More immersive AR and VR, more complex edge environments and enhanced farming capabilities are on deck, members of Protocol's Braintrust say.
Good afternoon! It's Mobile World Congress this week, so we have a special edition of Braintrust focused on 5G implementation. The promises of 5G have long been forthcoming, so as the networks now expand, we asked the experts to tell us specifically what capabilities they were looking forward to having within their own businesses. Questions or comments? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Technology Officer at Autodesk
Autodesk delivers data-rich media experiences across architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and media and entertainment sectors, and we see 5G as a game-changer. For example, 5G promises to remove dependence upon workstations and installed infrastructure (such as Wi-Fi and wired broadband) for high fidelity virtual reality experiences. Six-degree motion and immersive virtual worlds will be streamed directly to VR headsets when 5G rolls out, like on-demand video is streamed to TVs today, without need of additional hardware.
This shift in how virtual worlds are delivered will enable workers at remote sites with limited connectivity to fully experience immersive virtual models of the structures or products they're building. Virtual collaboration will scale and become even richer environments that show off highly detailed designs or simulated situations. In media and entertainment production, 5G will provide support for data-rich workflows on film shoots and sets, further supporting the move to production in the cloud, and skyrocketing the creation of bigger worlds and richer stories. People will be able to join together virtually to experience the layout of a new home, office or factory, with simulated furniture, appliances and equipment in place and running. They will be able to experience what it's like to drive a dream car, fly a spacecraft or be in the audience of a concert auditorium by just wearing a mobile headset.
Global Chief Technology Officer at Dell Technologies
Today telecom systems are outside of the orchestrated IT stack, but with the advent of open, disaggregated, virtualized and cloud native 5G stacks emerging, we expect the wireless connectivity fabric to be as automated and orchestratable as the software-defined storage, compute and applications ecosystems. When this happens (in a few years), given the complete capabilities of 3G in 3GPP release 16 and 17, two major new capabilities will emerge.
First, we will finally have a way to have always-on connectivity to everything from sensors to PCs to data center systems, which will revolutionize how we operate, maintain and manage the components that make up the IT world. This will create a new level of dynamic control of resources, will allow for real-time detection of issues and will ultimately be the basis of the "as a service" shifts that are just beginning today.
Second, with full 5G features inclusive of Ultra-reliable Low-latency Communications and Massive Machine Type Communications built into our edge environments as a component of the edge systems, we will be able to not just connect the things that make factories, hospitals and other real world environments smart, but we will be able to deliver differentiated services to them to deliver the needed reliability and performance to truly bring them into the end-to-end IT experience. It is critical that this advanced wireless fabric be within the IT orchestrated stack so that its capabilities are just a natural automated part of deploying code and processing data end-to-end over a multicloud environment.
Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer at Dairy Farmers of America
During the past 20 years, many farms across the country have transformed their operations through connected technologies. From simple tasks like checking the weather or implementing current technologies — such as having wireless cameras in barns to monitor cows, protect against human error and provide safety and security — to more complex operations including machine learning and artificial intelligence, so much of the new technologies for increased efficiencies on farms rely on strong broadband and 5G access. However, this access is not equal to all farms. Once farmers, and in particular, dairy farmers, can connect to 5G, they will be more resilient to changing industry demand.
5G will enable faster and more flexible connections to sensors that are embedded in advanced technologies allowing dairy farmers the ability to practice more informed and holistic care for their animals. Data from wearable devices can relay how much time a specific cow or herd spends moving, improving our knowledge of the cows' health and well-being. Additionally, automated milking and feeding machines can assist in providing for cows' specific dietary needs and exercise regime.
Access to 5G will also allow the seamless transaction of data from animal to farmer so it is automatically received, processed, sent to the cloud and available on demand with any smart device. This allows farmers to continuously monitor the welfare of their herd and makes it easier for early intervention when necessary. 5G will increase farm productivity and efficiencies, helping family-owned farms reduce their operating costs and ensure long-term stability.
President & CEO-Elect at Qualcomm, Inc.
