OnQ Blog

5G use cases and you: Socializing and Shopping [video]

Your life is about to change.

That’s the reality of 5G. And for years, we’ve been working on the breakthrough technologies — like mobilizing mmWave — that are making it happen.

5G is poised to spur innovation and improve the way you go about your everyday life. Put simply: We believe your experiences with wireless technology will be more social, more mobile, more immersive — not to mention much faster. With 5G’s lightning-fast speeds, network capacity is virtually unlimited and latency is so low, it seems nonexistent.

So far, we’ve explained what 5G is and how mmWave will play a large role in it. Now, we’re delving deeper into what’s possible with 5G. We’re looking at how we do “things” now and what those scenarios may look like in the near future. First up: socializing and shopping. Just as capabilities like live streaming transformed our mobile experiences on 4G, we’ll explore the way technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) can combine with 5G to make the unimaginable your new reality.

The evolution of socializing

Today, when you’re looking for reviews of restaurants in your neighborhood, you turn on location settings and a search can reveal places nearby, listed by rating or distance from where you’re standing. And after choosing a restaurant, you might pull up a separate map app that gives you directions to the restaurant. 

With 5G, this experience is simplified — by a lot. Hold up your 5G-powered phone to scan your surroundings. As nearby restaurants appear on your phone’s screen, the eateries’ cuisine information, ratings, customer reviews, and directions pop up in real time on screen, making it easier for you to satisfy your latest craving. 

How is this happening? Essentially, your phone is capturing full resolution video of your environment and sending that information to the cloud. The higher the video resolution, the greater the accuracy — and the more bandwidth intensive. This is not an issue for 5G, as it’s able to support the bandwidth needed to make this possible. 

The other component necessary to make this a seamless experience is low latency. As the networks roll out over time, 5G’s extremely low latency means your phone can display those pop-ups almost immediately. When the captured data arrives in the cloud, 5G-powered computer vision is used to differentiate recommended restaurants from other buildings. After the data is processed, it’s sent back to your device where the integrated AR capabilities overlay the digital call-outs on your environment. 

Another user experience that 5G is designed to enable is multi-person shared story creation. Today, filming videos with your phone and sharing them is an autonomous task. If you’re at an event with family and friends — say, a vacation or wedding — everyone would share their photos and videos on their own social media pages. There’s no real-time collaboration, where everyone can edit the same video or add filters on the same photo at the same time. If you wanted to see them all in one place, everyone would need to include a unique hashtag in their posts, and even then, the media wouldn’t be presented as a combined project.

With 5G, you’ll be able to bring people (and their photos and videos) together through collaborative storyboards. Multiple creators could share and edit their photos and videos at the same time, and in real time. Imagine going on a weekend trip to the Catskills with friends: Everyone will be able to edit and contribute their snaps and clips to a shared story.

This use case requires faster data speed, low latency, and high capacity, all of which 5G enables. Videos are bandwidth-intensive, but with 5G, sharing them is a cinch. Real-time editing can slow down the collaborative process, but because of 5G’s data speeds and capacity, there won’t be a lag when your friends add filters, crop photos, or trim videos. AI can also play a role in your next collaborative project — your 5G device will be able to recognize your friends and family, and recommend splicing photos and videos of them together.

The evolution of shopping

When you’re on the hunt for a new couch, shopping for one can be an ordeal. Before purchasing it — online or in person — you need to decide on placement, measure the space you’d need it to fill, and imagine how it would look with your other furniture and decor.

5G connectivity can streamline the process. With your 5G smartphone, you won’t need to pull out your tape measure or guess if the couch you’re eyeing in the store matches your coffee table or the color of your rug. Simply download detailed specs from a retailer, and use your phone to view a 3D model of it where you’re imagining it. You’ll be able to see if the couch has found its new home.

How? Your 5G-powered smartphone camera would work with its on-device AI to measure the dimensions of your room to ensure the couch fits. Rajan Patel, the Senior Director of Engineering at Google Augmented Reality, used Google Lens to demonstrate this scenario at our 2018 Snapdragon Tech Summit. He showed how vital 5G’s speeds are in order to download the furniture “assets” quickly. AR technology then provides the necessary glimpse of how the couch will look, superimposing the virtual object, complete with relevant specs, on your environment. As for whether you reach for the credit card, that’s on you.

The next wave of wireless tech

We’ve developed the foundational technologies for 5G, as well as AR and AI, that allow our customers to innovate new and exciting mobile experiences like these. From socializing to shopping, we believe 5G will improve our lives, making everyday tasks — both known and some not yet imagined — easier, more enjoyable, and more immersive. 

Stay tuned for additional posts in this series on 5G-powered use cases that focus on creating, communicating, gaming, and watching. 

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