OnQ Blog

How 5G changes the way you game and communicate [video]

5G is here! It’s now reality, with devices, networks, and infrastructure rolling out with collaboration across the industry.

After a decade of developing the breakthrough technologies needed for the next generation of wireless, we unveiled the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, the world’s first commercial multi-gigabit 5G mobile platform. Now 5G devices will soon be in your hands.

Our new series about how 5G is poised to change our everyday lives has touched on everything from watching and collaborating to shopping and socializing. But that’s still just the tip of the iceberg. In our third post, we want to show you a few more of the 5G-enabled experiences we envision.

5G experiences — like the possibilities we sketch out in this series — are getting closer. Here’s a look at what that means for communicating and gaming.

The evolution of gaming

Mobile gaming is exploding in popularity. In 2017, 2.1 billion people worldwide played games on their mobile devices. This number is expected to rise to 2.7 billion by 2021.

The biggest hurdle to a seamless and more captivating gaming experience is latency. Games are all about reaction time, and just a slight delay can cause you to miss your shot in a first-person shooter game or mishandle a turn in a racing game. Latency is also one of the biggest obstacles in taking games to the next level of immersive experience. It’s so important that game developers started adding latency bars to game displays to show connection quality.

The industry is shifting to cloud gaming, as evidenced by Google’s announcement of its new cloud gaming service, Stadia, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week. There it became clear that improving latency is becoming an even greater priority. We also saw this shift in action recently at the Qualcomm booth at MWC Barcelona, where One Plus and OPPO demoed 5G multi-player cloud gaming, allowing attendees to play Ace Combat 7 and Soul Caliber VI, respectively, while the games streamed over live 5G connection.

5G is purpose-built to help the industry tackle this and even build upon its capabilities to offer new experiences. We expect that with latency improvements, lag will be a thing of the past in gaming. This is expected to take gaming to the next level by combining it with 5G and AR, giving us multiplayer mobile AR gaming.

Using only your smartphones, you and friends could play an AR paintball game that blends the real world with features of a virtual one. Just like in an actual paintball game that involves running around a field, you could scan the area in search of your friends — but you’d be firing off digital paintballs with just a tap of your screen. Aside from eliminating latency, 5G — coupled with AI — would make the experience immersive with rich graphics and more accurate movements. For example, after hitting a friend with a virtual paintball, you’d see it indent their clothing at the point of contact rather than just bounce off like it would in the less immersive games of the 4G era. Then the bright colors would vividly explode in real-time.

The evolution of communicating

Between texting, video chatting, social media, and more, there are countless ways to communicate today. But the plethora of options doesn’t come without issues. Many are at the mercy of latency, and global and cross-cultural communication remains hindered by language barriers even more than it does by distance. Real-time translation, for example, exists today, but not without limitations; latency is one of its key limiting factors.

5G’s ultra-low latency is intended to help solve these pain points, so more people can experience improved service and dependable communication.

With the powerful combination of 5G and AI, in addition to the Wireless Edge transformation, we believe you’ll be able to transcend language barriers and connect over video chat with virtually anyone anywhere — regardless of language or geographic location — faster. Intelligence is being pushed near or directly onto the edge of devices capable of powerful on-device processing. This enables this smart translation, which has the potential to be instant and virtually lag-free.

This could come to life with face mapping, for example, which could provide realistic lip sync to make it truly look — not just sound—as if the other person is speaking your language. Distant friends and families can feel closer than ever, and working across different time zones and cultures takes on a whole new dynamic.

The potential use cases detailed in this series will improve how we connect, compute, and communicate, but this is just a taste of what 5G is capable of. 5G is also opening the doors to brand new experiences and applications we can’t even conceive of yet, extending beyond just our smartphones to include virtually everything around us.

The 5G world will be full of industries transformed by IoT, including automotive, manufacturing, and more. Our technology and our lives will be smarter than ever before.

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