On October 11, hubraum brought together Deutsche Telekom’s board member for technology and innovation Claudia Nemat with one major name from the gaming industry – Omar Téllez, the VP of growth and business development at Niantic (responsible for that little-known hit, Pokémon Go). There joining them was hubraum alumni Josef Brunner, now CEO at Relayr looking suitably at peace with the world following his IoT startup’s $300 million exit in September. One question dominated the panel discussion: what tangible changes would 5G have on our society?
Brunner pointed out that there’s a huge difference between the impact 5G will have on consumers and the impact the new technology will have on businesses. In a nutshell, for consumers 5G is nice to have. But for businesses, 5G is a must-have.
“In the industrial world, connectivity needs to be reliable and scalable. If you can’t connect to a thermostat at home, it is disappointing but it won’t kill your whole business. But in terms of business, reliability is key, because your whole business dies if there’s no connectivity.”
Brunner also alluded to how critical it could be for companies handling data privacy, “separating data that goes to the cloud, it’s also important for the concept of a digital twin of a physical asset. You can put more applications into your digital twin so your asset becomes a platform. Predictive maintenance for a digger. Predictive advertising in an elevator. While I’m excited about the number of assets, I’m more excited about the number of services on top of these assets.”
Nemat used the example of a bridge to illustrate the far-reaching effects of this additional data. She pointed out that practical factors like the erosion and stability of a bridge could be monitored via adding assets to the bridge – “Something which doesn’t just save costs in terms of constructing the bridge, but also lives.” “The data from the sensors could also be used by insurance companies when calculating their offers to cover insurance for such things,” Brunner pointed out sensibly.
Why is it so important to bring 5G to the gaming world? Téllez explained, “With the Pokemon Go launch on 5G, our claim to fame is that we democratise access to augmented reality so everyone can experience it.” 5G can mean putting “a virtual animal in the room and people will attack it from different angles.” The most important aspect of 5G that enables this is low latency. “As people move, the networks need to know where you are in relation to the virtual object. For us to go to the cloud and back takes 100 milliseconds. You need to cut this time down to 20-25 milliseconds for the game to stay with you. This enables features such as multiplayer so a whole variety of people will be able to attack a different creature.”
Téllez doesn’t just believe that 5G will revolutionise the present of gaming, but the future. He’s particularly excited about the implications for soccer. “I’m a huge Bayern Munchen fan and I’m looking forward to watching a game in real life in a stadium and having players statistics in front of me as the game happens — being able to understand in real time what each player is going through and see the trajectory of the ball in statistics, the number of passes, etcetera.”
Niantic is bringing out an augmented reality Harry Potter game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in 2019 in collaboration with T-Mobile US. So no wonder the gaming advantage Nemat is most looking forward to is experiencing JK Rowling’s world from the comfort of her own home. She explained “I would love to see Slytherin play against Gryffindor and have a realistic way of hunting dementors and the bad guys.”
The event continued to explore how tech would shape our society with presentations from meetingroom.io’s CEO Jonny Cosgrove on the future of the workspace, Visualix’s CEO Darius Pajouh on how visual mapping and positioning will transform augmented reality and from 2Sens’ CEO and co-founder Moshe Meyassed on how AR and MR are the future.