5G will unleash the power of enterprise AR (Reader Forum)
Consumer marketing of 5G feels ubiquitous right now. While the advantages of 5G are certain to eventually deliver significant benefits to consumer devices, applications, and the people who use them, enterprise customers will be first to leverage the significant advantages of 5G.
The ecosystem of edge computing, new devices that support 5G like iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy, and expanding 5G coverage will create a tipping point for an enterprise cellular market that will become as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi. And AR applications will be the poster child that demonstrates the value of 5G.
The sprawling footprints of industrial organizations are tailor made for 5G. High-speed cellular coverage will be available throughout dispersed industrial environments which simply can’t be served via Wi-Fi alone. 5G cellular connectivity for field-based use cases, including AR platforms that help frontline workers keep complex machinery in good working order, will be rapidly adopted.
There are also many enterprises that have not deployed wireless infrastructure for cost or security reasons. The recent adoption of mobile digital tools by frontline workers to perform daily tasks makes 5G a valuable investment for these organizations. Deployment of 5G may be easier and deliver more functionality than new Wi-Fi in many instances.
A solution needed today
Adopting AR platforms has become an absolute necessity in 2020 and beyond as COVID-19 has caused a monumental disruption for enterprises, impacting both the health of employees and the operational capabilities of companies. AR’s ability to enable remote work, especially among frontline workers, makes the technology essential in today’s environment. And 5G is about to make AR systems faster, more secure, and even more resilient.
Yet, COVID is only the latest in a recurring series of disruptions we anticipate having a negative impact on industrial operations. In fact, the only constant in business is the inevitability of more disruption. Executives are turning to technologies like AR to make their companies more resilient and more capable of handling future disruptions. And 5G is the network solution that will enable these new platforms to reach their full potential.
Maximizing expertise within organizations is also an enterprise priority supported by AR and optimized by 5G. When new staff is hired, there’s a natural lack of knowledge and experience that must be overcome. Using AR platforms to capture the knowledge of seasoned experts and distribute it to new staff, regardless of location, will greatly benefit organizations.
Content is always king and this holds true for AR enterprise applications. 5G’s throughput capabilities will deliver real-time access to the rich media required by enterprise AR applications: from step-by-step video instruction walking frontline staff through complex repair procedures, to holograms that will enable delivery of the robust content that will exponentially increase the value of enterprise AR.
5G will enable a new level of communication, maximizing the capability of advanced AR solutions to share voice, video, and augmented content in real time. The ability of 5G networks to enable two-way video, real-time remote guidance, and access to intelligent cloud solutions where repositories of knowledge are stored, will empower less-experienced workers to safely, efficiently, and thoroughly complete complex tasks right at the machine.
When it comes to AR applications, the need for exceptional throughout is paramount. Advanced AR applications like Manifest from Taqtile are designed for real-time collaboration between remote experts and on-premise frontline staff. Advanced communication tools, like streamed video with virtual ink overlays, hologram sharing, even eye tracking, require the superior throughput 5G delivers.
The most practical AR systems include access to video content that must be seamless. Latency and bottlenecks degrade the video experience and could ultimately lead to the underutilization of AR systems. 5G is the answer, with a distributed architecture that brings computing power to the edge of the network, decreases latency, and provides dedicated bandwidth delivered precisely at the points where and when enterprises need them.
5G provides numerous technologies that will dramatically increase the value of 5G to the enterprise. An excellent example is network slicing – the allocation of dedicated bandwidth to mission-critical applications, ensuring other less important applications cannot take up valuable bandwidth during periods of high network traffic. This capability is also highly useful to prevent downtime of essential equipment during a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.
The integration of AR with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies will be greatly enhanced by 5G, bolstering the incorporation of sensors into legacy equipment. The benefits will be significant, providing transparency of information for frontline workers by enabling them to directly and securely access data from any on-site location.
5G will also reduce latency, which may have a critical impact for IIoT, especially for sensors monitoring the processes and status of machines where milliseconds matter, such as the prevention of industrial accidents that can damage equipment and harm workers. 5G will enable the deployment and connection of more sensors, providing more data for machine learning to help inform preventative-maintenance tasks.
5G also ushers in a new era of network security. Advances in measures for device authentication, encryption of user traffic between devices and the network, and additional security protocols provide a level of security robustness required by many enterprises.
Ride the 5G wave
Makers of advanced AR applications will immediately benefit from 5G. Industries ranging from manufacturing to military installations will leverage the flexibility, reliability, and adaptability of 5G technology. Consumer applications of 5G may be the sizzle, but enterprises investing in AR applications are getting the steak.