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Giving customer experience the edge

19 Jul 2021
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Vatsa Kalyanasundarum

Cloud and Security Director, Vodafone Business

Did you know that there are seven different learning styles – verbal, visual, musical/auditory, physical/kinaesthetic, logical/mathematical, social and solitary?

Most of us don’t fit into one box. We benefit from a range of these teaching techniques, making it near impossible for teachers to appeal to everyone at once.

Fortunately, new technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can help by keeping student’s focused, giving them a better learning experience and, even contributing to inclusivity by eliminating language barriers.

This is just one of the many use cases we’ve been exploring since the launch of our Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) capabilities in the UK, in partnership with AWS.

Creating an immersive learning experience

Working with tech start-up, Xpllore, we’re creating an interactive remote-virtual reality platform where learners have access to a library of VR & AR apps meaning they can confidently try new ways of working, increase hands-on learning time and retain information better, even when remote.

Thanks to the low-latency benefits of Edge Computing when paired with 5G, we can create a smoother experience for students and teachers. There is no lag in response time or motion sickness, something that can occur, particularly in gaming, when you’re hovering around 30-40 milliseconds.

A response time of 100 milliseconds is perceived as instantaneous. MEC brings that down to 10 milliseconds between the base station and the cloud, and in some cases, when dedicated to a single site, even 1 millisecond.

This opens up a world of possibility for new applications such as autonomous vehicles, smart robots and smart manufacturing equipment. Not to mention, it creates a more immersive and realistic graphic experience when it comes to virtual and augmented reality; supporting Xpllore’s need to be able to stream the latest VR applications and the inevitable demand for ever-higher quality graphics.

Pushing performance to the limit

In sport, VR is used in training to measure athletic performance and analyse technique and we’ve already seen 5G, in a wider context, revolutionise how the match is watched by football fans. But what about analysing the opposition or tracking players’ physical health?

Sportable is at the forefront of this revolution in contact sports (like rugby) with their proprietary technology – Match Tracker.

Using player wearable and ball-embedded technology, Match Tracker provides real-time insights into three-dimensional ball tracking, player tracking, impact, tackle and heart rate measurement.

These statistics can be extremely valuable. With tangible, affordable and instant insights coaches can make better decisions, officials can make the game safer and faster and fans become more engaged. The leagues can capture new sponsorship opportunities based on new and exciting real-time content delivered to fans at home or in-stadium, via the broadcast, second screen, mobile app or social media.

Players themselves can also learn more about how they are performing to improve their game.

For Sportable, with such a stable connection, portable servers are no longer needed at each game saving on inventory, maintenance and insurance costs.

It’s this reliable connection that makes Edge Computing, particularly when paired with 5G, such a game changer.

Take for example, in retail, when a customer is about to make a purchase. If the connection is too slow, they are likely to abandon their shopping cart. This is what our next customer, Keyless Technologies, is hoping to reduce, if not stop altogether.

Painless payments

Focusing on user experience, we’re working with Keyless Technologies, a biometric password-less authentication solution to make digital payments faster and safer for everyone.

Currently banks, vendors and regulators have to use complex ‘multi-factor’ authentication processes to protect us from fraud and theft, but these processes can be tedious, causing 6 in 10 consumers to abandon their digital payments in some cases.

Using 5G and Edge Computing, we found that the authentication process becomes 16% quicker, combined with a 66% reduction in the time taken to enrol a new user. This improves the customer experience, without compromising on security or privacy, and abandoned payments are reduced.

The authentication process has many components: capturing, encrypting, fragmenting and matching a users’ biometric data. However, this now takes place at the edge of our super-fast and reliable 5G network, that handles this compute-heavy process near instantly.

Looking at these use cases, it’s no surprise IDC predicts that by 2023, more than half of new enterprise IT infrastructure deployed will be at the edge rather than corporate data centers and that the number of apps at the edge will increase 800 per cent by 2024.

Discover how Edge Computing can support your business and future-proof your ways of working.

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