President of the UN using AR.jpg
President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, navigating the Smart City Platform

President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid today demonstrated an industry-first Augmented Reality (AR) experience at COP26 that showcases a vision for a net zero smart city by major summit partner SSE Energy Solutions.

Powered by AR/VR studio Apache, SSE will present ‘the art of the possible’ for the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) when it comes to decarbonising by using interactive 3D cityscapes visible via smart devices throughout the 12-day event.

This week, UNGA President Abdulla Shahid opened proceedings at COP26 and remarked on the need to capitalise on innovative technologies, encourage further public engagement and invest in green skills and jobs.

Visitors to the SSE pavilion of all ages, from school children to ministers and members of parliament, have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a three-dimensional ‘smart city’ based on a digital twin model of the SEC. The interactive technology allows users to see tailored renewable energy solutions and learn about the future of power consumption, water and air flow and EV charging as we accelerate towards net zero.

Nathan Sanders, Managing Director of SSE Energy Solutions’ distributed energy business, said:

“COP26 has the potential to be a powerful platform for engaging with communities and people on the complex issues of climate change. Augmented Reality is an ideal tool to help visualise the sustainable energy systems and ‘whole system’ approach needed to meet these challenges.

“With the help of Apache, this technology will further promote the message of decarbonisation of power, heat & cooling, and transport, and highlight both the innovative and cutting edge solutions SSE are helping to deliver as we move towards net zero.”

Apache Client Development Manager Chris Elson, said:

“Working with SSE on their efforts to make a real impact into how we think about energy and smart cities was rewarding for the whole Apache team. Augmented reality sparks an extra level of interest and interaction, helping people have a grasp of the details behind what they’re seeing and understand it in a visual and connective context.”

The team at Apache have also included a mobile web version of the AR experience, allowing mobile interaction for individuals with smartphones or tablets, as part of SSE’s public engagement legacy beyond COP26.

SSE recently concluded the final leg of its 'Road to Renewables' tour in Glasgow – an EV bus journey across the UK to celebrate the role different regions are playing in reducing carbon emissions – ahead of COP26. From its Green Zone stand, it will continue to engage with the public over the 12-day summit, helping visitors explore the technologies and solutions needed to reach net zero.

See what else we are doing at COP26