Disruption is the name of the game in the world of tech. We’re constantly on the cusp of some new innovation—interactive technologies, for example, are changing how consumers shop and how brands set out to improve the ever-important customer experience. The next big tech innovation—5G—stands to revolutionize these and so many more, as it will be a major driver of digitalization. Why? 5G will be faster, more stable, and more versatile than existing 4G technology, and the new network can both prioritize the different types of data streaming and handle the more than 8.4 billion (and counting) IoT connected devices. Over the next few years these are five emerging technologies that 5G will disrupt and make a huge impact!
Emerging Technologies that 5G Will Disrupt
- Immersive Gaming. 5G has many implications when it comes to gaming, and especially when it comes to gaming with AR and VR. For example, 5G is likely to make VR less cost-prohibitive. When complex computing can be rerouted to the cloud (thanks to faster connections), it takes that stress of home devices, thereby making them more widely available at lower price points. 5G will also change how immersive AR experiences can be, making AR creatures within games smarter and better able to interact with the gamer’s real-time environment—all with zero lag time.
- Autonomous Driving. Just how important will 5G be to the already-growing field of autonomous driving? In an interview with VentureBeat, an Intel exec likened 5G to the “oxygen” for self-driving cars. As infrastructures—and even entire smart cities—become more connected thanks to the IoT, processing bandwidth, reliability, and speed will not be matters of convenience, but matters of safety. It’s called V-to-X, meaning these vehicles will be able to communicate with other vehicles, pedestrians, and their surroundings. To make autonomous driving and ultimately smart cities work it is all about data. It has to be processed faster and closer to the vehicle.
- Remote Robotic Surgery. 5G will take telehealth to a new level. For example, researchers have created a robotic arm that remote doctors can use to operate on patients. The technology will be launched in 2020 and is not dependent on 5G to work; it is, however, dependent on 5G to work more reliably and more securely, an especially critical factor in the healthcare world. Ultimately, this development could make best-in-class care available to every patient, no matter their geography. As far as the list of emerging technologies that 5G will disrupt, this one has the most potential to help the most people.
- Production-Line Robotics. As the Industrial IoT expands and is fueled by the capabilities of 5G, production-line robotics will be impacted in a big way. Currently, these systems are steeped in automation function but are often hampered by the limits of network capacity and reliability. 5G takes those limitations away and allows production-line robots to perform complex computing and transfer data in real-time. This will be a game-changer from a workflow and supply chain perspective.
- Augmented Reality. AR is becoming more mainstream, and 5G will be a major driver of that movement. As more AR apps are developed—including those that center around gaming, automotive video streaming, content production and distribution, and more—5G will deliver a seamless experience (even on mobile), enable social sharing (even from crowded venues), and much more.
I once wrote that 5G will change the world, and I firmly believe that it will. Still need proof? MIT reported 5G could open $12.3 trillion in revenue across a number of industries, not just those listed above. Why? When speeds increase anywhere from ten to 100 times over 4G—and, not to mention, reliability skyrockets as well—what might that mean to live streaming? What about content? Social? Real-time analytics? Graphics capabilities in immersive tech? These emerging technologies that 5G will disrupt is just a starting point. Understanding what could potentially change allows you to stay ahead of the curve, not stuck back staring at 4G’s spinning wheel.
The original version of this article was first published on Forbes.