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Making the Business Case for 5G

By Special Guest
Joe Ward, CEO, IKIN

Over the last decade, the world has rapidly become accustomed to wireless, on-demand Internet. So much so, in fact, that we may get disproportionally annoyed when it takes a little longer to download a large document or file when available bandwidth finds itself overwhelmed with data traffic. With the advent of 5G networks, those constraints should be much less of a nuisance. Many of the existing use cases for 5G are transport-oriented, delivering quicker downloads and better streaming experiences. While consumer services like improved gaming experiences will certainly have their fans, perhaps even more compelling will be the myriad of B2B applications that can utilize the generous bandwidth offered by 5G to change how tasks are completed, deliver new efficiencies, and open new dimensions in communications.

Combining the new power of the network with the rapidly expanding capabilities of mobile devices, new solutions that utilize 3D holographic imagery and advanced scanning capabilities offer both strategic and tactical benefits to a wide range of organizations. High-quality, detailed images can be created, shared, and displayed using a smart phone, without lag, and without special glasses, headgear, or goggles. As 5G’s primary selling point is to dramatically increase available network capacity and expand the scope of solutions that can be supported in a wireless network, holograms offer an opportunity to monetize this new infrastructure by making possible services that are unique, attractive, and margin-rich for the providers that sell them.

While the practical application of holograms can improve processes and increase efficiencies in countless areas, there are three major places of impact to consider: Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial and Logistics, and Quality Control and Safety.

Amplifying the Utility of IoT with Holographic Technology

IoT is already a part of most commerce and industry, and it would be rare to find a business without some IoT device or service. IoT plays a crucial role in use cases from simple environmental sensors to sophisticated machine vision solutions, or applications that apply advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to data collected by sensors, cameras, and other inputs. By incorporating holographic and augmented reality (AR) capabilities, utility and performance in most use cases can be exponentially magnified or expanded through incorporation of volumetric features such as true facial and gesture tracking, holographic field touch controls, and greater intuitive command. For example, volumetric mapping and display of sensor data can integrate with physical maps or models to provide a user with an interactive 3D view of a factory floor or warehouse, improving the ability to see and mitigate issues. Offering a manipulatable and dimensional model on a holographic display is light years ahead of a simple listing of sensor data or lights on a two-dimensional map.

Industrial and Logistics

There has been a growing trend toward using AR in warehouse and distribution center applications that can aid in material identification, location tracking, and handling. Recently the U.S. military announced its adoption of this technology in warehouse settings to improve efficiency. Holography can change how work is accomplished on many levels, offering increased task clarity, reduced training time and needs, improved understanding, and accelerated operational efficiencies. Location tracking and AR integration can also boost situational awareness leading to enhanced safety. However, most current applications still require goggles or other physical devices that can limit peripheral vision and environmental alertness in what can be a hazardous working environment.

A 5G-enabled environment creates the space for advanced technology applications to work more smoothly. 5G capacities improve effectiveness of mobile holographic displays working in ambient light, meaning that efficiencies become possible in conditions such as harsh warehouse environments, outdoors, and even in the dark. AR overlays enable simpler visual path mapping and item identification in a warehouse, while real-time wireless connectivity ensures seamless integration with warehouse management platforms. Where visual verification is important, a manipulatable 3D display of the items to be collected can be available, saving unnecessary trips into far-flung corners of the warehouse.

Quality Control and Safety

Cameras in today’s smart phones have amazing new capabilities that go well beyond taking a basic photo. Details that are imperceptible to the naked eye are captured and can be utilized by applications in a myriad of ways. Artificial intelligence applications, for example, can knit this data together into high-definition, fully dimensional scans that enable advanced materials and surface inspections. In industrial and military applications, these inspections can compare stress and surface characteristics over time, detailing manipulatable 3D displays of items that facilitate comparisons in-situ to known reference models and use visual support tools that include shared images from the field, as well as offer in-the-field access to information, procedures, and guidance.   

Applications of holography and augmented reality go far beyond warehouse or military use, of course. For instance, handheld scanning using a mobile device is currently used in health and beauty applications, where the user is offered the chance to augment a photo as they sample a new color of makeup. Holographic technology provides details that surpasses the two-dimensional visual information offered by a typical photo, giving the user a deeper, more comprehensive 3D image that enables the consumer to much better evaluate the product.

Medical professionals can use holographs to reconstruct and display fully dimensional images created from handheld scans conducted with a smartphone. While patients have become familiar with two-dimensional Telehealth consultations, the introduction of 3D remote visits changes the scope of remote health care. More intensive exams, such as a plastic surgery consult or a dermatology exam, can be held remotely, saving physicians, patients, and insurance companies both time and money, without interfering with diagnostic care.

5G Opens Many Doors

Business applications tend to be the most lucrative revenue generators for wireless network operators. Taking advantage of the opportunities afforded through holographic capabilities can spark innovation and help businesses maximize performance. It’s the type of story network providers need to demonstrate: 5G networks are more than infrastructure; they are indeed a fertile ground for new, exciting, and profitable business applications.

About the author:  Joe Ward CEO of IKIN. He is an accomplished, self-directed executive with an uninterrupted record of success in developing and leading high performance organizations. Proficient in corporate strategy with a focus on creating winning cultures and driving both top and bottom-line results. With a reputation as a forward thinker, Joe has been on the front edge of numerous technologies such as VoIP, SaaS, PaaS, and is now positioning IKIN as the first company to bring holographic technology and applications to the personal use market. As an executive, Joe has assisted in the growth and ultimate sale of multiple public companies resulting in significant increase in shareholder value. 

Learn more about the future of holography from Joe and his IKIN colleagues at 5G Expo and Industrial IOT Conference – both part of IoT Evolution Expo, taking place June 21-24, 2022 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  IoT Evolution Expo is part of #TECHSUPERSHOW, which includes nearly a dozen collocated business technology conferences, networking events, keynote speakers, exhibit hall, special events, and more.

Edited by Erik Linask
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