Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

Why we should be prepared to welcome the next industrial revolution

A brief look into 5G, Security, and Smart Cities

city street with network connections

I’ll admit it… I’m still really new to the tech space, and especially new to the telecommunications space. Until recently, I only had a basic idea of what 5G was. I didn’t really understand how it worked, or let alone why it’s so crucial to the next phase of technology and society. It’s more than just faster internet speed — 5G networking is part of a larger technological revolution that will effectively transform the way we live, work, and play.

But what is it about 5G that will transform life? And more importantly, as I alluded to with the title, why should we be prepared to welcome this next big industrial revolution?

This next industrial revolution is all about end-to-end networking. It will rely on a dynamic and distributed network structure of the future. Things like cloud architecture will be driven by low latency and high performance, which will be able to provide customized services to every individual customer. This will be achieved through network slicing, and will provide cost effective quality services.

Of course within all this is the discussion around the increasing need for a layered security defense. As we are online more and more, secure network browsing and storage is becoming extremely important. New technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning will be able to predict and detect security breaches, while also acting as a barrier to prevent and protect against more sophisticated hackers and bots.

Furthermore, 5G is a signifiant part of being able to fuel the innovative urban design plans of the future, allowing data and technology to actually improve our quality of life, and achieve what are known as “smart” cities. The framework for a smart city is primarily made up of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), which are networks of connected objects and machines that transmit data using wireless and cloud technologies (something that 5G will promote). Smart cities make use of connected devices and sensors to analyze data in order to best leverage insights into alerts and actions.

Effectively this works to create widespread behavior change through the adoption and usage of smart city applications and services. This could serve to do just about anything from allowing communities to better distribute their energy usage, to streamlining services such as trash collection and mail delivery, and even decrease traffic, and improve health and safety. All this is reliant of course on the network provisions of new technologies and 5G.

Essentially, ICT and inherently 5G, can aid a lot in achieving more livable cities. Environmental roadblocks like gasoline fueled cars, and intensive carbon polluting industries will all be greatly diminished by the advancement of smart cities, with greener alternatives build into the infrastructure. This is really exciting to imagine, since we cannot simply continue living the way we do now without causing massive detrimental harm to the environment.

5G is a holistic development, meaning that nearly every sector and area of society will be able to see real impacts and benefits. Looking closer at specific industries that will benefit from 5G, one is transportation of goods. This is one area that we will see significant improvements in terms of automation with impacts being increased efficiency and safety through short distance platooning. Another sector is healthcare. Remote and virtually supported health interventions will provide stronger positive outcomes for emergency response measures.

But as we become more interconnected with our devices and technology, we must also be vigilant in demanding transparency and ethical practices from our governments and private industries. Ensuring that we remain empowered over decisions and practices will not only maintain our autonomy, but allow for more opportunities to continue shaping our world through new technologies.

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Emilie Isch

Emilie Isch

Human-Centered Designer

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