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Sir David Attenborough goes virtual with 5G AR app for The Green Planet series

BBC The Green Planet logo.
(Image credit: BBC)

Dubbed “Planet Earth for plants!” by its executive producer Mike Gunton, ‘The Green Planet’, the BBC’s latest natural history show, will take viewers into the world of plants, uncovering a “mind-blowing parallel universe” using a range of exciting new technologies, from new camera tech, to augmented reality. 

"Once again, the innovative approach of the BBC NHU and groundbreaking technology will reveal new and surprising wonders to the BBC One audience."

Sir David Attenborough.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to explore a neglected yet truly remarkable part of the natural world,” explained the show’s presenter, Sir David Attenborough. “Once again, the innovative approach of the BBC NHU and groundbreaking technology will reveal new and surprising wonders to the BBC One audience.”

Running alongside the show will be an augmented reality app, which will us 5G to deliver an AR experience inspired by The Green Planet, with £2.2m in funding from Government’s 5G Create competition.

“5G Create is about exploring new and inventive ways we can use 5G to give British industries a competitive advantage,” explained Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure. “This cutting-edge app, fronted by broadcasting legend Sir David Attenborough, is set to be an inspiring example of how new technology can reconnect us with the natural world whilst demonstrating the power of 5G to a huge new audience.”

The Green Planet 5G AR Consortium

BBC Studios, 5G mobile network operator EE, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Talesmith and Dimension Studios will make up The Green Planet 5G AR Consortium, with content created by digital studio Factory 42. 

"We look forward to showing how 5G networks will enhance our everyday lives and our understanding of the world around us.”

John Cassy, Factory 42.

“The importance of protecting the planet has never been greater and the opportunity to use emerging technologies to engage audiences of all ages in environmental issues in new ways is hugely exciting,” said John Cassy, founder and CEO at Factory 42. “We’re delighted to have pulled together a unique consortium of world leading organisations and we look forward to showing how 5G networks will enhance our everyday lives and our understanding of the world around us.”

The app, inspired by the series, will be designed to encourage audiences to discover new and surprising wonders of the natural world, and the consortium is one of nine projects to win £2.2m funding as part of the 5G Create competition backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. which is exploring how 5G technology can be used by a wide range of sectors including the creative industries.

"This pioneering project will exploit the technological advances that underpin EE’s 5G network to help deepen our appreciation of the natural world,” said Marc Allera, CEO at BT’s Consumer Division. 

EE / The Green Planet infographic.

(Image credit: EE)

“Understanding our environment has never been more important and by using Augmented Reality we will enable users to immerse themselves in nature. I am delighted that we can utilise EE’s 5G capabilities to show how modern technology is a means to informing and inspiring greater responsibility towards our planet,” Allera concluded.

Despite being announced in 2019, the filming for the BBC’s ‘The Green Planet’ was halted due to coronavirus, but the show is now expected to air in 2022 on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK.

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.