Elisa demos 5G remote vehicle controls and architectural 3D on phones

A pioneering Finnish cellular carrier has opened a 5G showroom to demo next-gen mobile vehicle control, drone videos, and architectural models on phones. …

Last month’s cancellation of the mobile industry trade show MWC 2020 deprived European carriers of the opportunity to show their latest 5G innovations to a global audience, but Finland’s Elisa — one of the world’s earliest 5G carriers — has opened a 5G Showroom in Helsinki to preview next-generation cellular applications to customers. Surprisingly, they’re not just more of the same speed tests offered by rivals; instead, Elisa is focusing on several practical, “never-before-seen” demos that illustrate the potentially transformative impacts of 5G on industry and society.

One of the demos enables users to control a vehicle — here, a tractor — located 150 kilometers away, using a 360-degree 4K camera and a high-security 5G network connection. While multiple companies have touted 5G’s potential for the remote control of heavy machinery, Elisa shows how the low-latency, high-speed connection can be used to offer a remote driver a full real time look at the environment from the tractor’s roof, enabling safe farming without the need to actually sit in the farm.

Another demo provides a tangible sense of how 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency will help in the building industry. Working with Aalto University, Elisa developed a phone application that’s capable of displaying highly complex, multi-gigabyte architectural 3D models streamed from the cloud, switching between multiple angles using local touch input. With photorealistic accuracy, users will be able to access 3D views pertinent to a building’s design, construction, and furnishing stages, which normally couldn’t be stored or rendered using a phone’s own hardware, but will be easily and collaboratively accessible over 5G from the cloud.

A third 5G demo isn’t quite as pioneering, but has obvious practical appeal. Here, Elisa transmits a live 8K feed of 360-degree drone footage from a Helsinki seashore to a pair of VR glasses in the showroom, illustrating how 5G users will be able to witness particularly high-resolution, wide-angle video footage — either from fixed locations, or moving aerial viewpoints. Beyond consumer applications, Elisa suggests that 5G drones will help emergency services perform rescue operations from safe distances.

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Six other 5G demos are on offer at Elisa’s 5G Showroom, including traditional 4G/5G speed tests and live demonstrations, as well as other health and industrial applications. is now open to the public.

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