With 5G technology, extended reality works for businesses

In a year in which “being there” suddenly became a dangerous notion, “being there practically” has intervened as the new normal. But restrictions on 2-D interaction have emerged as a major source of frustration.

However, 5G can provide a solution by recovering this third dimension through 3D video, virtual and augmented reality (VR / AR) and this deeper mix of the real world and virtual reality in mixed reality (MR). Collectively, these different but related technologies are known as extended reality (XR).

Exploration of immersive perspectives

Mixed reality and real-time three-dimensional video allow for a wealth of new retail experiences, such as allowing customers to view new furniture by superimposing an image on their interiors before making the purchase decision. Similarly, within a physical store, the customer could be presented with an expanded reality experience to see products that are not necessarily displayed. For a retail industry where the pandemic has severely affected brick and mortar sales, adding this additional dimension could help them recover.

Mixed reality also allows us to visit new places and interact with our surroundings in ways we never would have thought possible, providing a welcome getaway. Theaters, art museums and national parks are among the places exploring new ways to welcome audiences and virtual visitors. As an example, one of the participants in the Spring 2121 T-Mobile Accelerator immersive technology program is Condense Reality, a UK-based startup that combines computer vision with deep learning to capture and stream realistic 3D representations of events. such as live. sports matches: to MR headphones and virtual communities within the games.

Another company participating in the Accelerator program, Everysight, has created AR smart glasses to enhance the sporting experience of cyclists, triathletes and other athletes. It now aims to expand RA’s offering to new applications. The capabilities of the glasses range from augmented navigation to sharing the video travel experience.

Fostering startups involved in XR and immersive technologies is a key area of ​​focus for T-Mobile. In addition to the spring program, the accelerator was recently expanded in collaboration with Georgia Tech and Peachtree Corners ’Curiosity Lab to create the 5G Connected Future incubator program. Here, the training of MR employees appears prominently among the 5G use cases that are being developed.

Improving employee skills

In the business environment, the use of RA can be a great improvement in employee training in new procedures, as it guides them through realistic training scenarios. On an ongoing basis, they can also help workers perform complex tasks in the field by replacing manuals with images of work environments that are augmented with instructions.

Taqtile, a recent graduate of the 5G Open Innovation Lab – a program co-founded by T-Mobile – is one of the companies that creates RA solutions for desktop workers who can make it possible. By superimposing visual instructions on the relevant equipment, it allows technicians using AR headphones to view virtual service checklists, perform routine maintenance, and troubleshoot remote assistance. T-Mobile’s high-capacity 5G network that uses mid-band spectrum is key to providing fast responses that allow for a realistic feel of the experience. In a recent blog post, John Saw, T-Mobile’s executive vice president of advanced and emerging technologies, described how Taqtile’s technology was being used by technicians updating T-Mobile’s own network. In the energy industry similar technology is used to inspect turbines and pipes at power plants. People working in health, agriculture, construction, retail, manufacturing and transportation also don’t work far behind the counters and benefit from developments in RA technology.

And it’s easy to see how an RA approach could also be used in training in these sectors. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, for example, how additional pressure on hospitals has raised the need for healthcare professionals to quickly learn new skills.

Change the game with multisensory experiences

In the future, other senses such as touch and smell can be harnessed to create experiences that can be difficult to distinguish from reality. The use of haptics, the science of tactile communication, 5G finally offers us the possibility of transmitting a physical sense of touch without excessive lag. This would make a big difference, for example, in remote surgery, as the surgeon would be able to detect subtle changes in tissue density when making an incision. In heavy industry as well, operators who use cobs to handle bulky components could work much more efficiently with realistic tactile feedback without latency.

As perfume developers and wine tasters can demonstrate, smells can also be defined in terms of a set of notes, and it may soon be possible for these to be “sniffed” digitally and recreated elsewhere. With multisensory XR, the virtual presence can become almost indistinguishable from the actual experience.

Extended reality, improved business

The forced shift to COVID-19 has meant that companies are pivoting to find better ways to collaborate virtually and increase efficiency and productivity in a remote workforce. Sectors as diverse as retail, utilities, engineering-based manufacturing, and healthcare are areas where 5G-powered XR can have a positive business impact.

Regardless of the industry, 5G nationwide lays the groundwork for companies to build what comes next. From more efficient field operations to smarter cities, see what the future of 5G might look like and why it’s important to choose the right network provider.

5G: A capable device is required; coverage is not available in some areas. Although access to 5G does not require a specific plan or function, some uses / services may be required. See Open Internet coverage details, terms and conditions, and information for network management information (such as video optimization) at T-Mobile.com.

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