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Qualcomm teams up with The New Yorker to explain 5G and its impact on VR, IoT, and AI

The next generation of connectivity is just around the corner. 5G is making its commercial debut in 2019, enabling faster speeds and new, immersive experiences — the likes of which we’ve never seen.

What exactly does this mean for you and me? To give people a better understanding of (and get them excited for) the next mobile revolution, we joined forces with The New Yorker to explore the different ways 5G technologies engineered by Qualcomm Technologies will deliver on the promise of virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). For this project (our third with the venerable publication), together we developed “How Things Work,” a video series that features veteran cartoonist Emily Flake and Qualcomm experts who specialize in each of the aforementioned fields. Coupled with our subject matter experts, Flake translates complex topics into simple, relatable ways to understand how 5G will inspire entire new sets of experiences and use cases.

“Each video in this series gives you a glimpse into one use case, demonstrating how it will come to life through 5G,” said Liya Sharif, the Head of Global Brand for Qualcomm Technologies. “We want to show how 5G will accelerate innovation, and how Qualcomm is helping fuel this new era.”

Using cartoons to explain technology

The New Yorker’s cartoons are an iconic medium for storytelling, which is why the publication thought they’d be an effective and visually captivating way to inspire its readers and show how specific experiences will be transformed by 5G. From there, the concept was spun into a video series that centers on a live drawing session by talented cartoonist Emily Flake. While interviewing experts from Qualcomm, she created cartoons specific to each 5G use case. We specifically chose to focus on VR, IoT, and AI for “How Things Work” because these applications will be the first to be impacted by 5G-connected smartphones.

“Emily is a great storyteller. She’s incredibly smart about taking what can be a complicated technology and translating it into something relatable,” Sharif said. “She also has a great personality. She’s very engaging and someone you want to watch.”

Combining Flake’s artistry and Qualcomm’s expertise, the series touts an underlying theme: 5G technologies invented by Qualcomm will be pivotal to new experiences and transform how we connect, compute, and communicate.

5G and VR

With 5G, VR experiences will be greatly transformed, thanks to faster speeds and low latency. The next generation of connectivity and compute (the Wireless Edge) will also enable room-scale VR, a technology that uses specialized cameras to capture events and allows you to move freely around in a room instead of being constrained to a single viewing position. Using a concert as an example, Flake and our subject matter expert discussed how this type of footage could be rendered in 5G VR headsets, allowing users to feel as if they’re actually there.

5G and IoT

Smart homes, smart cars, smart cities — the world will become more and more connected, thanks to 5G and our connectivity tech. IoT devices will be able to speak to one another, working together to make your life easier. To communicate this, Flake derived from her conversation with our subject matter expert how IoT devices could program tasks and interact with other devices, like a smart oven connecting with a smartwatch.

5G and AI

In the near future, 5G and AI will go hand-in-hand when it comes to real-time language translation and other future applications. Flake shows how we’ll be able to “speak” 6,499 languages thanks to a Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform, on-device AI algorithms, and a device, such as a speaker or smartphone. With all of these components working in concert, we’ll be able to converse with nearly anyone in the world.

With Qualcomm as a leader in mobile advancements, the world will continue to leap forward. Soon, technologies like VR, IoT, and AI will be bolstered by 5G, ushering a new era of innovation — one that enables new ways for us to interact with our devices, transforms industries, and enriches lives.   

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.