Five 5G and AR/VR Applications That Are Socially Safe

Overview The establishment and commercialization of 5G networks have spurred new developments in the world of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies, with the low latency and faster network speeds powering opportunities for live, interactive experiences.

Non-contact solutions have gained popularity while the coronavirus outbreak has prompted many to adopt social distancing, and the partnership of 5G and AR/VR can provide practical applications across a variety of industries.


Healthcare from a Distance

From connected ambulances to medical imaging, high-bandwidth healthcare needs can be made possible with 5G and AR/VR collaboration.

Particularly during the current health crisis, telehealth applications have seen a rise in use, and 5G can further advance the field. For surgical needs, anatomical renderings that can be viewed from every angle through AR/VR goggles can help better train and prepare doctors. For emotional and mental therapy, AR/VR exposure therapy applications are also made more effective with 5G, which reduces lag time and creates a more realistic and immersive experience for the user.


New Museum: Your Living Room

Virtual reality allows users to tour museums from the comfort of their own home, providing a chance to be up close and personal with artifacts.

The fast transmission of data with 5G enables high-definition imaging that can show minute details of historical items from any angle.


A Game Changer

As advice to stay at home continues, streaming and gaming are seeing an uptick in use. For gamers, the quality of the game is not only about the speed of the connection, but also the latency and stability.

For those who are in an AR or VR gaming experience, 5G can make the difference between a realistic and immersive game and one that is frustrating ­— and potentially stomach-turning. In gaming competitions — particularly ones where participants are not on the same network — even a millisecond can be significant.


Scoring the Best Seat in the Arena

In 2018, Verizon put 5G-powered AR/VR experiences into action. The team streamed a live, stereoscopic in-stadium experience at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Later in the year, NBA players tested 5G-enabled AR/VR goggles that streamed live video in real time, allowing them to test catching a ball and making a shot while still wearing the goggles.

Live sports events may have to take place without in-person spectators for the near future, and such applications can give fans close-up, front row seats to their favorite sporting events without being in the stadium.


Be Whomever You Want While in a Meeting

5G-powered AR/VR applications are also expanding into the work-from-home environment, creating exciting, new meeting places for colleagues to hold important work conversations or happy hours.

Two companies recently met through a virtual space to sign an important agreement from different countries, and CES exhibitor Spatial developed a solution that allows users to meet and collaborate as avatars.

With 5G, AR/VR uses can soon expand into outdoor environments away from steady Wi-Fi signals. In building designs, wayfinding and more, 5G-enabled AR/VR applications can create more efficient and immersive experiences.

Read Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® President and CEO Gary Shapiro’s thoughts on how 5G can help during COVID-19.

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