The Most Comprehensive List of Apps & Examples of 5G Technology
5G Technologies Covered:
List of Apps and Examples of 5G Technology
5G technology eventually will bring a wealth of benefits, including:
- Faster device connections
- Much lower latency
- Better battery
- Big increases in data handling
- Ability to connect billions of devices
Disruptive technologies have always provided new opportunities for those who were best able to take advantage of it. Going back in time, you can look at the addition of sound or colorization to movies and see that many new creators found convergence success because they were able to adapt to the new technologies.
Take a look at some future use cases that will be fully enabled by 5G. And if you’d like even more inspiration, read about the future in 5G in our Futurist Reports.
XR aka Extended Reality
XR is meant to encompass VR, AR, and MR. Most people have probably tried AR with games such as Pokémon Go or ARCore. There are many games and apps that use AR, but we are in the early stages and the future should offer interesting possibilities. The current capabilities for AR are adequate, but as 5G becomes available it can help make AR/MR even more engaging.
Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go, is working on a game called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The game will give players the opportunity to perform magic, like characters in the movies. This example offers opportunities for creators to think about how any of their content could be extended—whether as a game experience or perhaps a second screen experience to complement a show they are watching.
For example, if there is a character on a show that a viewer hasn’t seen recently, the viewer could point their phone to the TV in a complimentary application to pull up history on the character. This would require low latency to quickly match the image against a video database and pull up the information (perhaps even with data and background focused on that particular scene).
Emerging devices like Magic Leap and the Red Hydrogen One will provide other types of opportunities. Both (and other new devices) will have new content types that will benefit from 5G speeds and edge computing, which is great news for developers and creators. because it kind of levels the playing field.
New technologies often mean better prospects. You do not need to look any farther than the successful new creators on YouTube or Snapchat. Not only are many of them brand new, but often have done better than those who were successful in other mediums. And in turn, these new technologies will require applications from developers and content from creators.
And for those not sure if a new network can drive these types of impacts, look no farther than the move to 3G—that spurred smartphones and the rise of apps like YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. Convergence and the move to 5G could very well have just as big of an impact and be just as transformative for creators.
5G is the future of esports, and AT&T is leading the way. In June 2018, AT&T announced its commitment to esports as the Official Telecommunications and Mobile Gaming Partner of ESL North America. This is a fascinating area of entertainment that did not exist ten years ago, yet will soon be a billion dollar business with over 300 million fans. Now there is a gap between those who are giant fans and those who know little about it. That gap has been closing as more people start playing and watching casual games. For those who may not know much about esports, these games are often quite sophisticated with complex characters and a deep background. Developers aren’t the only one working on this, storytellers and creators also play key roles to make the games engaging and ever-evolving.
One key requirement for esports play is low latency. Players pay a premium for keyboards to optimize their game play. For competitions for League of Legends or DOTA2, internal LAN networks are created. Furthermore, custom arenas are being built to further minimize latency and optimize game play.
Although these games started out on PCs, it has also seen rapid growth on mobile. Games like Fortnite, PUBG, Clash Royale, and Arena of Valor have been attracting many fans who play all over on their phones. As 5G becomes available, the popularity and richness of these games will only grow.
Then, as we think about creators, we should not just include those that create the characters and story lines in game, but those that primarily play games and have others watch. Players like Ninja get millions of views for their videos. As 5G networks arrive and esports competition participation and viewership continue to increase, there will be more opportunities for other creators to create similar content.
Immersive Gaming and Toys
Separate from esports, kids and others will be looking to be entertained in different ways, ideally immersive to bring them to a variety of fantasy worlds or environments. A little girl could experience what it would be like to walk around a dollhouse that she has furnished and interact with her doll.
There is actually more opportunity here as you are creating a more interactive world for the user. Think about Ready Player One that supposes a future where people live in such an environment. Or, perhaps, creators or developers could build the first immersive Sims or Minecraft where users could create their own world.
It is easy to imagine immersive gaming becoming very popular. Gamers are continually looking for more realistic play—and the developers and content creators who can bring that have an excellent chance for success. Because this environment will need to be rich and available in real time, just like esports, it will require 5G connectivity and very low latency. More than anything though will likely be the use of a variety of wearable, sensors and IOT devices. 5G connection density will be key coupled with the low latency to provide real time feedback and guidance for the game play.
360, 4k-8k and UHD
As a start, there has always been a continual interest in higher definition content. As with the other areas though, 5G will make each of these areas grow even more and present additional opportunities for creators.
One of the interesting applications of 360 video is related to augmented reality, where the consumer can step into a situation like a game and experience the point of view from the characters or players. For those who watch professional football or basketball games, you may have seen shots from the quarterback’s perspective or the point guard’s—with 360 views of the surrounding, giving the viewer the opportunity to pick their view.
Now, 360 video is being used to give people the perspective of being in some unusual location or activity that they might never experience, for example extreme sports. As 5G bandwidth allows 360 video to stream in ultra-high definition, the viewer experience will greatly improve and viewership should increase. Again, this should create opportunities for storytellers. Look at travel: There are many travel shows currently, but 360 has a chance to really transform them and provide fresh perspectives.
Holographic/Multi-Person Video Calls
People are always looking for better ways to communicate. One obvious progression is to move to holographic calling—so that it appears the person you are talking with is sitting right with you. This idea may seem futuristic, but there have already been demos of this. As 5G becomes available, the challenge is less about connectivity and more about the computational power to render images real time.
Initially, these will not be true holograms—that is fully 3D light forms. The challenge for making these calls will first to be capture a full high-resolution 3D image for both callers, which requires more than significant computing power on both ends, but the ability to use multiple cameras. Over time, there will probably be some process to accurately fill in areas that are not changing much (like body), while focusing on the face, but these are challenges that can be overcome.
As noted there is plenty of network traffic, but plenty of technical work to accurately capture and render accurate images. Then at times holographic callers will want to have their image represented in a particular environment. For example, placing a business call that puts everyone in a boardroom setting. These backgrounds will all need to be created, like a lot of the work that will need to be done in VR and AR.
One common thread through many of these use cases have been around making the experience for users more realistic. The visual and auditory element of this is obviously critical, but when you think about getting fully immersed it is not sufficient—consider how much touch and smell factor into real life experiences.
Sensors were mentioned with immersive experiences and it would not be difficult to program some with smells to help match different environments. Taking this further, it would not be difficult to change the temperature in different environments, perhaps even use fans for wind.
Touch has already been enabled with gloves, but again as 5G enables thousands of connections in a space you could see how this could extend to clothing to provide some feedback all over the body.
As creators and developers really think about 5G and the technologies it will unlock, there are plenty of chances to help build out the ecosystem to create a variety of experiences in the future.