We’ve partnered with Aussie startup tagSpace to show off the next generation of augmented reality (AR) experiences, delivering you important information, directions and updates on the world around you using your smartphone and our superfast 5G mobile network.

It’s a problem that most of us have faced before: you’re out at an event and you know where you want to go – like a ticket booth, a bar or a bathroom. You’ve already got your phone with you, so all you need is an app that gives you accurate, detailed help that works with the world around you. Even better, you want that app to show you where to go using your phone’s camera to understand the location you’re in. That’s what tagSpace is for.

The TagSpace AR platform is built to provide its users with real-time information about the world around them – think when your train is arriving and which carriage is emptiest where your closest bar or restaurant is and what are the evening’s specials.

We have been beta testing the augmented reality platform with tagSpace at two locations including the Sydney Opera House – showcasing how 5G and mmWave can support augmented reality application even in areas of high customer demand.

Screenshots of how the Tagspace app works outdoors at a festival and a stadium with Telstra 5G

Key to tagSpace’s potential for our customers is 5G – a superfast mobile network means rapid, responsive visual experiences, even if the tagSpace platform is simultaneously downloading multiple pieces of content to your device. 5G also means many more users in a given area without any impact on congestion. Because 5G enables faster download speeds as well as more efficient use of mobile spectrum, real-time information really is closer to the real-time we all expect. And because we have the largest 5G network in Australia, you’ll be able to view the world in AR in more places.

The bandwidth and capacity of 5G allows us to add additional layers of live data to augmented reality – so it’s not just about geo-1tagging places of interest but also adding information of value – such as transport times at a bus stop, what acts are next on stage at festivals or video content at tourist landmarks to bring local stories to life. tagSpace’s AR app is a great way to use the low latency and high capacity of 5G.

“tagSpace’s vision is to enable information, navigation and entertainment at every location in the world, using AR,” said tagSpace’s founder Paul Martin. “Our ability to display dozens of simultaneous, live-streaming videos and real-time information – whilst seamlessly blending the real world with the virtual – legitimately exploits the power that 5G can offer.”

At the same time as we’re demonstrating the potential of 5G with tagSpace, we’re rolling out mmWave 5G – the latest and greatest 5G standard. mmWave is a step change in the evolution of 5G, increasing its capacity tenfold and enabling tens of thousands of users to connect to the network in the same place, at the same time, without compromising connectivity.

mmWave signals only travel a short range, so the first phase of our rollout will focus on transport hubs, shopping centres, tourist hotspots and stadiums. We’ve got 65 mmWave sites live in 5 major cities across Australia, and we plan to triple that number before the end of the year.