Verizon and L.A. Times to enhance storytelling with network-connected robotics

Verizon and the Los Angeles Times today announced they have entered into an agreement to accelerate the deployment of advanced robotics and other technology from Verizon to expand on the way news is gathered, shared and consumed.

Through the engagement, the companies will work to integrate technologies including 4G-connected drones, 5G-connected ground robots and 3D modeled data, among others, to redefine digital media and add dimension to news reporting and storytelling. The initial focus will be on:

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  • Providing a “see what the robot sees” experience through high-definition, near real-time video feeds from the robots both in the air and on the ground.
  • Getting visuals from miles away through the use of ground robots to capture digital stills from onboard cameras in difficult-to-access areas.
  • Giving context from multiple perspectives through the creation of digital twin models to add visual and location context in near real-time or for after-the-fact recreations.

“By combining Verizon’s network, edge computing and intelligent software technologies, with the innovative thinkers at the L.A. Times, we have the potential to transform the future of storytelling,” said Elise Neel, Senior Vice President of New Business Incubation at Verizon. “Verizon is working with partners to innovate in their respective industries and this collaboration is an example of how we are using technology to drive innovation in the industry. Through the work we are doing with the L.A. Times, people from all over the world could have an opportunity to feel like they are immersed in the stories of Southern California.”

Robotics, in the air and on the ground, paired with data-driven technology running on Verizon’s wireless networks, including 4G LTE and 5G Ultra Wideband, will enable news gathering in hard to reach areas. This near real-time data will help the L.A. Times set new benchmarks in how breaking stories are captured and delivered.

“At the Los Angeles Times, we’re always looking for ways to get closer to the news, explain what it means and illustrate the vital stories of California,” said Chris Argentieri, President and COO of the L.A. Times. “This collaboration with Verizon will allow us to build on our expertise in video journalism, data visualisation and product design to create deeply immersive and immediate extensions of our reporting with their best-in-class technologies.”