How will 5G change our lives?
If we are to understand where we’re going, it is essential to understand where we are at this point in time. As previously mentioned, more and more objects are getting connected, so why isn’t the IoT revolution unfolding before our eyes?
For widespread adoption to happen, IoT actors must overcome two major hurdles:
- Connectivity limitations
- Lack of interoperability
5G will unlock IoT’s potential
Currently, IoT relies on a centralized ecosystem where various devices are connected to a network. Because connectivity isn’t always stable, some IoT products don’t work the way they should. This has direct implications, such as customer churn. But an even bigger issue is the restriction it puts on innovation. Current connectivity shortcomings effectively stifle progress.
Now, when you think of the smart home, you think of Echo & Alexa, you think of Google Home, you might even think of Apple Homekit (but that’s unlikely). Regardless of the size of each ecosystem, voice recognition is a major component in all of them. As we saw at CES this year, voice assistants are becoming more and more prevalent. Juniper Research has found that by 2023, the number of voice assistant devices is expected to grow by 1000% to reach 275 million.
5G will force interoperability
So, let’s recap. While 5G is the backbone to connecting all devices together, voice assistants are the medium it needs to reach widespread adoption. Great, so that’s an easy journey, right? Well, not really. One essential ingredient will require IoT actors to change their mindset: interoperability.
Interoperability basically means opening the doors of IoT by allowing systems to communicate with each other, regardless of their manufacturer or operator. That’s a big deal.
Closed ecosystems favor no one but the manufacturer itself. If 5G networks are to open up IoT to more and more connected products, they will require at least some level of commonality. For the IoT revolution to happen, companies need to play together. 5G is equipping them for success but guarantees nothing.
For instance, one of the hottest topics at this year’s CES was transportation – ranging anywhere from Bosch’s shuttle concept to a plethora of self-driving cars -. Driverless mobility is exciting and is going to become our reality… if manufacturers agree to some level of interoperability. For them to be safe, autonomous vehicles will need to be able to communicate with each other.