5G is expected to provide networks that deliver, with some suggesting up to 1,000 times the speed of current networks, along with lower latency and much greater capacity. This incredible connectivity will enable ultra-high-definition mobile video, mobile VR and AR, instantaneous video communication, more security functions and other advanced applications. With more reliable connections, 5G will unlock the full potential of the Internet of Things and – crucially for marketing professionals – open up new frontiers for audience engagement and event management.
5G is already being trialled in the world of sports
Technology leaders used the recent Winter Olympics in Korea to show off prototype 5G tech like live VR and ultra-fast streaming video. During the Games, PyeongChang became a testing ground and a showcase for companies like Intel, who set up 5G stations to track cross-country skiers and deployed dozens of cameras inside an ice hockey arena – making this the first Winter Olympics possible to be broadcast live in virtual reality.
On a 4G network, live streaming is often glitchy and a massive data drain. With its low latency and massive pipeline, 5G will open up amazing opportunities for live sports and entertainment viewing, letting people get 'up close and personal’ with athletes, performers and the person in the limelight by letting viewers control the target and angle of what they see.
In the US, rival companies are already racing to roll out 5G tech, with Verizon live-streaming this year’s Super Bowl in 5G in New York City as part of a network test. This demo showed how 5G is being used for brand-new use cases and applications. Instead of watching the big game on a massive TV as per tradition, participants in the demo took turns putting on a single Daydream headset equipped with a mobile phone, allowing a full 180-degree stereoscopic view and letting them feel as though they were really watching the game at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
5G will also allow event organisers to enhance their events through new camera tech, like miniature portable webcams, 'bullet-time’ camera arrays and drone-based cameras. Streaming video will facilitate the creation of new content that can recreate up-close experiences for viewers elsewhere.
Creating safer and more secure events
Event safety and security is more important than ever. 5G will allow dramatically improved connectivity between event management and emergency personnel, meaning that reaction times in emergency situations will “become almost instant”. With fast connections to security personnel and law enforcement, everyone will be able to know the location, hazards and number of people affected in an incident, delivering vastly improved security and emergency responses. And with 5G opening up new communication channels, event attendees can receive instant security updates, creating increased safety and more peace of mind for everyone.
But 5G will have a myriad of applications outside the event world.
Opening new doors in the automotive industry
A recent S9 and S9 Plus phone launch event “Let’s Gold” for Samsung in Taiwan put on by Pico for an audience of celebrities, VIPs and media gave an excellent demonstration of their connected technology. During the dinner, guests scanned a QR code to unlock Augmented Reality interactivity while another course was served in Virtual Reality before the real food was presented. This is just a taste of where technology can steer a brand and all of us to.
Advances in technology are having an incredible impact on the driving experience, the overall industry and the cars themselves. 5G will ramp up these impacts even further, allowing full 'V2X’ (vehicle to everything) connectivity – letting cars 'talk’ to their manufacturers, their drivers and to other cars around them – and leading the autonomous car revolution.
Then there is the new Samsung Digital Cockpit which the brand showcased at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. The cockpit has a 12-inch dashboard with standard driving information like a speedometer and fuel gauge readings, and a 28-inch QLED display that - combining 5G technology with an IoT platform – gives the driver access to all kinds of tech; from navigation options to connected smartphone options like taking calls, streaming music and accessing the brand’s upcoming SmartThings IoT platform. Samsung’s vision is that the car “actually becomes a data centre that’s receiving information and sending it up to the network and even down to the infrastructure”.
Instantaneous ads and no lag
Today, our tolerance for slow-loading apps and mobile ads is lower than ever. In fact, over 70% of app users expect apps to load within three seconds and over 60% of us will say 'nope’ to an app that takes longer than five seconds to load.
In a 5G future, lightning-fast downloads and uploads will make in-app ads faster and more engaging. At the same time, billions of IoT-linked devices will stream valuable user data to advertisers, allowing ads to be personalised in ways we can only dream of today.
The speed and size of the 5G pipeline will remove two major roadblocks to the mobile experience. Once these are gone, technology will swiftly adapt, allowing advances in data storage and connectivity and “pushing the IoT onto steroids”.
With analysts predicting that 5G networks will be in wide use by 2020, there is a lot to get excited about. A more connected, more immersive and more secure world is just around the corner, one which is predicted to bring over a billion users together by 2025.
Gregory’s focus is global brand activation. He is responsible for helping companies create through-the-line engagement strategies and true omni-channel delivery. Today, he works to build bridges between content, data, technology and live experiences, helping brands make deeper connections with a growing generation of digital customers.