Tuesday April 16, 2019 0 comments
By Thomas Frey
The race to 5G is heating up.
Telecom companies are racing against other telecom companies, cities competing with other cities, and even countries are battling against other countries in a rush to be the best.
5G is the next-generation communication network that has been christened by the media hype machine with phrases like “world-changing,” “quantum leap,” and “this will change everything” to describe what lies ahead.
When it comes to speed, 5G will offer speeds that far exceed those of 4G. Currently, 4G currently offers download speeds of 100Mbps, about five times the speed of 3G. But 5G will offer speeds up to 100Gbps or faster.
However, 5G isn’t just about speed. It’s about pervasiveness, capacity, durability, dimensionality, intelligent machines, privacy, security, trust, ethics, tons of new standards, and finding new ways to transform our own human experience.
Through the magic of our continually improving networks, we will be adding formidable computing muscle at technology’s edge, turbo-boosting the capability of every IoT sensor, blockchain transaction, payment device, and interface dashboard.
With this brief introduction, I will take you on a journey through an industry-by-industry brainstorming session to better illustrate how this seemingly minor advancement will likely blindside everyone in business, and more specifically, those in key leadership roles.
To be sure, some of the things on the following list are already being experimented with or happening on a limited scale, but the coming decade will see 5G unfold in ways hard to imagine.
Here are 88 examples designed to tease your imagination:
Future of the banking industry
How will our use of currency change in 10, 20, or 30 years? Will we be using cryptocurrencies, national currencies, or a combination of both? What other ways can today’s existing branch banks be leveraged into profitable enterprises? Will our existing banking industry discover those new uses before it starts closing their doors?
Here are a few of the potential 5G changes coming down the pike:
- Passwords will disappear
- ATMs will be replaced by smartphones
- Identity management will become a core discipline taught in every school
- Cash will dwindle to a fraction of its use today
- Driverless mobile banks will replace most existing branch banks
- Virtual tellers will replace most human tellers
- Car loans will all but disappear
- Automated micro-loans will become banking’s new profit center
Future of agriculture
The agriculture industry is teetering on the edge of a data-revolution. Both food and ag-grown products will have rapidly shifting supply chains with real-time data streams highlighting every swing in consumer preference.
- Real-time monitoring of crops with a continuous feed of plant, soil, and yield analytics
- Macro warning systems cautioning farmers about encroaching diseases, insects, weather fronts, etc.
- AR visual scanning of crops to detect problems
- Individual plant-health monitoring systems will enable a more granular look into problem areas
- Lab-grown (clean) meats will emerge as a sophisticated hi-tech approach to food production
- Livestock tags will allow for visual AR screening and analysis of animals
- Pest deterrent devices will incorporate an AI system to experiment with offensive frequencies and preventative approaches until the correct one is found to effectively create a protective dome over a field
- Most farm-grown produce, grains, nuts, and other crops will be date-tagged, geo-tagged, and chemical tagged chemical-tagged in a blockchain database to give consumers a more informed choice.
Future of healthcare
For sick people in rural areas, with doctors located many miles away, traveling long distances to find a doctor can be rough. This will change as virtual healthcare becomes more common. With remote in-home examining systems, doctors are only are only a Skype or Zoom call away. They will even be able to monitor analytics, write prescriptions, and manage patient responses when needed.
- Virtual doctors will become far more affordable and engage-able around the world
- Blockchain patient records with necessary privacy encryption will enable transmission of huge data files in seconds
- Emergency surgeries, overseen by doctors but performed by non-doctors, will become common around the world
- Interactive virtual training for doctors and nurses will be conducted around the world
- Full-body health scans will give rise to real-time holographic monitoring of surgeries, heart-scans, liver-scans, digestive system-scans, and more
- Nano-scanning to the molecular level will soon be possible
- Language translation services will enable doctors and nurses to work with patients who don’t speak the same language
- Wearable AI-based health monitors will become common, and far more sophisticated over time
Future of dating
Forming new human relationships has always been challenging, especially when people find themselves surrounded by unfamiliar people in unfamiliar surroundings.
