It seems like yesterday that we received 4G, right? With 5G’s launch, it’s not just phones that will benefit: AI and IoT will profit from the speed update. Your car will one day use 5G. Augmented reality glasses and virtual headsets will use 5G, which could see them increase in popularity. Even in healthcare, the lightning reaction speeds of 5G could transform remote surgery. With almost no latency, 5G will deliver instantaneous results.
With supercharged internet speed comes room for innovation. Social media would look very different, had we not have had 3G in our pockets during its inception. Would apps like Uber look like they do today without 4G? It’s impossible to predict where 5G could take us on a consumer level.
Beyond our phones, there are incredible opportunities for artificial intelligence and IoT. Most of the developments that could come from 5G can’t be foreseen yet, but there are plenty of innovations on the horizon for the technology.
Autonomous vehicles that use AI can share data with 5G
Imagine you’re driving and the car ahead of you brakes. This is a situation in which you need to react quickly. If you’re in an autonomous vehicle, Machine Learning (ML) will learn when the car needs to stop in dangerous situations.
What if the car in front could tip off the cars behind about its quick brake?
This is possible with 5G. With every autonomous vehicle connected to the network, a signal simply needs to be sent from the car braking to the cars behind. The lack of any kind of latency in 5G means that the reaction is instant. Since safety on the road heavily relies on the communication of vehicles, giving drivers an immediate update on the vehicles around them can help to relieve crashes, though this is only scratching the surface of possibility.
With supercharged internet speed comes room for innovation.
Imagine a car has broken down ahead. 5G will send you the update of where to divert your route as soon as it happens and will know exactly how many other cars are planning to go that way too. If there’s an emergency service vehicle behind you, 5G can tell you to clear the way before you’ve even heard the siren.
In smart cities, IoT is already being used to control traffic. The idea is for 5G to cut any kind of latency for a safer, more connected experience on the road.
Gaming can combine 5G and AI to become more immersive
Augmented reality smartphone apps have seen a sharp rise in popularity in the last few years. After the success of Pokémon Go, parent company Niantic is releasing a Harry Potter-themed game that encompasses the same technology, bringing items and characters from a fictional world into reality.
This is just the start for immersive gaming, however. 5G will improve connectivity between users to make esports quicker for gamers. Its ability to load interactive worlds though, coupled with the rise of new wearable devices, could actually place users in the worlds themselves.
Imagine if you could create a whole world and experience it in virtual reality. Now add a host of AI characters to that world that react to you. ML enables AI to learn more, just as a character could in a game.
Another way that AI could combine with 5G for better gaming could also be through similar technology to that used in deepfake videos; deepfake software uses ML algorithms to forge a fake face over an existing actor. How much more real could characters look if ML was incorporated to create video game characters?
5G-powered holograms could be integrated into IoT devices
In 2012, Tupac Shakur performed at Coachella from beyond the grave, via a hologram. The computer-generated image of the late rapper wowed the 80,000-strong crowd but six years on, the way it slid across the stage makes it look a little dated.
5G could bring more realistic holograms to life in your front room. The challenge would come from capturing the three-dimensional likeness of a person – aided by AI – before beaming the image straight to an IoT device anyway in the world. This could be particularly useful for placing the members of a boardroom all in one place, helping to cut down travel. The benefit of 5G means that holographic calls will rely more on rendering power of your device than connectivity issues.
The first frontier would be to transform the way you call your parents when you’re on holiday. From there, however, the technology could only develop.
How far away could we be from AI-powered holograms in the passenger seat of your car teaching you how to drive? What about holographic museum guides that use the speed of 5G and the learning capabilities of AI to answer questions about exhibits?
These are just the capabilities of humanoid holograms. Holograms could be used to show you items on a menu, for example.