University of Miami Pairs Up with AT&T and Magic Leap for 5G Lab
Andrew Wheeler posted on November 14, 2019 |
An architecture student at the University of Miami using a Magic Leap One headset. (Image courtesy of University of Miami and Magic Leap.)
An architecture student at the University of Miami using a Magic Leap One headset. (Image courtesy of University of Miami and Magic Leap.)

Many people have been sounding the alarm about the potentially harmful effects of the fifth-generation broadcast networks, known as 5G. The alarmist reports are not based on peer-to-peer reviewed science, and may in fact be a part of Russian disinformation campaigns. Provoking paranoia of the masses is as easy as it is unjust. It turns out that while 5G signals need more towers than those used for 3G and 4G signals (due to their higher frequencies), those same high frequencies are deflected off of the human epidermis.

At the University of Miami, a new partnership with AT&T will see the campus roll out 5G and a Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) environment. The term “edge computing” refers to a cloud-based service environment that exists at the edge of a network. MEC refers to a standard IT architecture created by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. MEC and edge computing enable applications and hardware that are dependent on high-bandwidth, low-latency connections to work more efficiently in realtime. Untethered virtual reality and augmented reality headsets that are running cloud-native applications are the prime beneficiaries of this technology.

The University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus will be the first in the Unites States to adopt AT&T’s 5G service. This gives the university’s network operators the ability to open their networks to a new ecosystem that includes a spatial computing platform from augmented reality unicorn Magic Leap. Instead of processing data using remote data centers, the university’s IT department can now process data in localized servers. Faster access to data processing could theoretically allow for the connection of more Internet of Things (IoT) devices  as well as untethered headsets like the Magic Leap One.

The rollout is expected to be completed by the spring semester of 2020. The first schools and locations to benefit from the 5G connection and MEC environment will be the College of Engineering, the School of Architecture and the Otto G. Richter Library.

The University of Miami is already partnered with Magic Leap. Students have access to the “Magicverse,” a spatial computing platform from Magic Leap that allows students to manipulate and interact with digital objects in real environments while wearing Magic Leap One headsets.

Earlier this fall, faculty and students of the university were invited to experience the Magic Leap One headsets through the Magicverse and submit suggestions for how the spatial computing technology could be used in different academic departments. This resulted in over 30 applications requesting the use of the headsets and the Magicverse platform that span many different disciplines.

For more information about how Magic Leap, MEC technology and AT&T’s 5G will be used to improve the University of Miami’s research capabilities, click here.

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