With its incredible speeds and low latency, both industry and the public are eagerly anticipating the advent of 5G.
In industry especially, 5G is being seen as the vehicle to usher in a new wave of capabilities and innovations. Organisations of all kinds are looking to the future and considering ways the technology could super-charge their business.
Many start-ups, on the other hand, can start planning for the benefits of 5G to their operations while they’re still developing the business. These start-ups are “5G native,” having grown up with the technology – now they are simply waiting for the rest of society to catch up.
So, ahead of this year’s Vodafone Unbound Innovation Festival, I will consider a few examples of 5G native start-ups shaking up the market and disrupting their industries in new and exciting ways.
With self-driving cars around the corner, the role of 5G in the Connected Automated Vehicle (CAV) realm is about to take front and centre.
CAVs require a lot of bandwidth, not only to perform at the highest standards at all times, but also because the role of the vehicle in our lives will evolve as the vehicle itself does. With drivers no longer busy with driving, the car may well begin to serve as a second office or entertainment room.
Conigital, a transport infrastructure integrator, is leveraging this expanding role of the personal vehicle and plans to use 5G to deliver its CAV products. The firm’s ConICAV mobility platform can be used to transform any brand or type of car into a CAV as part of a fleet.
On the other side of the hood, CARFIT, a predictive maintenance start-up also in the CAV space is using next gen technology to “take the mystery out of car maintenance.” By analysing the noise, vibrations and harshness of a car, CARFIT uses machine learning to identify patterns which signal the car may soon need repair work.
With 5G, these start-ups are hoping to transform every element of owning a car – from the journey to the repairs.
Healthcare has been one of the most innovative industries in recent years, adopting new technologies which have already saved countless lives. And the advent of 5G looks like it will only intensify this further.
One of the biggest benefits of 5G in this field is low latency. This can help connect doctors with patients, regardless of where they are in the world – something that could be incredibly beneficial to people who live in rural areas with limited healthcare resources.
SurgeonMate, a start-up out of Portugal, plans to use these next gen capabilities to make surgeons even better. With the use of SurgeonMate Vision – voice controlled smart glasses – surgeons can create detailed libraries of past surgeries to learn and teach from. They can even live stream surgeries straight onto the secure, cloud-based library - meaning they can share their knowledge with fellow doctors seamlessly.
MDGo is another start-up looking to disrupt our responses to road incidents. Nestled between healthcare and the automotive industry, MDGo piggy-backs on existing CAV technology to generate medical insights following a crash.
The goal is to provide first responders with actionable and accurate medical information, which is crucial in those first moments after an incident. 5G will help MDGo better communicate with medical professionals on the way to the scene.
This will enable doctors to prioritise patients as soon as they arrive, saving precious time and improving the chances of survival.
Gaming and streaming
Another industry set to really benefit from 5G is gaming and media. Over the last few years, our ability to stream content has fundamentally changed our viewing habits. The MPAA even revealed this year that streaming video has now surpassed cable subscriptions in the US.
With gaming, 5G will unleash a new wave of capabilities for mobile gaming, with the stronger connectivity also enabling consumers to enjoy next gen innovations such as augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR).
One start-up with this exact goal is Berlin based gaming company Playsnak. With a focus on VR and cross reality (XR) game development and research, they are already playing in a world meant for 5G.
Guildford based start-up, Polystream also has big plans for 5G. They are visual cloud experts, using it to stream games and 3D applications. With the advent of widespread 5G use, the company plans to use it to create new experiences and, in the words of Bruce Grove, Polystream CEO, “change how interactive content is consumed, forever.”
The way we consume and even participate in sports has also transformed over the years with advancing technology. It’s not just how we watch the match; many athletes and managers use wearables to track and improve performance, and this will only improve with greater connectivity.
Italian based sport analytics start-up, Math and Sport, uses applied mathematics and data science to help players optimise their performance. At the highest levels of competition, the finest margins can be the difference between winning and losing. Math and Sport provide bespoke game and movement intelligence to give players the edge they need over their competition.
On the other side of the industry, Supponor is using AR technology to open up new possibilities in sports marketing. With their AR platform, the company can offer personalised, immersive advertising at live sports events. And with 5G, attendees can enjoy rich AR experiences without any ‘lag.’
The age of the 5G native?
5G might not be completely mainstream yet, but it is already being built into the makeup of modern start-ups. However, just because you’re not “5G native” doesn’t mean you can’t begin to test and update your business model to accommodate this emerging technology.
At Vodafone we try to support innovation as we believe it keeps us ahead of the curve. So, if you want to see how the above start-ups along with many others are changing their industries forever, please join us at the Vodafone Unbound Innovation Festival and find out how you can also get in on the action.
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