每日跟讀#629: The coming age of 5G and the Internet of Things
In the era of 5G data communication, downloading a high-definition movie will take just one second. It’s much more than just ultra-fast communication speeds, however. Imagine this: while riding in an autonomous car you’re wearing a pair of smart glasses and watching the 2022 Qatar World Cup opening ceremony from far away in Southwest Asia. Meanwhile, your friend sitting next to you is discussing with their chief physician the next stage of their post-chemoresistance cancer treatment.
While heading to the seaside in your driverless car you suddenly feel thirsty. You find a store using your smart glasses and amend the car’s route to stop outside the shop. You get out of the car and buy a bottle of mineral water, which you pay for using facial recognition.
Once at the beach, after meeting up with some other friends, everyone dons a pair of smart glasses and, using holographic technology, watch a rock band perform their hits.
In fact, the greatest change will come from the way that 5G alters our lives through the Internet of Things (IoT), both at home and at work. In homes today we have smart speakers, but this will be just one component of IoT. Just like in a science fiction movie, an AI-driven personal assistant will be at your beck and call, conjured up with a verbal command anytime, anywhere.
As for work, you won’t need to leave your house, and can take part in a face-to-face meeting with colleagues using a virtual reality (VR) headset. If you need to hold a multi-party meeting, no longer will participants need to travel far and wide to a central, physical location: through 5G technology and VR, you can all assemble in a virtual meeting room.
If you do leave your home, the biggest change 5G will usher in is the advent of self-driving vehicles. This year, South Korea has already taken the lead, rolling out the first 5G-connected self-driving vehicles. Within the streets of downtown Seoul, vehicles were able to cover a distance of 8km in 20 minutes, and were not only able to change lanes and adjust their speeds, but were also able to automatically recognize traffic signals. This was facilitated by the 5G equipment loaded onboard, multiple times faster than 4G speeds. The faster data speeds vastly increase the safety of self-driving vehicles. Many of the world’s car manufacturers have begun testing their own self-driving vehicles. Once 5G becomes available, self-driving vehicles will no longer be a distant dream.
However, telecommunication companies have yet to realize a return on their investment in the existing 4G network, and the required investment for 5G will be much greater. The question is, how much money and effort will they be willing to spend on building a 5G network? Some telecom companies are even predicting that 4G and 5G networks will function concurrently for more than a decade. Moreover, since 5G technology is still being developed, there remain many unknown variables around the emerging technology.
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/06/18/2003717097/2
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