Cambridgeshire County Council goes to tender for £500k Augmented Reality visitor experience project

In Augmented Reality News 

April 5, 2024 – Cambridgeshire County Council has recently gone to tender for a bespoke venue-specific augmented reality (AR) experience. The AR experience will form part of the Council’s ‘CORE’ (Cambridgeshire Open RAN Ecosystem) project, which is being funded by the Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and being delivered by a number of commercial and academic partners in collaboration with Cambridgeshire County Council as the Project Lead.

One of 19 projects benefiting from the UK Government announcement of an £88 million investment in innovative open 5G connectivity solutions across the UK, the CORE project aims to harness next-generation technology to deliver a multi-vendor 5G Open RAN neutral host platform to improve mobile capacity in high-density data usage locations. According to the Council, the primary purpose of the CORE project is to deploy and demonstrate the capabilities of Open RAN technology within a standalone 5G network in High Demand Density locations.

Open RAN, or Open Radio Access Network is a concept within the telecommunications industry aimed at creating more open and interoperable networks, particularly within the Radio Access Network (RAN) segment, including a unified interconnection standard for white-box hardware and open source software elements from different vendors.

As part of the CORE project, the Council requires a bespoke AR experience specific to the Cambridge Corn Exchange, where the project will be delivered and deployed. The AR experience will run over the 5G Open RAN network that is being developed as part of the project and will serve a dual purpose:

  • To firstly test the capabilities of a 5G Open RAN network utilizing the data intensive/low latency requirements of AR technology, and secondly;
  • To demonstrate how 5G Open RAN technology can support innovative technologies to generate new opportunities for a local economy.

Cambridgeshire County Council stated that in order for the AR experience to demonstrate value to the local economy, it is essential that it be bespoke to the venue. As such, the experience will need to be designed, developed and deployed in collaboration with Cambridge City Council who own and run the venue. Other requirements of the AR experience include:

  • A bespoke AR experience under the theme of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Cambridge Corn Exchange. Deployable on the main ground floor of the venue by end December 2024.
  • Easily deployable and removable experience that can be set-up, run and removed within a day. The experience will run on dates/times to be agreed by Cambridge City Council that fit in-between the other planned events at the venue.
  • AR capable hardware to deliver the experience.
  • Integration of the AR experience hardware on to the 5G network that is being developed.
  • Verbal and/or written data/reports on the performance of the AR experience in different operational environments and advice on how to utilize the experience to support testing.
  • Maintenance and operational support of the AR experience must be included for the duration of the contract.

The contract is valued at GBP £499,357 excluding VAT, and lasts for a duration of 12 months. The deadline for receipt of tenders is April 9, 2024 at 12:00pm GMT.

The successful bidder will also need to work with the already assigned technical partners to ensure that the AR hardware/experience is successfully integrated and deployed on the 5G network. Support for the testing and optimisation of the network capabilities through the use of the AR experience will also be required.

To learn more about this tender and how to submit a bid, please subscribe to the Auganix weekly XR newsletter and get in touch with us to request more information here.

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.