR) interactive experience using a smartphone. This effort was one of the first steps in making holographic communications technology powered by 5G a reality.

The music industry has been hit hard this year in the wake of COVID-19. With music festivals, tours and concerts being canceled, the way most artists entertain and engage with their fans has transformed into a virtual-only space. For some artists, they’ve had to get creative with how they connect with their fans. That’s why AT&T, with the help of Ericsson, teamed up with up-and-coming artist Axel Mansoor, from NBC’s Songland, to deliver a live performance that allowed 10 lucky “Fansoors” to enjoy an exclusive ~20-minute 3-D AR interactive experience with him without leaving the comfort of their homes.

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“I have two hopes. I hope the fans get really excited about this kind of technology and that their minds were blown, in the sense of like, “Wow, I didn’t even know that this kind of stuff was even possible,” said Axel Mansoor. “And I hope that it just gets them excited about the future and what this kind of technology can do.”

Fans just needed an AT&T 5G smartphone and high energy to partake in this VIP experience.

“Fansoors” were able to enjoy Axel’s music in a unique and intimate way, including “placing” a live 3-D version of Axel in their home using their phone screen, walk around the room with the virtual 3-D version of Axel, even dance with him, as well as send him emojis during the performance. His performance also included live 3-D animated scenes themed to Axel’s songs, and Axel had the ability to talk and interact with fans.

“This next evolution of communication is another step closer to unpacking how 5G can enhance the way we communicate and enjoy entertainment,” said David Christopher, executive vice president and general manager – AT&T Mobility. “We’re excited to work with Ericsson and Axel Mansoor to bring this cutting-edge 5G-enabled performance to life and give fans an unforgettable experience.”

Axel’s performance was live-streamed from Ericsson’s D-15 Labs in Santa Clara, CA using machine learning, edge computing and 5G technology. Prior to this performance, AT&T and Ericsson laid the groundwork by conducting a live two-way 3-D AR communication test between two employees using smartphones. This test presented the foundational work that enables immersive 3-D life-size AR communications between two people anywhere in the world.

“5G networks will revolutionize our lives, and our most recent collaborations with AT&T showcase game-changing innovation in the future of communication and entertainment,” said Åsa Tamsons, Ericsson Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses. “Using the latest developments in 5G, deep learning and edge computing, Ericsson is proud to continue our long history working with AT&T to bring unique experiences to market.”

Smartphones and artificial intelligence technology make it possible to reduce the amount of equipment necessary to make virtual experiences more accessible to artists and consumers who don’t have access to a studio and production equipment. Advancing technological capabilities in ways that can make holographic communication scalable is just one of the many ways we continue to show the benefits of how 5G can enhance customers’ experiences and connect people in new ways to what they love most.

With our sub6 5G network available nationwide, we’re proud to continue showcasing how 5G can make virtually everything better, evolve the way we use smartphones and improve how we connect and communicate.