In the world of technology, the buzz around 5G is undeniable. It’s not just another iteration of wireless connectivity; it’s a game-changer that promises to revolutionize industries and empower innovation on a scale we’ve never seen before. For mobile app development companies like ours, 5G represents a paradigm shift, and we’re only at the cusp of what we can imagine and create.
We partner with clients across diverse industries, from self-serve pizza kiosks to intricate delivery and warehouse management solutions. Every day, our mission is to solve unique challenges faced by their customers through intuitive, personalized mobile apps that pave the way for seamless interactions on mobile devices.
Until now, our efforts have been somewhat constrained by the limitations of existing connectivity, resulting in service gaps, slow processing speeds, and delayed user data responses. However, as 5G networks roll out worldwide, including TELUS’s 5G network in Canada, a new era of connectivity dawns. This promises not only significant improvements in connectivity but also real-time data processing, all underpinned by reliable connectivity.
Let’s delve into some quick facts from GSMA, a global communications association:
- By 2025, 5G is expected to constitute 15% of the global mobile industry.
- 5G will deliver speeds of approximately 10 gigabits per second, ten times faster than existing wireless technology.
- Current 4G networks have an average latency of 50 milliseconds, whereas 5G networks will reduce it to just one millisecond, resulting in significantly reduced network interference and delays — a 50X increase in processing speeds.
- While 4G networks can support only around 2,000 connected devices per 0.38 miles, 5G will support up to 1 million connections in the same area — a staggering 500X increase in the number of connections.
As more devices become integral to our daily lives, 5G connectivity will be a game-changer, ensuring that each of these devices can fully leverage its immediate benefits.
To grasp the full extent of 5G’s impact on our daily lives, let’s explore some key industries poised for transformation.
1. The Hybrid Workforce in a 5G World
As we envision a post-pandemic work environment, 5G holds the potential to significantly enhance the experience of employees adopting a hybrid work model. It will eliminate current pain points in video conferencing, enabling the creation of immersive presentations for remote employees. Video calls, regardless of the user’s location, will become clear and seamless, and the days of buffering symbols and loading bars will become a distant memory. Tasks such as file sharing and cloud-based collaboration will see remarkable improvements, thanks to 5G’s lightning-fast processing capabilities.
Moreover, 5G will benefit individuals with vision or hearing impairments by offering real-time voiced screen readers, automated captions, and sound notifications. This technology will empower employers and employees to build high-functioning teams, whether in-office or remote, using desktop or mobile devices, all with access to the seamless functionality that 5G connectivity provides.
Consider a retailer aiming to make real-time decisions on store displays or layout adjustments at the headquarters level. With the assistance of VR and AR-enabled platforms and unhindered by connectivity issues, merchandisers in stores and marketing teams in offices can test and visualize in-store displays alongside real-time retail data. This will result in time-saving tools for in-store teams to swiftly implement new products or layout changes in brick-and-mortar stores.
2. Travel, Transportation, and Tourism
The travel and tourism industry stands to gain immensely from 5G technology. It can offer value-added services like real-time translation, mapping, and wayfinding, with significant safety enhancements for tourists traveling abroad. Apps designed for tourism will benefit from improved processing capabilities, delivering real-time information based on location, activities, and language preferences. This means that services relying on precise geolocation technology, such as maps and wayfinding apps, will experience remarkable improvements in accuracy, allowing for augmented reality visualizations like maps overlaid on physical city infrastructure.
Additionally, 5G will greatly benefit the transportation industry, especially the integration of smart cars. These vehicles are now capable of making real-time decisions based on the data they collect, from simple lane changes to safety decisions such as route diversions or warnings about speed changes and accidents. According to a report by Gartner, “in 2023, the automotive industry will become the largest market opportunity for 5G IoT solutions.”
(Source: Gartner Report)
3. Smart Homes, Gaming, and Home Entertainment
With more homes relying on smart devices, 5G will usher in significant improvements. Smart home applications like security surveillance, which currently depend on home broadband links, will benefit from 5G’s strength, enabling multiple video streams to be uploaded simultaneously. This will provide homeowners with real-time video and voice data directly to their mobile devices from their security systems without overburdening their home broadband or impacting other connected devices.
Households with multiple gaming devices, streaming services, connected televisions, home assistant devices, and smart home operating systems will experience significant improvements in quality, speed, and real-time data insights. All this will be achieved without being affected by the number of devices connected versus available connectivity.
The gaming industry is poised for transformation as 5G becomes widely accessible. Gamers, who were previously bound to desktops due to connectivity issues affecting streaming, video, and multiplayer functionality, will now be able to enjoy state-of-the-art experiences with players worldwide, whether at home or on the subway to work.
4. AI, VR, Voice Recognition, OCR
Emerging technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Object Recognition, and Voice Recognition will experience significant improvements. These technologies will see wider adoption across various industries as customer-facing businesses seek to create unique experiences for their clients. Smart glasses and similar devices are likely to re-emerge, free from the constraints of connectivity and real-time data processing.
