5G may not yet have delivered the consumer gains that were promised for it, but CIOs should expect 2022 to be the year when we see a 5G-driven revolution in communications for business automation, a leading consultant has forecast.
Raj Shah, North America Lead for Hi-Tech and Telecom with Publicis Sapient, said that the next 12 months will see much innovation in 5G at enterprise level as various industries seek out different ways to leverage its power. But he considers that other heavily hyped technologies, like the metaverse, may have longer to wait for critical use cases to emerge.
“Smart businesses will invest in a more joined up fifth generation of communications, an ecosystem of modernized data transfer, connected solutions which combine IoT, AI, and cloud to produce real-time analytics, granular insights, and seamless results,” he predicted.
Industries that rely heavily on automation – energy, manufacturing, agriculture – will, he said, be the early adopters, utilizing shrinking sensors to enable data collection from hundreds of thousands of inputs to build ‘digital twins’ of real-world environments: “These will range from robotic assembly lines to power grids, to huge farms,” said Shah. “Using this data, collected over 5G industrial networks, they’ll be able to automatically adjust conditions and sense even the minutest changes. This level of hyper-efficiency should lead to better energy usage, more precise manufacturing and automated repair, and stronger returns on investment.”
The metaverse, he predicted, will be useful to consumers and businesses alike, but only once everyone works out exactly what it is: “The metaverse is still too undefined to be able to benefit from it,” noted Shah. “At this point, companies should be exploring what the implications of the metaverse will be, how they want to be positioned in it, and dabbling in proofs of concept. The metaverse is on the way to being huge and will undoubtedly impact the future of marketing and customer engagement.”
He picked out AR and VR as likely to become more common in our lives much sooner: “This is mainly because hardware has advanced so that we don’t have to wear 30lbs of gear on our heads to experience it. Early adoption of metaverse will happen as extensions of what we’re already seeing with Zoom, Slack, or Microsoft Teams. In commerce, how people buy homes and cars may be much more interactive. Digital twin technologies will merge into the metaverse, allowing for engineering, manufacturing, and other physical world industries to create and work in virtual environments.”
Image courtesy of IEEE Innovation At Work