- Single people will have the opportunity to monitor a compatibility app to discover those nearby who share similar interests
- Jewelry such as rings and bracelets will use glowing colors to signal types and ranges of compatibility
- AR glasses will offer the wearer a visual preview and detailed background to set the stage for any future encounter
- Since language has been a huge barrier, sophisticated new translation systems will enable people to cross cultural and language barriers with ease
- Point and call smartphones will enable people to place a call to anyone currently visible to them
- Automated appearance evaluation systems will allow you to scan yourself before you go out on the town, rate your overall appearance, and make recommendations to increase your score
- Companies will offer driverless speed-dating cars for quick 5-minute get-to-know-you rides across town
- New forms of virtual dating that employ a variety of teledildonic devices will take tech romances to a whole new level
Future of insurance
Insurance is the fine art of mitigating damage to a perceived risk. While emerging technology will reduce risk in certain areas, it will also increase risk in others. At the heart of every insurance policy is a customer making a calculated decision to hedge his or her bets against the probability of disaster. 5G will offer companies the ability to automate probability curves in real time, significantly reducing transaction costs, and opening the door for micro policies that have never been profitable in the past.
- Automation will enable the creation and monitoring of micro warranties and micro policies in thousands of niche areas previously deemed unprofitable
- Situational risk assessment systems will be monitored in real-time
- Automated holographic full-body scan security systems will replace “showing an ID”
- Rapid-response drone scanning of households, vehicles, and businesses will take place following every claim
- Specially designed drones will conduct client interviews, analyze damage, and issue payment within minutes of someone filing a claim
- Increased use of blockchain will enable companies to better assess personal ownership networks and changing valuations in real time
- A number of new robot insurance policies will be designed to cover the multi-dimensionality of robot uses
- Life-mapping as a process will be used for uncovering a person’s risk patterns
Future of transportation
As I’ve said many times, driverless technology will be the most disruptive technology in all history. Virtually every job related to the automotive industry will be affected in some way. Parking lots, garages, traffic cops, traffic courts, gas stations, tire shops, emissions testing, drivers licenses, traffic cones, weigh stations, guardrails, stoplights, and DUIs will all begin to disappear. At the same time, we will be creating new businesses and new jobs at an unprecedented rate.
- Super Contextualizer – Expanded awareness of the environments surrounding every vehicle
- Car-to-car communications (ground-based mesh networks)
- Drone-to-drone communications (flying mesh networks)
- Car to drone communications
- Driverless mobile businesses
- Driverless mobile classrooms
- Driverless mobile daycare
- Driverless mobile medical diagnostics
Future of education
Education continues to be the largest opportunity in the online world where no one has quite cracked the code. By 2030, the largest company on the Internet will be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet.
- Virtual apprenticeships for job positions that employ the use of rare or expensive equipment
- Situational testing where candidates are examined during their normal daily routine as they face real life challenges
- Virtual sensory reducers will help students manage their distractions
- Brain stimulators will become commonplace to momentarily amp up a person’s cranial inputs
- Virtual involvement training apps will offer a new kind of learning experience
- Gamified micro-credit systems will give people additional credits for the way they handle specific situations
- New micro-learning processes will be gamified with rewards to help those in need of job-ready skills
- Sensory enhancement helmets will make you the protagonist of your own hero’s journey
Future of retail
Most of our current retail is in the process of transitioning to experience-based engagements. Naturally, consumers are in control. They decide what to buy, where to buy, when to buy, and how much they’re willing to pay. In a super connected world, where information is ﬂuid and transparent, retailers will become actively engaged in the global conversation. If not, their customers will begin the conversations without them. Physical stores are not going away any time soon, but the value they add to their communities and the variety of products they offer will remain in transition for the foreseeable future.
