Production will be self-managing
5G also means the arrival of Industry and Agriculture 4.0. The new standard completely transforms factories, with robots working autonomously, machines learning from each other and the monitoring and adjustment of production processes taking place in real time. For example, Volkswagen is planning its own 5G campus networks. Using drones and networked sensors, the irrigation needs and ripeness of crops can be determined more efficiently. Even the cowshed will be digitised. Agriculture is at last becoming a hi‑tech industry. So as the first 5G masts go up, it will be time to say goodbye to one or two clichés about conveyor belts and hay bales.
The internet as a life saver
Telemedicine does not necessarily mean remote diagnosis, such as signing someone off from work via WhatsApp. Fast data transfer can most definitely save lives. 5G technology enables doctors to contribute remotely to a procedure in an operating theatre. Indeed, treatment can start as soon as the patient is in the ambulance. 5G will also allow access to medical professionals for populations in regions that are otherwise cut off from civilisation.
Candy Crush on the phone will not change, but over and above that, 5G technology also offers gamers new possibilities. It does not have to be anything as sophisticated as interconnected virtual realities; after all, VR gaming has not yet reached the mainstream. Computing power removed to the cloud provides broader access to more complex games that can be streamed directly. And more precise determination of location could bring major improvements to the operating principle behind games such as Pokémon Go.
Simultaneous translation for all
Fully automated simultaneous translation is a regular feature of science fiction scenarios, and with 5G, the reality is edging a little closer. The tourism industry is already exploring whether real-time data transmission can be used with appropriate translation technologies – meaning that nothing needs to sound like Double Dutch any more.