How will 5G revolutionise the use of augmented reality?

Augmented reality is likely to undergo a major change as soon as 5G makes its appearance in our smartphones. This technology, which currently works on the principle of 4G, will decline as a result of the advances that 5G promises. Everyone's daily life is therefore likely to be impacted by these two technologies, which are present in more and more sectors of activity. 

The new 5G update

5G will be characterised by very high speed, being 10 times faster than 4G, and will essentially enable stable connections. In addition, with improved latency (the time it takes for data to be transmitted from the source to the recipient), remote interactions will be almost real-time. AR and VR experiences will therefore become increasingly seamless on very high speed mobile networks.

5G technology for augmented reality

5G will therefore be beneficial to the various augmented reality services:

Marketing : More and more companies are using augmented reality to boost their visibility. This is the case of the Ikea Place application which has proposed an immersive catalogue to replace their famous paper catalogue. However, this option reduces the quality of product viewing, but with the advance of 5G, it will be able to solve this lack of visibility when the person is not connected to Wi-Fi. Indeed, this immersion requires important data transfers which can be too heavy with the 4G network but not with the 5G one.

Training : In this sector of activity it is the diffusion of data on the helmet in augmented reality that will be facilitated thanks to the appearance of a 5G and the cloud that will be linked to it. There will be no need for dedicated training space. Some companies have already tested this type of learning, such as the electronics group Thales, which has connected a headset by a cable to a workstation. The training is therefore done through an immersive tutorial to repair objects. The training will thus be carried out indoors and outdoors and thus enable the learning sector to be dematerialised, interactive and above all freer.

Tourism : It is mainly travel agencies, hotels, airlines and cultural centres that are taking advantage of the commercial benefits of AR to provide their users with an immersive experience via a WiFi connection. The example of virtual tours for museums is a perfect example. Indeed, thanks to their 360° shots. They offer their visitors the possibility of viewing all their creations in 3D from their Wi-Fi connections, while following a predefined path set by the museum staff. But with 5G, the user will be able to take advantage of this speed to have 8K video resolutions without slowing down even when away from home.

Industry : This sector is very keen on this kind of technology, especially with the advent of 5G in augmented reality, which will enable technicians to see, for example, the operating status of a device. This is possible thanks to high-speed data processing. Remote control will therefore be possible thanks to the speed and quality offered by 5G.

Remote intervention : Some start-ups are taking advantage of the advance of 5G to work on a remote assistance system in the event of equipment malfunction. Indeed, their aim is to develop a video interface linking the maintenance professional to the customer on a mobile or tablet. The success of this project is essentially based on the principle of juxtaposing elements in the person's environment, as well as on the control of remote gestures at the right time and in the right place. This is a promising bet, thanks to 5G, which favours the fluidity of data exchanges and their resolution.

5G-reality-augmented

As Sylvain Fabre, Research Director at Gartner The implementation of 5G and AR and VR technologies in shops is expected to transform not only the customer experience, but the entire way brands manage the product lifecycle. 5G can optimise warehouse management, improve footfall analysis in shops, or enable the use of beacons that can communicate with customers' smartphones.