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8 ways 5G could change our lives

8 ways 5G could change our lives

The new generation of mobile connectivity is coming and promises to super-charge our lives. While 4G has brought us faster connections, experts predict the 5th generation of mobile networks, due to be rolled out in the UK in 2020, will have an even bigger impact. Take a look at our predictions for the ground-breaking changes we think 5G will make.

Holly Niblett
From the Digital team
minute read
posted 9 OCTOBER 2019

1. Self-driving cars that work

Despite recent problems in trials, it’s predicted that self-driving cars will become mainstream with 5G. Improved mobile connectivity means they’d be able to avoid accidents ‘talking’ to other vehicles and through sensors built around cities in street lamps, petrol stations and the road itself.

2. Entertainment revolution

From live virtual reality streams of sports events and concerts, to digital information superimposed on live images of the physical world, 5G brings endless virtual reality and augmented reality possibilities.  

Minimum delay will mean live streaming could be combined with VR and AR for immersive, multiplayer gaming in real time. Meanwhile, sports fans could feel like they’re on the pitch itself as they watch games live from a variety of different camera angles. 

3. Robots at your service

Your takeaways could be at your door in a flash with the help of 5G-enabled robots. 

Domino’s Pizza has already developed and tested the Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU), an autonomous, 6-wheel rolling machine to take pizza to hungry households in German and Dutch cities. And Just Eat has trialled a similar initiative.

4. Drones to your door

This one has been up in the air for a while. Amazon sent its first delivery by drone in December 2016, using GPS technology to drop the package in Cambridge within 13 minutes of the order being placed. So, with 5G networks improving speed and accuracy, if you’ve suddenly remembered you need something to finish your kid’s school project, you could get it delivered in mind-blowing speed.

5. HD movies in a flash

Say goodbye to waiting for the film to start – you could be able to download an HD movie in just 4 seconds with 5G. Compare that to around 10 minutes or more with a good 4G connection, and we’re talking a whole new level of ‘on-demand’ services.

6. Remote surgery

5G could mean a surgeon won’t need to be in the same room as a patient in future. Mobile tech firm, Ericsson, demonstrated the possibilities at King’s College London. They used a VR headset and special glove which allowed the surgeon to control a robotic arm, performing the actual operation in another location. 

Meanwhile, smart bandages that use nano-technology to detect how a wound is healing and send messages back to your doctor via real-time 5G are due to be trialled by Swansea University.

7. House hunting from the sofa

Dragging your kids round homes to rent or buy might be a thing of the past thanks to 5G. Super-charged VR and AR could make virtual tours of properties the norm – so you could snoop around a potential new home without ever leaving your seat. 

8. Super-smart homes

Think controlling your heating from your phone is clever? Wait until 5G connects millions of objects in what’s called the Internet of Things.

“There is seemingly no limit on how what we refer to as 5G could impact our everyday existence,” says Mignon Clyburn, a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  

“A refrigerator that not only alerts you to a near-empty egg carton, but automatically adds that item to a virtual shopping list, enabling a delivery to your door by week's end, without any action from you.”

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