5G Is Opening the Next Chapter in Storytelling

Overview The higher bandwidth and increased capabilities of 5G are disrupting the entertainment industry, with storytelling powerhouses Walt Disney Studios and The New York Times leveraging the potential of 5G to redefine the way they do business.

The debut of fifth-generation wireless data networks marks a major win in wireless technology, promising internet speeds exponentially faster than 4G. When consumers can download a 90-minute movie in a mere 10 seconds, it opens a new chapter for content delivery and creation.

Building on a History of Technology for Storytelling

Both companies have a robust history of tech and innovation. The New York Times started from ink and paper and is now launching integrations with AR/VR, using digital displays to bring stories to life. With new ventures in podcasting and television, The New York Times hasn’t shied away from the growth potential that technological advances have offered.

Walt Disney Studios CTO Jamie Boris reminded the CES 2019 audience of Disney’s own extraordinary growth through innovation. From the 1937 creation of the multiplane camera that allowed for the three-dimensional aspects of Snow White, to the 1995 release of Toy Story as the first feature-length computer-animated film, Disney Studios has embraced technology advances and led the way in using tech as a vehicle for storytelling.

“As CTO, the best part of my job is working with our creative and technical teams to identify emerging trends and understand how they might impact our ability to make market and distribute our films,” Boris said.

These industry leaders are now partnering with Verizon — a company identified by Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro as uniquely qualified to speak on the fifth generation of wireless communication — to harness the potential of 5G for storytelling.

Dedicated 5G Labs Allow for Experimentation

To develop the next generation of entertainment content, Disney Studios created an innovation center and program, StudioLab, to explore how they can use 5G and other cutting-edge technologies.

“5G is going to change a lot about our business,” Boris said, “everything from how we connect to our production facilities around the world to how we deliver our movies to cinemas.”

The team has already started working on projects like 5G-enabled cloud-based production workflows and connectivity for digital posters and stands, as well as live volumetric performance capture and streaming of animated characters.

The New York Times’ new 5G Journalism Lab will launch in its main newsroom and provides early access to 5G technology and equipment, allowing the Times to experiment in delivering their stories with none of today’s latency.

“5G can spark a revolution in digital journalism,” said The New York Times CEO Mark Thompson.

In journalism, capabilities to enhance aerial and ground photography, and AR/VR abilities to provide visual feedback to audiences immediately will revolutionize minute-by-minute news and point toward potential for citizen journalism.

Already speaking of returning to CES 2020 to showcase a year of 5G in storytelling, The New York Times and Walt Disney Studios piqued audience interest in the key benefits of 5G.

“We believe we are at the start of something really big,” Thompson said.

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