5G technology offers a multitude of unprecedented possibilities and opportunities. At the 5G Hub in Eindhoven, VodafoneZiggo sheds light on these, together with partners and entrepreneurs. The partnership with Eviden adds yet another dimension. Their technology brings the physical and digital worlds closer together: I spy with my little eye, something that you also see!

The nationwide 5G network is still in its infancy, but at the 5G Hub on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, it’s already running at full speed. Two large servers - serving both a private and a public network - form the core of the Hub. The space around it is a playground where you can explore and experiment with 5G in various ways. Surrounded by drones, robots and unmanned race cars, Sander van der Zande, VodafoneZiggo’s Technology Strategy Manager, and Michel Beckers, Client Executive Partner from Eviden, discuss the latest innovation at the 5G Hub.

Eviden's data devourer
A car, container, bag or person. We humans can see the difference in an instant, but a computer? That has to train hard for it. A true bodybuilder in this field is the Computer Vision Platform. This deep learning software from Eviden has already sifted through hundreds of datasets to distinguish various objects captured by a camera. "Eviden is part of the Atos Group," says Sander. "With advanced hardware and software, they are shaping our increasingly digital future. Their Computer Vision 

Platform is a crystal-clear example. This software analyses camera images and makes them immediately accessible for various digital applications."

All very recognisable
Thanks to all the training, the Computer Vision Platform now has an eye for all sorts of things, like bags and safety clothing. This allows it to detect abandoned luggage - useful at airports - and check if everyone is wearing their helmets on construction sites. “Safety is a key focus of this technology, an area we have been active in for 23 years," Michel explains. "But you can really apply it to anything. In a production process, for example, to check labels on beer bottles."

Put to the test
A test setup in the Hub demonstrates how Computer Vision works. A small camera is connected via 5G to an 'edge server' on which the analyses take place, and a laptop displays the results. "Over a hundred use cases are readily available," Michel says. "One of them is to count people, a task that it performs effortlessly. Anyone walking past the camera is instantly marked on the screen. A counter runs in one corner of the screen. “With a handful of people in a confined space, this is quite straightforward," Michel admits. “With groups of hundreds or even thousands of people in an urban area, it becomes much more challenging. But our software is very accurate in that scenario as well. This allows you to prevent dangerous situations at events, for instance."

The power of 5G
There is no doubt that Computer Vision is applicable in all sorts of ways. But why is 5G so important in this context? “It’s all about speed," says Sander. "Just look at Michel's example of those beer bottles. In an assembly line like this, the bottles are zooming by. You need to register a bottle with deviation in a fraction of a second and signal to remove it from the line. For this, the connection between camera and computer must be super fast. And that is the power of 5G. Thanks to our 5G network, we can practically run these types of processes in real-time."

Living on the edge
"An important reason why that 5G speed is so high is edge computing," Michel adds. “If I stand next to you and send you an app, it will travel many kilometres before you receive it. The calculations required for this are performed on servers that may be located very far away, in the cloud. All those kilometres take time, and edge computing is designed to bypass them. It creates the shortest possible path in the network through which information reaches its destination. The calculation occurs 'on the way', in the edge cloud. This allows us to virtually reduce the transfer time to almost zero."

5G Hub for game changers 
Making real time connections with people, devices and objects - that’s what makes 5G a real game changer, emphasises Sander. "Especially with regard to the Internet of Things (IoT). We want the world to know about it. Enterprises, institutions, government and municipalities, as well as students and startups: everyone is welcome in the 5G Hub to experience it and, above all, to get hands-on with it."