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How the Roll-Out of 5G is Expected to Support Use of AR

How the Roll-Out of 5G is Expected to Support Use of AR

How the Roll-Out of 5G is Expected to Support Use of AR
Niklas Björkén
Director of Innovation
 May 2020

5G has begun rolling-out in numerous cities across the world, delivering improved bandwidth and lower latency for customers. Within the broadcasting industry, we know that this is going to open up tremendous opportunities; people love to consume video on-the-go and 5G allows the delivery of content without extensive buffering or complete break-down of services. Looking at the broader picture, it is possible that the lack of bandwidth has prevented many features and technologies to properly take off in the past. Artificial Reality within broadcast has certainly been limited in part by poor connectivity. So, can we expect AR to gain traction with a helping hand from 5G?

A lot of us have already adopted AR in one form or another. Some of the largest brands are using it to virtually place their products in our homes and we’re also seeing a range of gaming apps entirely centered around the technology. AR has the ability to completely blend with our environments and therefore has a lot of potential within wearable solutions. Nevertheless, the majority of its current use cases are tied to apps on smart devices; primarily due to connectivity issues but also because of the slow uptake of wearable devices. A number of popular designers have started designing fashionable wearable tech, so will 5G be the other piece of the puzzle that helps bring wearable AR to the masses?

Why 5G could help open up new opportunities for AR

From a broadcaster perspective, 5G is going to open up a wealth of AR-related opportunities such as enabling the delivery of added-value content. We’ve all been at events where mobile signals have been completely overwhelmed due to a large number of visitors trying to simultaneously access internet service. 5G has the capacity to remove this roadblock, allowing people to make the most of added-value content when visiting live events such as sports tournaments or festivals. Its wide bandwidth also allows it to deliver data-rich video without compromising on quality. We are currently in the midst of unprecedented times, with multiple countries adhering to strict lockdown rules, but broadcasters are still wise to take note of AR capabilities. Should they be building the tech into future plans? Will it be adopted into mainstream broadcasts within the next few years?

Is AR worth investing in?

With the introduction of fashionable wearable technology, an increasing number of customers are likely to realise the benefits of AR in everyday life. If done correctly, AR adds value to broadcasts through curating relevant information and packaging it in a user-friendly display for viewers to access. The viewing experience can be enhanced with additional information; however, providers must be careful so that the added-value content doesn’t pull attention away from the primary broadcast. A carefully thought-out and implemented feature will deliver extra, relevant information intuitively and at the right time.

The broadcasting industry is fiercely competitive and companies need to constantly evolve their offerings in order to stay ahead of competitors. Finding ways to implement high-value features and technologies is a good way of providing users with a positive experience that goes beyond the primary broadcast content. 

For more information on AR’s application within sport and 5G’s impact on the industry, read my article for Broadcast Pro Middle East.


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