- Click-and-buy selling on-the-street will employ the use of live models to draw attention to products, encouraging consumers to simply scan-click-and-buy
- Drone docking – drones delivery to driverless cars while still in transit
- Drone docking – drone package delivery for homes
- AR visual purchase history of every customer as they walk in
- Physical signage will be replaced with holographic projected signage
- Growing market for digital objects that customers will use for display purposes such as virtual statues, room decorations, and table ornaments
- Growing market for legacy portfolios comprised of videos, holograms, images, podcasts, and more
- Well-choreographed holographic buying events such as auctions, countdown sales, flash sales, and more
Future of entertainment
Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward. Somewhere in that phrase is the human need for entertainment. Every thought we think is creating our future, but we won’t be able to understand it until it’s over. So go out and do something impressive today that your future self will thank you for later.
- Improved visitor tracking with super granular real-time analytics
- Stadium size holographic displays will give rise to entire new genres of art
- Virtual vacations will become far more relaxing and engaging than real vacations
- Huge markets will develop for “life art” with live video feeds of things happening in real time or delayed time in cities around the world
- Macro projection systems will turn increasingly large venues, such as stadiums, neighborhoods, and entire cities, into live performance art locations
- Super choreographed drone dropping of fireworks events
- E-sports will become the world’s largest sports-related industry
- Gamified citizenship will be both entertaining and super invasive
Future of work, jobs and employment
Will we run out of work for the world? Of course not! Nothing is more preposterous than to somehow proclaim the human race no longer has any work to do. But having paid jobs to coincide with the work that needs to be done, and developing the skills necessary for workers to perform this future work is another matter. That said, 5G will be a significant driver in the area of new job creation.
- Drone command centers to manage fleets of drones
- Search engines for the physical world will expand our abilities far beyond that of searching our existing information world
- Introduction of mini-airports to support a growing air taxi industry
- Drone fleets to create near-real-time digital models of a city will improve over time, and cities will leverage this in a variety of ways
- Drone surveillance as a service
- Home-based fulfillment operations with driverless delivery of goods that need to be processed, repackaged, and reshipped
- Holographic advertising – designers, installers, and experience creators
- Personal heat signatures – analyzers, researchers, and monitors
- Global system architects will be the people that develop entirely new systems for the world
- Privacy managers and consultants will be those who assess, strategize, and manage a person’s privacy
- Shareability Auditors – People who analyze homes and businesses for shareable assets
- Automation Auditors – Assessing what parts, processes, and systems can be automated
- 3Dimensionalists – Those with an innate ability to problem-solve three dimensionally
- Digital Personality Designers – Talking back and forth to a computer that has a machine-like voice is boring, but being able to download specific “personality packages” into your devices will add an entirely new level of engagement
- Smart Contact Lens App Developers – Smart contact lens superimpose information on the wearer’s field of view, and wearers will want to incorporate a wide range of capabilities
- Octogenarian Service Providers – As the population continues to age we will have record numbers of people living into their 80s, 90s, and 100s. This mushrooming group of active oldsters will provide a demand for goods and services currently not being addressed in today’s marketplace
In much the same way that the 1985 Apple LaserWriter gave birth to desktop publishing, and the 2010 MakerBot’s Thing-O-Matic 3D printer gave birth to desktop manufacturing, a world filled with 5G will give birth to hundreds of thousands of new products, systems, and desktop industries.
Next-gen precision farm equipment, coupled with crop sensors, will mean farmers getting instant updates on how their fields are doing, allowing them or even their autonomous equipment to respond when problems first appear, and faster than ever before.
When they add drones to their toolbox, any situation suddenly has its own rapid response team and crops can be watered when needed and animals fed on time, while the farmer works more like a conductor conducting an orchestra than a grease money buried up to his or her elbows trying to fix a problem.
But farmers are not alone. 5G will add new tools to the toolbox for every doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse, designer, engineer, dentist, CEO, and business owner. Every combination of sensors, robots, automated equipment, and unique devices will unleash a new wave of opportunity that we will soon need to manage.
But your future is all about you, and I’m sure I’ve missed many of the future technologies that you’ll be interested in. I’ve only scratched the surface of this continually evolving idea-scape.
If you have additional ideas, please feel free to add to the conversation as every new pixel on the masterpiece of life will help us build a better future together.