Belfast Harbour has introduced pioneering new headset technology to enable its engineers to live stream maintenance work with desk-based colleagues.
Harbour police officers are using similar tech to access real time CCTV footage on their phones and broadcast unfolding incidents back to commanders at base.
The initiatives have been supported through the recently installed 5G digital network in the port area.
The developments were showcased by the harbour authorities and their 5G provider BT at an event at Belfast Titanic on Friday.
Joe O’Neill, chief executive of Belfast Harbour, said they were trying to create a world-leading “smart port” in the city.
He said the plan was to roll out 5G supported technology throughout the business.
“Part of our new strategy is to be the best regional port in the world and the best smart port in the world,” he said.
“To underpin all that we need to put in the traditional infrastructure that you would expect – buildings, quays, roads etc – but equally important we need to put in a digital infrastructure so the companies that are coming to operate from here, the people that are coming to live in this area, and the people who are going to visit this area in future years – from a leisure and tourism perspective – can have technology underpinned to enhance their experiences here,” he said.
“So this (5G) is really a fundamental building block for the delivery of our strategy.”
The companies who developed the “mixed reality” technology – Ubimax and VRtuoso – demonstrated how it worked to a gathering of invited guests on Friday.
Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT’s Enterprise unit, said 5G was an “enabler” for the initiatives.
“The demonstrations we’ve shown today are a powerful illustration of what 5G can do for business, both here in Northern Ireland and across the UK,” he said.
“They’ve shown that 5G will be the catalyst for a revolution in how technology supports people, enables workplaces and simplifies operations.”
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