Imagine a trip to a home goods store, where tools like smart glasses provide real-time decision support for consumers. Shoppers looking for furniture or home decor can virtually add pieces to their living rooms in real-time to determine the best fit or style before making a purchase. Paint swatches can be virtually applied to an entire room in different lighting scenarios, empowering people to make informed decisions.
The healthcare industry will see significant advancements with the widespread use of technology like AR and VR. Remote communities, traditionally underserved due to connectivity issues, will witness significant improvements. These communities will leverage recognition technology not only for diagnosis but also for remote assistance in surgeries and operations using VR and AR software.
A recent article in HealthTech predicts that the market for virtual and augmented reality in healthcare will reach $2.4 billion by 2026, encompassing applications like pain management, memory care, and medical training.
Consider fitness tracking apps and devices, such as smartwatches or health wearables. With 5G connectivity, data collected on these devices will provide real-time insights, allowing users to adjust their activities based on performance metrics like heart rate. Such real-time feedback will significantly impact the healthcare industry by providing patients with instant notifications about key indicators like blood sugar, breathing or heart rate changes, or even speech changes through Voice Recognition software.
Currently, patients and healthcare providers have access to some of this data, but it’s often retrospective and can only inform future behavior. In a 5G-connected world, patients can have this data processed in real-time, offering immediate insights to prevent potentially life-threatening changes in their conditions.
6. Smart Cities
Both large and small cities stand to benefit from the advantages of a 5G-connected environment. Significant efficiencies and improvements will be based on real-time data collected at key source points. Take the commuter experience, for instance. With 5G’s geolocation capabilities, cities can make informed decisions based on user and density data. This leads to greater efficiency, cost savings, and personalized user schedules that adapt to changing needs.
A report by McKinsey highlights the impact of smart city technology on public transport, enabling real-time information about delays, thus allowing riders to adjust their routes on the fly. Installing IoT sensors on existing infrastructure can help anticipate and prevent breakdowns and delays, further enhancing the transportation experience.
Smart cities and communities can prioritize infrastructure improvements like walkways, bike paths, and safety enhancements based on user-generated data and usage. Municipal services such as libraries and community centers will provide world-class connectivity and virtual experiences for community members, regardless of their location.
7. Public Safety – Police, Firefighters, EMTs
Community services like firefighters, police, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will witness massive transformations. These essential services will utilize real-time data collected through smart city sensors and user inputs to provide more efficient and safer services. For example, augmented reality can provide firefighters with critical information about their surroundings in the dark.
Additionally, prototype smart street lights can record everything happening on a street, automatically notifying police of gunshots, transmitting video footage, and adjusting lighting in the area as needed.
Consider the implications for disaster or weather-related emergencies. First responders armed with 5G-enabled technology can access detailed information from the scene in real-time, allowing them to deploy the right resources quickly, ultimately saving lives.
5G connectivity will have a profound impact on students of all ages, from kindergarten to post-secondary education. The greatest impact will be on equality and access, as students, regardless of their location or financial status, will have access to cutting-edge connectivity and improved educational resources previously hampered by connectivity issues.
University students from remote communities who may not have the means to attend in person can potentially access world-class education through immersive learning platforms. For off-campus learners, education institutions will have access to immersive learning and educational app experiences free from connectivity barriers.
Recent research supports teaching methods that engage students in collaboration, problem-solving, and two-way communication with instructors. With 5G’s lightning-fast download and video streaming capabilities, this immersive learning experience will become a reality for thousands of students.
5G’s impact will extend to companies, both large and small. In smart factories, for example, significant improvements in overall cost-effectiveness will be achieved by eliminating reliance on multiple Bluetooth sensors with limited range. Large warehouses and factories currently depend on hundreds of these sensors, which are inadequate for mass IoT deployment. 5G connectivity will provide instant connectivity for every step of the process, from order receipt to loading merchandise onto trucks.
Businesses like restaurants and retailers will have opportunities to engage with customers as they pass storefronts, offering location-based offers and experiences. Restaurants may provide special offers as passersby approach, offer menus and daily specials, and request customer feedback upon exit.
Geo-location services for businesses will improve significantly as 5G technology is implemented. Banking customers, for instance, can receive notifications about their financial goals as they walk by their favorite coffee shop, thanks to improved location accuracy.
In summary, users will experience more personalized mobile app experiences, tailored to their needs and habits, as 5G technology removes connectivity and data processing barriers.
5G will also enhance accessibility for customers who are currently limited by software and connectivity availability. Consider shoppers with vision or hearing impairments. With emerging technology like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Voice Recognition software, 5G connectivity will empower these customers by offering real-time voiced screen readers, automated captions, and sound notifications, ensuring they can access services on an equal footing with others.
5G is poised to reshape industries across the spectrum, unlocking new potentials and fueling innovation like never before. As mobile app developers, we are excited about the opportunities it presents to create cutting-edge solutions that seamlessly integrate into the fabric of our lives. Whether it’s enhancing the hybrid work experience, revolutionizing travel and tourism, or enabling smarter homes and cities, 5G technology is poised to create a world of possibilities.
As the rollout of 5G continues, we look forward to the creative applications and solutions that will emerge, driven by the power of ultra-fast, low-latency connectivity. The future is bright, and the possibilities are limitless as we enter this new era of connectivity and innovation.