Qualcomm is the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G, which will connect everybody and everything to the cloud 100% of the time in a reliable manner. Our products and solutions are driving the intelligent edge that is fueling the growth of the cloud and enabling the digital transformation of multiple industries. The combination of 5G, AI, and the cloud will serve as a powerful catalyst for innovation and economic growth. It will enable new business models, services, and revenue streams, accelerating digital transformation across industries.
For a sense of scale, IHS notes that 5G will create $13.1 trillion in sales enablement and support more than 22.8 million jobs by 2035. So when I think about what we can expect to do with 5G, the list is long but here are a few examples:
- The past 18 months have highlighted the importance of connectivity which has accelerated the transformation of the enterprise to where people can connect from anywhere with 5G-enabled devices
- With 5G cellular V2X connectivity, our cars will be able to communicate directly with other vehicles, pedestrians, and infrastructure to exchange real-time information about road and traffic conditions
- The factory of the future will be highly intelligent, featuring dense arrays of sensors and industrial robots that are connected through an optimized, scalable, and highly reliable private 5G network, feeding previously untapped data sources to the cloud
We look forward to working with all our partners and customers as we bring this vision to life.
Chief Technology Officer at John Deere
At its core, farming will always be about the farmer's deep and irreplaceable understanding of his or her land. In addition to the farmer's know-how, farming is also now and probably always going to be about farmers' ability to use advanced technology to overcome an array of challenges to feed a growing world with diminishing resources. AI, the IoT, machine-to-machine communication, sensors and data analytics are all critical in helping today's farmers farm more efficiently and sustainably.
However, to take advantage of any of this technology, farmers need high-speed internet and broadband connectivity in the fields where they operate. The reality is rural farm communities continue to lack access to broadband infrastructure: 6.5% of Americans lack access to broadband, per the FCC, while independent reports estimate that number could look more like 42 million.
More farmers need more connectivity, period. Like many technology companies, we're thrilled at the promise of 5G and the possibilities that its promise continues to inspire — though before we can reap its full benefits, we must first ensure that all communities have broadband infrastructure in place.
President of Intelligent Devices Group at Lenovo
The short-term benefits of 5G are practical, and its long-term benefits will be profound. 5G will continue to transform personal computing as more PCs embrace always-on and always-connected capabilities, offering freedom from reliance on Wi-Fi alone. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E-enabled devices will also become the norm for a bump in speed even when a home Wi-Fi network is connected to multiple devices at once. 5G offers consistent, secure connections and helps eliminate the need for public Wi-Fi.
We believe this will lead to a rise in more immersive experiences — playing a role in creating better remote collaboration experiences. The convergence of the digital and physical worlds through AR/VR technologies will fundamentally change how we work, learn and play.
We see opportunities to create more efficient hybrid work models, as well as training, maintenance and knowledge transfer. With the advent of 5G and faster connectivity than ever before, real-life enhanced computer-generated imagery, remote assistance, object recognition, workflow builders and other powerful content will be transformative for businesses and employees.
Chief Strategy Officer at Attabotics Inc.
Consumer expectations have shifted toward predictable same-day and reliable deliveries. Today's retail supply chains must adapt with innovation that builds in the necessary efficiencies, communications bandwidth, reliability and security that are required to handle the new era of digital commerce. Attabotics is investing in private LTE and 5G capabilities which include high bandwidth, low latency and maximum security to ensure our automated robotics fulfillment platform exceeds the consumer demand. Attabotics also utilizes edge compute and scalable networking enabled by private 5G for an industry-leading supply chain offering.
Attabotics has installed Private LTE and 5G-ready infrastructure to create a hybrid private mobile network with the goal of creating a robotic industry-leading Wireless Private Network. This 5G WPN will enable unprecedented capabilities to command a fast and reliable robotic fleet, real-time and actionable data insights ensuring that information is not only reported, but also allows AI edge routing and correction. The Attabotics WPN will span multiple locations, each with a massive number of IoT devices, performing edge computations with unprecedented private security. Attabotics will be trialing these networks in early 2022 at select customer locations.
Kevin McAllister ( @k__mcallister) is a Research Editor at Protocol, leading the development of Braintrust. Prior to joining the team, he was a rankings data reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where he oversaw structured data projects for the Journal's strategy team.
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