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MWC - A vision of the future

Chris_K
O2 Social Media Team
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The last MWC post from me this year, but it's a good one!

MWC is a showcase of cutting edge technology, concepts and ideas. As a result of that, much of what I saw this year, though exciting, may not become reality for a few years or even decades. But looking at what was on show, and thinking about the current trends and news, here's what I think the future may look like. These are purely my thoughts and vision of what the future may look like - not O2's or Telefonica's.

Retail

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I imagine a typical shop having a fully transparent display as their shop window, where as you approach it, you'll see a profile image pop up with a brief message such as "Hey Chris... Lookin' good!", and a personal offer. Something like "Those Sony headphones you were interested in are on sale - £100 off this week only". In a world where the UK high street is disappearing, getting folk through the door is a big challenge and personalised offers while window shopping could be huge. 

Once through the door, I imagine a shop with staff there only to help you. No tills. No check outs. You pick up the items you want, put it in a bag (even your own), or even change into them, and then walk out. The intelligent camera and AI system will know what you took (or placed back) and charge you automatically.


Gaming & Entertainment

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I don't see a massive revolution here - more an evolution. Playing games online over 4G is in most cases more than sufficient for the majority of gamers out there - but if you wanted to play Call of Duty competitively on a laptop while waiting on your train, this currently isn't possible - 4G doesn't provide the low latency needed to be competitive, and Wifi often has bandwidth issues. With 5G however, ping times would likely be well under 10ms, giving a gamer the competitive edge.

With the likes of streaming, I see no change here. You can stream Netflix over 4G while out and about currently, so 5G won't change this. You may be able to download quicker for offline viewing, however, but that is more an evolution than revolution, as mentioned.


Transportation

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I can see this changing dramatically over the next 5-10 years, across the board. Starting with the obvious one, I can see driverless vehicles taking off, but I think it will be localised journeys and not hopping into a driverless taxi. Think about large retail complexes - I envision small buggies situated across the complex where you hop on, select the store you want to go to, and the buggy goes off on its merry way - driverless style. For cars itself, drink-driving could be eliminated by fitting cars with extremely sensitive breathalyser sensors that can detect your blood-alcohol levels (only the person in the driver seat) just by sitting in your seat and breathing normally. If you're over the limit, a message is displayed saying you can't drive legally, and then via 5G the car automatically orders an Uber to take you home.


For trains

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I think the improvement to customer experience is potentially massive. Trains are dreary places, and with the regular delays, cancellations and constantly increasing fares, the customer experience once on one can go a long way. I think a train of the future would include tables (and fold out ones) that have built-in wireless chargers. There will also be high speed, low latency wifi access for passengers, achieved with 5G. With the extra bandwidth available, you would see train companies offer on-board entertainment options that rival even the biggest and best airlines. And there would also be fully automated self serve snack & beverage trolleys - it'd go up and down the aisles and you'd stop it at your seat by waving at it as it passes. With sensors built-in, it'll know what items you remove - and then they just pay by tapping your phone to the trolley. The windows will also have smart displays embedded into them, telling you what stop you're at, what the next stop is, flashing an alert as you arrive to your station, displaying any weather warnings (or upcoming weather forecast for that day), display a news ticker.


For buses

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I think they could benefit from much of the same innovation and technology as envisioned above. Obviously since public buses don't have tables, wireless charging features could be implemented by means of having phone holders or pockets on each seat, then when inserted, will charge wirelessly. You'd get the same access to high speed wifi powered by 5G. Buses of the future will be largely driverless, but due to safety regulations will still include a driver who will oversee and monitor the AI performance and be there for any emergency situations. On the motorway, the AI would be disabled and the driver would take over.


Restaurants

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I'm going to use Wagamama here (one of my favourite restaurants) purely as an example to get my vision across... This is how ordering a meal in the next 5-10 years looks like... You enter the restaurant, tell a robot (or select on a tablet) how many are in your party, and the floor lights up to show directions to your table or seating area. Upon seating, the table lights up and turns into a full interactive menu - you tell it what mood you're in... Feeling like chicken, steak, or veggie? Feeling like rice, noodles or soup? Spicy or non-spicy? After answering some basic questions, you then get personalised suggestions. When I choose the steak teriyaki soba (awesome!), I can then choose to make it extra spicy (every. single. time.), and add or remove ingredients. Once I confirm my order, it gets beamed to the kitchen where real people make my food, and then arrives to my table by being lowered from the ceiling (robots overhead route the right food to the right person/table). Using AI and biometrics, upon leaving you are automatically charged via a UK/Global-wide payment system that had been setup.


Phone of the future

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Graphene technology will become prevalanent in mobile phones and thanks to this, and the natural advancements in technology, silicon and transister sizes, here's what a flagship phone in 2025 may look like:

  • Equivalent 10,000mAh battery. By 2025 we'll have moved away from Lithium-Ion and onto a new type of energy cell. Batteries will last 2-3 days on a charge, and take only 30-45min to charge fully - with zero heat transfer.
  • Phone bodies will become lighter and stronger, combining materials such as polycarbonite and graphene. As a result, phones will become lighter, but break less.
  • Camera sensors will include spectrometers and other bio-sensors that will allow you to for example, select the freshest fruit, estimate the freshness of milk & eggs, detect changes in skin colour and complexion to catch illnesses quickly, do an eye test using just your smartphone camera and screen
  • Display resolutions and PPI will become redundant specifications, replaced instead by colour accuracy, reproduction and vividness, and newer technology such as holographics, parallax 3D etc.
  • Performance will become powerful enough that many will use their smartphone as a full laptop or desktop replacement, with the ability to combine personal and work life on a single device (for good or bad), and easily connect it to displays in your home or work environment. Think Samsung DeX, but x1000.


So, what do you guys think the future looks like?
 Think I've been watching too much Altered Carbon on Netflix, or think some of these are likely to become reality in the next few years?


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TallTrees
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Hello @Chris_K 

 

Read your futuristic thoughts ~ interesting I seem to always see a "sweating human slave" somewhere behind all of that tech though!innocent

 



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liggerz87
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4g has come in handy when I didnt have broadband I used aka o2 to tether to xbox and it worked perfectly I was able to game and use xbox party no problems
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Chris_K
O2 Social Media Team
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@liggerz87 wrote:
4g has come in handy when I didnt have broadband I used aka o2 to tether to xbox and it worked perfectly I was able to game and use xbox party no problems

I too am guilty of this at times when my home broadband had gone down - and for the most part, yes, 4G is absolutely more than sufficient to support multiplayer gaming. However, if you play competitive FPS games such as Call of Duty, Apex or Siege, a <10ms ping on 5G versus a ~40+ms ping on 4G can make a huge difference.

Does anyone else have any other thoughts, ideas or visions for what the future might have in store for us?


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