IMC 2018: A focus on the applications and use-cases of 5G in the future

From an autonomous car being driver from 10 km afar, to a village made smarter with simple tech, here’s what the day 2 at IMC 2018 had to show.

The second day of India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018 still left me hungry for some new gadgets, but today seemed more interactive when it came to understanding 5G.

While day 1 was purely about the government’s and telcos’ ambitious plans to rollout 5G by 2020, the second day concentrated on showcasing the use-case scenario of the technology. More practical, I likey!

India Mobile Congress.

India Mobile Congress.

Throughout the day, three things caught my eye the most. One was the virtual reality 5G gaming at Nokia, along with a demonstration of the difference between 4G and 5G speeds using robots. The second was Reliance Jio and Ericsson’s showcase of 5G using driverless car that was being operated from 10 km away. And the final was ‘Smartpur’, an entrepreneurial setup done by Nokia and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) India, to bring the most basic and essential, yet unavailable tech to villages.

Autonomous car and 5G

Reliance Jio and Ericsson’s demo essentially showcased a person in Aerocity, controlling a driverless car in IIT Delhi. The driver navigated the road ahead while viewing a video feed on a display which was streamed from there via a 5G network. The technology basically showed off the low latency and efficiency of 5G that has the potential to seamlessly connect you in real time, regardless of the distance.

Nokia’s vision of 10 Gbps internet speeds in the future

Nokia, on the other hand, had a very cool display using three tiny robots, that balanced a tray between them. On top of the tray sat a tiny ping pong ball dodging from one corner to the other. This little demo was basically a very smart way of showing the difference between the speeds on 4G and 5G.

via GIPHY

On 4G, when that ball was picked and moved on the tray, the robots took a while to adjust and bring it to the centre. However, on 5G, which apparently could offer up to 10 Gbps of speed, time taken was dramatically reduced to just a few seconds. To put that to perspective, currently, most of us function on 10 Mbps of speed on our mobiles.

Smartpur

Finally, there was ‘Smartpur’, which was a tiny setup inside of a bamboo hut, that had on display the six ways through which Nokia and DEF India are helping out small villages (over 100 across the country currently) in providing them with basic and essential facilities.

The Smartpur has six pillars to it — healthcare, finance, entertainment, lifeskills, governance, and education.

For healthcare, there are internet-connected medical equipment that can help read and record a patient’s vitals with just basic training. These records are then sent to professionals, who consequently give feedback on further action. The finance pillar offers what they call a micro ATM, with which Smartpur entrepreneurs can help the less-savvy members of the community with digital transactions.

Nokia India and DEF India's initiative called Smartpur. Image: tech2/Amrita Rajput

Nokia India and DEF India's initiative called Smartpur. Image: tech2/Amrita Rajput

Entertainment is a simple setup of a projector and a white sheet. Lifeskills is a very empowering part of this initiative, which provides a platform to local weavers and artisans. Governance helps people connect to the best yojana for them, and get documents like driver’s license and passport processed.

And then there is the Education pillar, which has text books, games, and flashcards, that are aimed at educating children, adults and the elderly, about everything internet. From what is a computer, how to surf the internet, what are mobile applications, how to be safe on internet, what is good internet decorum, to how to shop online, the internet learner’s kit has a guide to everything.

Essentially, Smartpur is an entrepreneurial setup that Nokia and DEF India create for local communities for free, train them for it, and then sort of franchise it to local villages, while still offering them guidance, if they need. With this, they are able to create employment, as well as offer some crucial infrastructure in these areas.

Final thoughts on Day 2

Like I said, the second day was way more interactive in terms of what the future could be with 5G, but the part cool and part creepy effect still lingered. The robots being able to react almost as fast as a human does? That’s got to be freaky to you too!

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.

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