During CES 2019, Verizon announced the Built on 5G Challenge, a nationwide search for solid 5G innovations that could be commercialized using its low latency, high bandwidth millimeter wave 5G network. Today, the carrier announced three winners across the fields of AR, VR, and artificial intelligence, earning $1 million, $500,000, and $250,000 prizes, plus special 5G lab access to develop their projects.
The million-dollar winner was Ario, developer of an AR safety and efficiency platform that lets workers “truly work from anywhere.” Ario plans to use 5G to improve image recognition and overall performance using enhanced network speeds.
Garou took second place with an ambitious VR project that represents the entire world as a 3D model, enabling users to collaboratively access content and enjoy social interactions within a highly complex virtual space. The company will use 5G to let users access VR content in real time and improve performance in shared multi-user settings.
LexSet won third place with a project that trains advanced computer vision AI systems using synthetic image data generated from 3D content. Unlike AI that’s trained on photographs or videos, LexSet’s technology parses entire realistic 3D scenes into bounding boxes, instance masks, normal maps, and depth maps that enable computer vision systems to truly learn what’s inside rooms, rather than guessing. The company plans to use Verizon 5G to innovate in edge computing-based mixed reality, inventory management, and robotics.
Having screened over 550 submissions, Verizon narrowed the field down to 10 finalists last year before selecting the three winners. It picked concepts that had the highest potential to increase business efficiency, solve customers’ most challenging problems, and improve immersive experiences, amongst other judging criteria. In addition to the cash prizes, each winner will get eight weeks of access to Verizon’s 5G Labs, including network access and development assistance from company specialists.