Robin Hood is about to come to life as Sherwood Forest becomes the world’s first 5G Connected Forest.
A £10m project has been approved to use a combination of 5G, virtual and augmented reality to create an immersive experience in Sherwood Forest. The investment consists of £5 million from the government, matched by a consortium led by Nottinghamshire County Council.
The technology will be used for both tourism and environmental needs, with Robin Hood brought “to life at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre via an incredible 3D/4D virtual reality experience.” Meanwhile, the technology will also be used to power robots and drones to help monitor the health of the forest while minimizing environmental impact.
“Nottinghamshire is once again at the forefront of latest technology, bringing together some of the best academic minds, 3D creators and experts in 5G,” said Nottinghamshire County Council leader, Councillor Kay Cutts.
“This will be the world’s first testing, of 5G, in a forest. It will bring the stories associated with Robin Hood and our ancient woodland to life in a new way.
“Together with our partners, we will create a virtual reality experience for visitors to Sherwood Forest to attract even more families and visitors to Nottinghamshire from across the UK and overseas, bringing benefits to local businesses and our economy.”
While the concept is interesting, this announcement seems to fit into the “just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should be” category. In an era when experts are encouraging people to unplug and enjoy nature, it seems odd to be going to this length to wire nature. There’s something equally disturbing about seeing children in the forest with VR gear strapped to their heads.
The opening statement of the Nottinghamshire County Council’s announcement says “visitors to the Sherwood Forest Country Park will be able to get a 3D experience of the forest like never before.”
This writer, for one, has always been under the impression that “a 3D experience of the forest” could be achieved by simply taking a walk in one.