5G: the most essential ingredient of the fourth industrial revolution

Wireless technology has become as essential to our daily existence as oxygen. But unlike oxygen, wireless gets upgraded every so often. The next big upgrade is 5G – as evidenced by its sheer ubiquity at CES this year. However, 5G is not just 4G+1, but instead will deliver exponentially faster connections and the ability to handle much greater data volume across millions of devices all with near-instant responsiveness.

Many say that 5G will be the key ingredient in the fourth industrial revolution, making it as important as steam, electricity, and the microchip were in transforming our lives.

5G’s main impact will be how it will truly open up new experiences for many users and communities. How?

Open IoT: 5G will liberate IoT from the home to all areas of our lives. Combined with cloud and increasingly edge computing it will put IoT into the wild – in cars, stores, offices, and entertainment venues. Chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm are shifting heavily towards this and used a ‘music festival’ theme at CES to demonstrate the reliability of sensors using 5G technology.

Open Commerce: Many new technologies exist today that are set to transform commerce: RFID, beacons, sensors, drones, AI, and Cloud Computing. 5G will enable these technologies to connect, scale, and transform the retail experience for both retailers and shoppers.

Open Marketplaces: For businesses, 5G will open up entirely new markets through new ways of automating at scale across the entire supply chain. In addition, it could change the marketplace for talent recruitment and management. Today, the biggest limitation to recruiting the best talent is time and space. 5G will enable new remote methods of interviewing (via teleconferencing/VR) to provide more intimate interviews without being in the same space.

Open Battlegrounds: For gamers, 5G will enable the AR Cloud and seamless out-of-home gaming experiences such as Niantic’s Real-World Platform and Samsung’s Project xCloud. Gaming will explode from the couch into the real world.

Open Canvases: For creators, 5G will enable new means of expression via an open real-world canvas on which to directly express your creativity. Like an architect drawing on a real skyline using a Samsung S Pen or fashion designers drawing a new collection onto a model. 5G will enable new ways of collaborating that create closer, more fluid connections between creators.

Open Medicine: 5G will enable people to much more effectively manage their health and well-being using data across devices to predict and prevent health issues before they even happen. On the other side, 5G will enable specialist medics to carry out complex procedures remotely via AR saving lives through better responsiveness.

Overall, 5G has the potential to reset the stage for the winners and losers of this fourth industrial revolution with the status quo of the current Big 4 of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google potentially experiencing their own disruption.

Richard Hartell is the global practice lead for Publicis Media’s Strategic Studio

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