AT&T, the telecoms giant, believes that the coming generation of 5G cellular connectivity has the potential to transform everything from augmented reality to live experiences and outdoor advertising.

John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications, discussed this subject at CES 2019 – an event held by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in Las Vegas.

“This is a game-changer,” Donovan said of 5G technology. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How 5G will transform the digital world: Insights from AT&T.)

As a case in point he cited a tie-up between AT&T and Magic Leap, a tech company that has developed a pair of goggles that can overlay digital content onto the real world.

To demonstrate the promise of this partnership, the telco has created a “5G zone” at Magic Leap’s headquarters in Plantation, Florida, where it is testing applications and gadgets at the highest possible speed.

Another planned initiative is the launch of a “beta” function for DIRECTV – the satellite service owned by AT&T – that allows the wearer of a Magic Leap One headset to instantly flip between as many as four live streams.

AT&T could also offer content from Warner Bros. – a studio within its portfolio that is responsible for movies like “Crazy Rich Asians”, “Aquaman” and the “Fantastic Beasts” – with augmented-reality demos in select retail stores.

Similarly, Donovan suggested, with live events – such as at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys – the telecoms brand knows the power of compelling, in-person experiences.

“You take a couple of [tools], you put them together, and you say, ‘If I had virtual reality in a fan experience, what might I do?’,” he said.

“I might be able to experience being in the locker room and get the pre-game speech with the team. You think: ‘Wow that’s really amazing’.”

Outdoor advertising, Donovan continued, will also grow increasingly personalised. “Those billboards should not only change the way they do now, and be digital the way they are becoming now,” said Donovan.

“They should be relevant to who’s driving by at that time. That’s a complex transaction in today’s world. And that is the kind of thing that real-time networking will allow.”

Sourced from WARC