Futurtopia#5 - 5G is the key to the future
In my past Futurtopia articles I talked about various technologies such as the blockchain and the neural lace. I have also mentioned the Singularity. In this article I will be talking about a barrier that is keeping these technologies from existing in today's society . A big barrier for these technologies is our society's current mobile network infrastructure. The current infrastructure that our society currently uses simply cannot yet support these technologies. You may however be asking what is the key to enabling the use of these technologies and also what else could this key enable us to do?
As the title of this article states a major key to the future is something called 5G. 5G is basically the next generation of mobile networks after 4G. It is said that it will be insanely faster than 4G. One estimate for example is that you could download a 60 minute movie that would take about an hour to download on the regular 4G network in under 4 seconds on a 5G network. Wow that is fast!!! Most people estimate that 5G will start to roll out in 2020.
I won't be covering how the 5G will most likely work in this article but I recommend that you check out this video if you are interesting in that information.
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How will 5G change the world?
5G will enable many future technologies and industries to exist. From self driving cars and autonomous drones to the internet of things. 5G has the potential to be the much needed backbone for many of these technologies.
IOT / Key To Smart Cities
5G technology will make it possible to support the many new smart devices which will be coming online and that will be making up the internet of things. It has been estimated that the world will have 30 billion connected devices by 2020. Our current infrastructure we are using will likely not be able to support this unless we upgrade to 5G. The new infrastructure 5G will create will also allow these new devices to continuously gather information and send it to the cloud. It will enable us to have sensors to monitor everything imaginable.
You could have sensors that tell you if someone's at your door or if you're a parent it can constantly monitor your baby's vital signs. 5G would allow cities to be filled with sensors to brim. This could give you vital information about something as simple as the current weather and even what the traffic is currently like and if there is any sudden changes in traffic that you should know about. Without 5G it wouldn't be possible to support the estimated amount of devices which will soon be added to the IOT.
5G technology will allow IOT devices to become smarter and perform more efficiently. This works because 5G will allow these devices to connect directly to each other and it will also bring the cloud closer to these devices. Allowing devices to take advantage of the computing power the cloud can provide and therefore it can allow the information the smart device gathers to be quickly analyzed in the cloud and then just as quickly sent back. With this smart devices will be will become smarter and be able to obtain valuable information faster and more efficiently. This is vital for many of the emerging technologies which are going to impact the world greatly.
A 5G network is very important when it comes to self driving cars. In order for a network of self driving cars to work together in unpredictable environments it's important for them to be able to smoothly communicate with each other and the environment around them. This is what 5G will enable them to do. For example with a 5G network in place self driving cars will be able to exchange information with each other lightning fast which will help them avoid collisions more efficiently. It will also allow them to quickly respond to smart lights and other smart devices in their environment.
All this can also apply to autonomous drones. A 5G infrastructure will make it easier to regulate huge swarms of drones. This will allow for so many possibility. Drones could be used to do many different things. I found a good website with tons of ideas for what type of jobs drones could do in the not too distant future when 5G enables them to be used more.
5G will also be very important for virtual/artificial reality. For virtual reality and artificial reality it's important that their is very low latency or in other words short lag time between a device pinging the network and getting a response. 5G will be able to provide this. Low latency is especially important in AR. One example would be a situation where you have a surgeon using AR to do surgery on a patient with a robot while he is across world. In this situation it is very important to have very low latency so you know exactly what you're doing in live time. This of course also applies to virtual reality. Specifically when streaming virtual reality content to a device. This requires low latency to make the experience smooth and realistic and to make playable. Lastly as the amount of VR and AR devices increases it will put a strain on our current mobile network which is why it would need to be upgraded to 5G.
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