5G is Set to Change AR and VR
In today’s digital age where the reliance on quick and available information at hand is of the utmost importance, the way on how we gain access to that information will no doubt be a major factor to the continual growth of society and industry in the world. Almost every country can see the importance of communications technology with respect to growth and economy. Taking this into perspective, the efficiency, capacity and effectiveness of the existing telecommunications network will be a major determinant on how well a nation can operate on a day to day basis.
Currently, wireless communications are based on what is termed as the Fourth Generation platform. These are basically a bunch of radio frequencies which are being used by communication and computing devices to transfer data to and fro using the Internet as the core operating network. The internet uses both wired and wireless connectivity and the current wireless 4G platform is plagued with high latency (or Lag) and slow speeds. 4G operates within the 2-8 Ghz radio frequency range and despite being in use for some time still leaves much to be desired in terms of speed, capacity and efficiency.
Enter 5G a newer platform in the process of being implemented. 5G which uses a way much higher frequency range than 4G is a way lot faster and can carry more data. It operates in the Micro-Millimeter Wavelength (MMW) which is from around 30-300 Ghz. The thing about higher frequencies is that though they can contain way more information their wavelengths are far shorter. This means that they can only travel shorter distances but they're also a way lot faster.
The problem is, because of the short distance it can travel, a way lot more antennas will be needed on a line-of-sight proximity to each other for the 5G radio signals to bridge between the antennas to get where they need to go. This can be facilitated with what is called as small-cell antennas. Also, higher frequencies tend to be easily blocked by natural objects and other man-made structures so a clear line to each antenna needs to be established. The advantage is the speed, capacity and the low latency of the frequencies used. This alone can make up for a lot in terms of super fast data transfer.
Both AR and VR devices rely on the internet in many ways. AR, however, is more dependent on quick data transfer as it works in conjunction with mobile telecommunications devices like your phone or tablet. Even Apple's currently being developed new AR Glasses was announced to work in conjunction with one’s iPhone. VR, on the other hand, relies more on stored data on a tethered PC or on the HMD itself as in the case of both the Oculus Quest and Go. In most current applications for both AR and VR, all the computing and needed data is found on the phone or the HMD itself. This is with the current slow and lag ridden 4G platform.
If 5G is deployed and put into place, it will change a lot of things. The speed afforded to the device-to-device data transfer will be tremendous. Reducing Lag to such a huge extent will make communications instantaneous. 4G has a standard 50 millisecond delay while 5G has only one millisecond. That's FAST. This speed will make Cloud computing very very feasible. Why do the computing and data storage on your VR HMD or AR device when you can have it done on a cloud server and transferred instantly to-and-from that which you are using. With 5G, this will be the common norm. This will lead to the mainstream acceptance and use of AR and VR as well.
This is how 5G will change the way both AR and VR will be used. Well, maybe more in AR where pertinent quick info is much more needed. Gaming, however, is another thing as people nowadays tend to store their games or game copies on their device instead of having to access the cloud even if it's fast. Internet and network gaming, however, will be another thing as it will no doubt fall under 5G. More capacity, network reliability, cloud computing power and near instantaneous data transfer will give both AR and VR the ability to provide a way lot more powerful and immersive content.
5G as an electronic communication technology will no doubt create a large impact in terms of technological and industrial growth at a Global scale. However, there is a small catch and a heavy reason as to why many people in both the health and scientific communities are opposed to it's current deployment. Rambling about the benefits of 5G without giving at least a warning to its cons would be moral irresponsibility so here goes, and you can take it with a grain of salt.
5G needs more testing and safety certification before ever being deployed. In fact, many argue that it should never be deployed at all. The 30-300Ghz Micro-Millimeter Wavelength has been scientifically observed to produce far more harmful effects to living tissue as compared to the already harmful 4G frequencies. MMW frequencies are the same ones used to cook food in your Micro-Wave oven. Micro- Wave is used as a weapon by the US Military and Micro Wave is dangerously harmful to the skin, the insides of a person and the tissues in one's brain. It may take time but being exposed to a beam of 5G transmissions 24/7, well, it doesn't take much to predict the effects.
Regardless, there will always be ways to make it safe if the industry responsible for 5G will take the effort to do so. Sadly, in today's commercialized world, profit is the main priority and the needed test and tweaking may be too costly just to make it certifiably safe. Many have mixed feelings with the use and implementation of 5G but let us hope that the matter will be resolved and concrete steps are taken to make its uses safe as possible for everyone.