A much-hyped network upgrade called “5G” means different things to different people.
To industry proponents, it’s the next huge innovation in wireless internet. To the U.S. government, it’s the backbone technology of a future that America will wrestle with China to control. To many average people, it’s simply a mystery.
What, exactly, is 5G wireless — and will you even notice when it comes online?
5G is a new technical standard for wireless networks — the fifth, naturally — that promises faster speeds; less lag, or “latency,” when connecting to the network; and the ability to connect many devices to the internet without bogging it down. 5G networks will ideally be better able to handle more users, lots of sensors and heavy traffic.
Before we can all use it, wireless companies and phone makers have to upgrade. Phones need new chips and
When you think of wireless technologies, the ones that come to mind first have taken years to become household names — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and 4G — while others have faded into the ether of technical jargon. It’s fair to be skeptical when a new technology arrives alongside claims that it’s going to be huge, so when Samsung proclaimed this morning that a long-nascent technology called Ultra-Wideband (UWB) is “the next big thing in wireless tech,” I might normally shrug it off as typical industry hype.
But despite prior commercialization challenges, there’s reason to believe that Ultra-Wideband technology will indeed be a big deal. Using radio waves, the wireless technology promises to enable any object with a UWB chip to be located within 4-12 inches (10 to 30 centimeters) of its actual location, compared with prior technologies measured in feet or yards. Moreover, UWB can be used to facilitate short-range
The news about VR touch is becoming a torrent of verbosity. We’re now talking about full body haptics, stable haptics, room-scale haptics and “much more”.
So what is this really all about, you ask sweetly from your bunker? Essentially it’s transferring an equivalent sense of touch to a VR object, at this point. This is another sensory interface, much like creating media for sight and sound.
The inevitable first frontier for haptic tech is of course gaming. The commercial buzz is unmistakeable and getting louder. This is big, and getting bigger on a daily basis. Haptics in some form are even coming to PlayStation controllers. Predictably enough, the theme is immersion, as though gamers weren’t immersed by definition.
(It’ll be interesting to see if lazy game developers and marketers do anything about making haptic games more reliable and less infuriating than current games. Crashes, no-saves, etc. are the usual fodder