On Wednesday 2nd November 2022, over 400 professionals convened at Hinxton Hall, Cambridge, for CWIC 2022. Face to face tickets were sold out for this event and delegates easily filled the main auditorium, and many joined the conference online from across the globe.
The conference – titled ‘The Hyperconnected Human’ – focused on the expectations of users of wireless technology, and how we have all become accustomed to having digital information at our fingertips. But, beyond being able to just access information, we are also becoming more demanding in how that information is presented to us, how we interact with it and how we collaborate and share those experiences with others. These increasing expectations are presenting more and more challenges for the networks that are delivering the content and information.
The rise in popularity of more immersive content is a great opportunity for the UK. The UK has a vibrant creative industries sector and is already well known for its film and gaming industries. These skills are transferrable to developing new augmented and virtual reality experiences and will hopefully give the UK a head start when it comes to the volumetric capture of content.
The aim of CWIC 2022 was to take our audience on a journey of how our expectations of connectivity are changing across various different settings that require connectivity, including: the metaverse, living, security and identity, mobility and logistics, entertainment, and healthcare.
Professor Shafi Ahmed delivered the opening keynote speech, highlighting how “these are exciting times for the future of telemedicine”. Having medical students physically alongside more experienced surgeons to observe procedures is not always practical and scalable, but more immersive, virtual and augmented reality content is enabling this to be done in a safer way. He also highlighted how surgeons wearing smart glasses can be aided by input from remote colleagues and superimposing patient data on the surgeons’ view. Other applications of connectivity mentioned included pill cameras which are swallowed by patients and deliver images from inside the body to medical teams.
In the Security, Identity and Privacy Track, Andy Young from sponsor Keysight Technologies spoke about how through wearables, AR and connected healthcare, people are becoming increasingly reliant on secure connectivity for health, information and entertainment.
Alessandro Grande, from track sponsor Edge Impulse, explained during the Hyperconnected Living session how to enhance human capabilities with valuable edge insights and how we can manage our data more efficiently by “processing the data closer to the source”.
In the Living in the Metaverse session, Alex Rühl from PwC discussed the convergence of the digital and physical worlds and the impact that the metaverse will have on individuals, businesses, and the industry.
Lisa Perkins from BT talked through the 5G Edge-XR project use cases during the Hyperconnected Entertainment track – from medical imaging, dance education, stadium rugby and football, volumetric boxing, and MotoGP.
Sponsor CPI led the Health and Wellbeing plenary session, with Steven Bagshaw asking, “why is it important to implement innovation in medtech and digital health, and why is it essential to forge public and private partnerships?”
David Birch - author, advisor, and commentator on financial services, delivered the closing keynote with his view of value of all the data being collected in our hyperconnected world and thinking towards a data economy that delivers tangible value.
“CWIC 2022 has been a fantastic, sell out event that marked the start of many conversations around what hyperconnectivity means, whether we really need it everywhere and ensuring that those providing our wireless connectivity are aligned with what users and application developers actually want. There was a huge buzz on the day around the conference this year and we hope that many of the conversations and connections started at CWIC 2022 will be continued.” – Julie Bradford, Real Wireless and Chair of the 2022 CWIC Planning Committee