Nottinghamshire County Council unveils world's first 5G forest
Nottinghamshire County Council wowed crowds with the unveiling of the world's first 5G connected forest yesterday (Wednesday, October 13).
The £10m project looked at how 5G technology could support the tourism and environment protection sectors at Rufford Country Park and Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.
As part of the scheme, the council have worked with Nottingham-based digital development agency Gooii Ltd to produce An Arrow Through Time, an interactive holographic film that will soon be watched by park visitors through mixed reality headsets.
Keith Girling, chairman of the council’s economic development committee, was the first to try out the headset at the launch event.
He said: "It's all about bringing technology into Nottinghamshire.
"Yes it's about Sherwood Forest, but it's also about raising technology awareness so that businesses will benefit.
"We bring in about £1.9bn a year through the visitor economy and this will help boost that, so we're really excited about it."
The project will also feature drones and a robot dog, which have been created by academics from Birmingham City University, which are programmed to autonomously roam around the forest collecting important data, such as the health of tree species and the location of missing persons.
Mr Girling said: "It's also about the environmental impact it will have."
"We can have drones going out into the forest to look for diseases, which means that they can cover a vast amount of area a lot quicker than normal.
"As things progress and the technology expands, it will go out to businesses.
"For me, that's the exciting part about this. It's about the reality of what it will bring to businesses and the communities in Nottinghamshire.
"We are really blessed with the project and how it has come together, and it really shows the working of the county council and its business partners. It shows that Nottinghamshire is open for business."
An Arrow Through Time was co-written by BAFTA award-winning CBBC writer and producer Nick Hutchings. It features Black Mirror’s Dominic Le Moignan.
Phil Hasted, of Gooii Ltd, said: "People have been absolutely loving it so far. We're basically bringing people's dreams to life through making these characters come to life.
"We don't think that there's any other holographic movies like this, so this is a world-first.
"It's not AR, it's not VR, it's literally making holograms of people appear in front of you.
"It's more than just a film, it's an interactive experience. I'm really proud of it, we've had a brilliant team and we've had some really good quality actors as well."
The council has also launched an app-based experience called Tags-in-the-Parks, which will be introduced to help bring visits to the area to life.
The project is a partnership with Nottingham Trent University Birmingham City University, Netmore IOT Solutions, Gooii, ISPB, Harworth Group, Parkwood Leisure and the RSPB.