You might have heard the term ‘5G’ more lately. That’s because 5G technology was the rising star in this year CES, the largest consumer technology show in the world. In the event, we have seen phones and devices that will be powered by this revolutionary mobile technology.
However, 5G technology will power a lot more than smartphones. Many experts believe that the fifth generation of mobile network will unlock the full potential of VR and AR technology. Powered by 5G in the near future, we will use our VR headsets and AR glasses as often as our smartphones. Then, widespread VR and AR adoption will happen. After that, VR and AR will change our lives forever.
For it to happen, VR and AR will require a cheaper, more consistent, and more capacious network with lower latency.
This is where 5G will come to the fore.
How 5G will boost VR & AR
5G technology will cut the cord of VR headsets
Most of today’s powerful and high-end VR headsets still have cables that connect to a PC. The wires limit our movement and confine us in a particular location.
When 5G arrives, VR will be freed from a fixed location. This will likely power standalone headsets (ones similar to Oculus Quest and HTC Vive Focus), which people will carry with them everywhere they go. Wireless headsets with 5G connectivity will allow them to enjoy their VR games and VR content anytime, anywhere.
5G will provide a fast, low-latency bandwidth data connection
A 5G network will be much faster than 4G LTE. It will slash the wait time to seconds!
With a 1-10Gbps speed, latency will be reduced to an immeasurable amount. As we all know, VR and AR require decreased latency. Latency refers to the delay of the VR scene whenever the viewer’s head and eyes move. The lower the latency, the little the lag time and the more realistic the VR world becomes.
According to a Qualcomm-commissioned ABI Research, 5G will offer a faster connection with 10X decrease in latency as compared to 4G.
So, when 5G arrives, everyone with an ultra-high resolution VR headset will enjoy a 4K or an 8K viewing experience even when they move away from a place with a fixed internet connection.
5G will improve connectivity
Our 4G networks only provide thousands of connections per cell. It will never be enough for the future.
This is where 5G will come in.
Huawei says that “a 5G network will provide up to a million connections per square kilometre. This will bring an exponential increase in the number of connections.”
So, when 5G arrives, it will usher millions up to billions of mobile devices: from smartphones, VR headsets, AR glasses, to the wearable gadgets like smartwatches and more. This is something that can’t achieve with 4G LTE.
Furthermore, we will need a network connection powerful enough to handle this volume of traffic.
5G will increase traffic capacity
According to the same Qualcomm-commissioned research, the arrival of 5G will result in a 100X more improvement in traffic capacity compared to 4G. Why? Because networks will cope with the increasing number of high-demand applications that are running all at once.
In short, 5G will open the floodgate to the online world via VR headsets & AR glasses, which will lead to mass adoption of the technologies.
What the future holds
We will take VR and AR anywhere we go
Having wireless VR and AR devices and faster and more reliable mobile connections, we will likely travel with AR & VR, just like how we travel with our smartphones.
Imagine answering a phone call or sending a text message using AR glasses while driving. Since our eyes remain on the road, we reduce the risk of accidents.
VR headsets, on the other hand, will keep anyone in the backseat entertained (especially during long road trips).
We will watch Livestream shows like we’re there
We will no longer watch live streaming of an event on a flat screen. In the near future, we will attend it virtually! Also, 5G will accommodate one million devices per square kilometre. We won’t experience lags and connection issues even if we live in a high-density neighbourhood.
360-degree videos will be the new standard
Thanks to 5G, people will want more immersive content. People will demand more 360-degree content: videos, photos, and games. The more interactive it is, the better.