Just as 4G brought us quick and reliable streaming, 5G promises untold advances in communications technology. Boasting speeds 100x faster than 4G LTE, new opportunities for development are just beginning to surface.

5G is all about merging tech with everyday objects such as refrigerators, forks, and water bottles. Imagine a day when our tech-infused bottles can tell us when it is time to drink water and how much we need to consume to remain optimally hydrated. That day isn’t too far off. Although this seems like a novelty, the ability to rapidly transfer, store, and compute data via the cloud is nothing to joke about.

We have seen plenty of advances in modern streaming technology in terms of speed and reliability, Google Stadia is a perfect example of the abilities of this type of technology. Stadia is Google’s video game streaming platform, and if it goes well, technology like this may make console gaming obsolete. Stadia streams games to players’ homes and devices, but the actual computing hardware is stored somewhere else. Not reliant on physical hardware such as a standard GPU, this revolutionary platform realistically is only limited by the speed at which data can be transferred. And with the forthcoming widespread use of 5G networks, and the ability to upgrade Stadia’s processing power at leisure, Google is poised to take over the gaming industry with revolutionary streaming technology.

a computer chip - unsplash
Computers will make their way into everything.

Going back to my comment on refrigerators, forks, and water bottles. Everyday objects can be made “smart” as the limitations of wireless connections no longer apply. Imagine this. A sheet of paper is laced with small sensors that track your handwriting. As you write, this information is transmitted offsite to a computing software that analyzes your handwriting. This program then translates your handwriting into a font that can be used for text messages and emails etc.. The fascinating thing about the realities of 5G is that if you were to send a message to someone using your personalized font, it could be downloaded to their device instantly or accessed via the cloud to appear just as you “wrote” it. Of course its a hypothetical example but this is just a glimpse of how things will be connected in the future.

There are more benefits to industries such as health care than I can't even even speculate about. With 5G, surgery can be done remotely in real time. When this is combined with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, some routine surgeries may not even need a surgeon. Monitoring a patient’s health can be done wirelessly across great distances for example. Self-driving ambulances could allow two paramedics to assist a patient while the vehicle conducts itself to the emergency room. The ambulance would reach the hospital in a manner of minutes as any passenger vehicle in its path would be automatically redirected by its own automated system.

a factory - unsplash
The future of industry won't look anything like this.

But what does this mean in terms of employment? Entirely new markets will open up which focus on technologies that can transfer and analyze data quickly. This can be used of course in 4K streaming and video, but there are other applications for this type of technology. Although this technology may threaten certain industries, new types of businesses will launch and thrive in what may be a market that is unrecognizable by the standards of today. In the future, agriculture will be fully automated. Steps have already been taken to reduce water consumption in the world’s largest vineyard using AI. With the implementation of 5G, data collected on a variety of farms can be analyzed to understand global water consumption more fully than ever before. Similar technologies to monitor other environmental concerns will also be developed in the future, designed around the advantages of 5G communications. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in the amount of available jobs in new industries. China is expecting to support 8 million more jobs by 2030, and that is just a start of what may develop into a multi-trillion dollar globalized industry.

In the short term, we can expect to enjoy faster mobile internet, 4K streaming and video, near instant downloads of files, and more smart gadgets. In the long term, we can expect completely new ways in which we communicate through technology. From realtime VR streams to front-row seats at a sold-out concert, to virtual classrooms with students signing in from all corners of the globe. The possibilities are endless and the future is only beginning.