A consortium that includes Bristol-based startup, Condense Reality, and the University of Bristol, has received nearly £1.5m from the government to revolutionise the way we consume live entertainment and sports.

Nick Fellingham, CEO of Condense Reality, says “We are extremely proud to have been successful in this competition.

“Our technology aims to bridge real and virtual worlds by enabling broadcasters to record live events as volumetric video and instantly stream them to viewers. Our initial focus has been on recording sports, in particular boxing, so to be working on this project with BT, one of the biggest boxing broadcasters in the world, is a really great milestone for our company.”

The project, called 5G Edge-XR, will showcase how a number of technologies combine together to create the next generation of media consumption for mixed reality.

With BT as the project lead and using EE’s 5G network, the project will stream volumetric video (otherwise known as holographic video) of live events alongside the normal TV broadcast. For example, a BT Sport spokesman said it could be used during a boxing match. The action could then be viewed from any angle as if it has been placed on the viewers coffee table and synced with the live commentary on the TV.

The project partners include Condense Reality, BT, Bristol University, The Grid Factory, Salsa Sound and Dance East. By combining volumetric video and spatial sound with a novel 5G network architecture this project aims to create far higher fidelity and more immersive experiences than is currently possible.

The grant could mean big things for the future of 5G, as Nick says: “Although 5G offers a massive step up over existing mobile network technology, many of the advances made will be invisible to most users. Volumetric video is a technology that can really showcase the benefits of 5G to everyone. This is because holograms and holographic video is something that excites many people, not just techies!”

The project has received £1,486,004 from the Department of Culture Media and Sport through the 5G Create, a £30m government fund set up to explore and develop new use-cases and 5G technical capabilities.

Condense Reality is now hiring in Bristol, so you can now join the team and be apart of the pioneering 5G and media work happening in the city.

Nick tells us: “Bristol is a great place to be involved with media technology and tech startups in general. There are loads of great companies in the space and lots of interesting people working on exciting forward-thinking projects.

“I would describe us as a media technology startup. However, when our product is integrated onto a 5G network we will be able to broadcast higher quality content to mobile devices than would otherwise be possible.”

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.