In the previous part of this series on 5G connectivity we looked at a number of ways in which the advent of 5G connectivity will transform everyday life. We explored changes to home internet, your smartphone and even how you’ll play your favourite games. In this part of the series, we broaden our horizons and try to understand how 5G will impact things that are beyond our everyday life at the moment. From autonomous cars to 8K live transmission, we take a look at some of the most widely transformative changes that 5G is all set to bring about.
Autonomous cars will become possible
While the exact way in which autonomous cars work depends on the various companies developing them right now, one thing that is common between all of them is the need for high speed, high bandwidth connectivity, which is not only stable but also reliable. These cars need to talk to each other, to the cloud, to the traffic infrastructure and they need to do it instantaneously. 5G will definitely be a key enabler in the autonomous space. Also, 5G is built to be suited for "mission critical" use cases such as these. Without going into too much technical detail, it simply means that certain services which cannot afford failure will be able to depend on the network for guaranteed quality of service. Unlike 4G, which depends on huge base station towers, 5G works with the help of a large network of smaller boosters. Hence, since the density of these boosters will determine network quality, most 5G-based wonders will be found in cities instead of in sparsely populated areas. Interestingly, due to the low latency that 5G offers, we could even be looking at the possibility of remote driving going popular. You picking up your friends across town, without leaving the comfort of your living room – similar to the feat that Shuri pulled off in ‘Black Panther’!
More AR, VR and MR around you
Most of us are familiar with the above terms. In fact, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have been around and well known for a while. The technologies have solid applications both in the entertainment space as well as providing solutions to day-to-day issues. The use-cases in the entertainment genre will be known to you, especially if you've played a certain game which involves catching pocket monsters. But AR has more useful applications in day-to-day life too. For instance, you could also experience it on the Axis Mobile app
through the helpful Near Me feature. This is a really unique feature that lets you look for bank branches and ATMs, as well as restaurant offers and properties
pre-approved by the bank for home loans – all using augmented reality! All you need to do is fire up the Near Me feature on the pre-login screen of the app and pick the service you want to spot in AR mode. This lets you use your phone camera
to spot everything mentioned earlier in the real world around you (by default in a 5k radius, which can be increased). This service, and other similar offerings, usually depend on the location and GPS service of your phone. The way the 5G infrastructure
operates, GPS location will become more accurate without draining your battery. Not just that, the enhanced bandwidth capability of 5G will bring polished augmented reality and virtual reality experiences to the end user, with even better overlays
rendered in high quality. To imagine how this future might look like, think about the way you use the navigation on your phone now, and imagine it showing an overlay on the real world in front of you. Google is already testing this out with its
Google Maps service.
8K live television a reality
If you thought 4K looked slick, wait till 8K hits televisions near you. CES 2019 already saw companies such as Sharp demonstrate 8K television technology, even though it wasn't exactly meant for home setups. While generating studio content at that quality is not too difficult to imagine, it is live content that might suffer due to lower transmission speeds available. However, that was the case before 5G was this close to becoming a reality. 5G can sustain the massive bandwidth requirements to make live 8K transmission a possibility. For instance, Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has just recently announced the “world’s first 8K 3D virtual reality system” for live 5G streaming at 60 frames per second (FPS).
Emergency and essential services will improve
As a result of the combination of many things mentioned above, the quality and efficiency of essential services will improve a lot. Healthcare especially stands to benefit immensely. For instance, an ambulance on the road could become more than just a vehicle transporting the sick or injured. It could become a mobile healthcare unit which is constantly transmitting and receiving 360-degree video and sensor data to and from the hospital. The possibilities are limitless.
Disclaimer: This article has been authored by Siddharth Parwatay, a Mumbai based independent tech-journalist, editor, and content-creator. Axis Bank doesn't influence any views of the author in any way. Axis Bank and/or the author shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.