5G: More Than Just Speed

It all started with 2G, which allowed for mobile devices to connect to the Internet. Then came 3G, which allowed for faster data transfer and opened up the floodgates for many things we take for granted today, such as video streaming and video calling. And, expectedly, 4G increased data speeds, allowing for HD video streaming and game downloading, with some people even using it over their current Wi-Fi connection. And now, the mobile connection market is ready for a new and exciting generation. That’s where 5G comes in. But, it is more than just speed. Obviously, as has happened with all generational updates in mobile network connectivity, 5G will bring dramatically faster speeds, however, it will open up many more possibilities.

According to an article from Cnet, 5G was the talk of the town at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which ran from February 27th to March 2nd. People couldn’t get enough of it, and there’s quite a bit of hype around it. And for good reason. It has the potential to do far more than just make your YouTube video load faster. The technology can be utilized in everything from drone technology to self-driving cars, which is amazing timing considering these are also tech topics that are incredibly hot right now.

In one of the most astounding demonstrations of 5G’s possibilities, Ericcson, NeuroDigital Technologies and medical doctors from King’s College London teamed up to perform a remote surgery on a test dummy using 5G data connections. The doctors used a robotic arm, haptic feedback gloves and a VR headset in order to simulate an actual surgery. The surgery was possible through 5G’s lack of latency. Without any kind of delay, future medical professionals could provide life saving surgeries from across the globe in real time!

Self-driving cars can also benefit from 5G’s speed and lack of latency. The article mentions how, without a signal delay getting in the way, self-driving cars can speak to other cars on the roads in order to provide the safest possible driving experience. 5G can also allow for more precise control of drones while providing higher definition video feedback, and virtual reality can allow for VR users to speak in real time to each other. 5G’s speed transfer is so impressive that it could even totally replace home Wi-Fi connectivity.

As our world becomes increasingly more connected, we will need a data network that can handle and provide faster, more responsive connectivity. And it appears as if 5G will be that network. That is, of course, until 6G comes along.

The Simple Yo App

screenshot-2014-06-18-16-31-30If you haven’t heard of Yo, you haven’t been following Twitter very closely. It is the next biggest app that everyone is talking about and a little confusing. The idea behind Yo is that users log onto the app to send other users just one word…Yo. The trend has caught on because 50,000 people are already signed up for the app. So far the users have send more than 4 million Yo’s to each other. Really the app has not yet officially launched, but even without that formality, the app already received $1.2 million in funding from unnamed investors. Clearly, people think that the co-founder and CEO Or Arbel is on to something. The app probably started as a joke, but now is wickedly popular, getting more users everyday and has a lot of money coming in. While apps like Snapchat rely on the concept of ephemerality, Whisper and Secret give users anonymity, Yo seems to lean back on context. Although the app has absolutely no content, the context comes from who sends you the “Yo” and what time they send it. The context is your own life.

For example, if your best friend texts you “Hey” at 10:00 AM they are probably just saying hello or starting a conversation. However, if someone you have been crushing on texts you the exact same message “Hey” at 2:00 it probably has a completely different meaning and context, i.e. booty call. So, Yo is relying on context and provides a structure that allows you to only send one message with limitless subtexts.

Again, Yo may have started as a joke, but it really plays into the idea of digital dualism. Just as Snapchat is trying to imitate life by letting the image disappear, just as it would if you glance at something, Yo is imitating life and the fact that we use context to interpret every interaction we have. If you are interested, download Yo and see who you can contextually communicate with.