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When will 5G become a reality!?

(TECH NEWS) We all know about the 4G network, but 5G is coming. What does that mean and when will it be here (and are you ready)!?

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Communication is key

Effective and efficient communication has always been a key in business, and soon communications capabilities will exceed what most never thought was possible.

Nobody knows exactly when it will happen, or what it will look like, but we do know this — 5G technology is coming. At this point, it appears private companies will play an instrumental role in defining 5G standards. Some are already working on the technology.

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Here is a look at what 5G technology is, the challenges involved in rolling it out, and what it will mean for businesses going forward.

What exactly is 5G?

Put simply, 5G technology is the fifth generation of wireless communication. The major wireless carriers currently work on a 4G standard called LTE Advanced, and 5G will be the next natural progression. It will use coding that’s not all that different from 4G, but its latency will be much lower.

Generally speaking, 5G will mean faster wireless internet speeds, and that is the main difference between 5G and 4G. It’s a bit difficult to explain what 5G is beyond that, because the truth is nobody exactly knows the technology that will be implemented and define 5G.

That said, the Federal Communications Commission got the 5G ball rolling with a proposal from chairman Tom Wheeler, under which portions of high-band spectrum would be made available for 5G communications.

The FCC won’t be the one that decides what the 5G standard is, however. If the proposal is passed, the agency will leave it up to wireless carriers such as Verizon or AT&T to design and develop 5G, a similar process to how the rollout of 4G played out. Wheeler has said the FCC will make available parts of the spectrum and then rely on telecoms to figure out which frequencies should be used.

5G technology: Still developmental

The most immediate and obvious challenge of 5G is defining what it is in the first place. The goal is to create wireless networks that are up to 50 times faster than what we currently know, but how we get there will be left up to the private sector.

Once the wireless companies come up with a standard for 5G, their next challenge will be rolling it out on a national scale. That will include building cell towers capable of harnessing 5G signals, a costly and time-consuming process.

Another challenge is developing new devices such as smartphones or tablets that are compatible with 5G. As technology gets faster, components such as semiconductors get smaller, which is another challenge. This technology continues to miniaturize with a focus on increased pixel density on smaller screen real estate, meaning lasers and sensor dimensions must also decrease.

What will be the benefits of 5G?

The most obvious advantage of 5G will be faster wireless internet, and it goes well beyond being able to download a movie or app in a shorter amount of time.

The implications of 5G are numerous. For businesses, it could mean the ability to host employee video conferences from any location with minimal latency. For doctors, it might mean the ability to perform complex procedures remotely in real time.

Faster internet and reduced latency will also be a cornerstone to the so-called “internet of things,” in which all manner of cars, home appliances and other devices are connected to the internet and have the ability to communicate with each other. The rise of 5G will also be a key to the burgeoning virtual reality market, where top-level internet speeds are vital for a superior experience.”

All of those benefits are great, but for now it’s a waiting game. Even the most optimistic of forecasts say true 5G networks won’t roll out until 2018, while more reserved predictions say the technology won’t be here until at least 2020.

Still, for anyone who has ever experienced lengthy download times and spotty service with 4G, the wait will be well worth it.

#5Gnetwork

Megan Ray Nichols is an editorialist at The American Genius, and is a technical writer who's passionate about technology and the science. She also regularly writes at Smart Data Collective, IoT Times, and ReadWrite. Megan publishes easy to understand articles on her blog, Schooled By Science - subscribe today for weekly updates!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. j tuttle

    August 11, 2016 at 5:49 am

    Great article, thank you!

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3 cool ways bug-sized robots are changing the world

(TECH NEWS) Robots are at the forefront of tech advancements. But why should we care? Here are some noticeable ways robots are changing the world.

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Bits of robots and microchips changing the world.

When we envision the robots that will (and already are) transforming our world, we’re most likely thinking of something human- or dog-sized. So why are scientists hyper-focusing on developing bug-sized (or even smaller!) robots?

Medical advances

Tiny robots could assist in better drug delivery, as well as conduct minor internal surgeries that wouldn’t otherwise require incisions.

Rescue operations

We’ve all heard about the robot dogs that can rescue people who’ve been buried beneath rubble or sheets of snow. However, in some circumstances these machines are too bulky to do the job safely. Bug-sized robots are a less invasive savior in high-intensity environments, such as mine fields, that larger robots would not be able to navigate without causing disruption.

Exploration

Much like the insects after which these robots were designed, they can be programmed to work together (think: ants building a bridge using their own bodies). This could be key in exploring surfaces like Mars, which are not safe for humans to explore freely. Additionally, tiny robots that can be set to construct and then deconstruct themselves could help astronauts in landings and other endeavors in space.

Why insects?

Well, perhaps the most important reason is that insects have “nature’s optimized design”. They can jump vast distances (fleas), hold items ten times the weight of their own bodies (ants) and perform tasks with the highest efficiency (bees) – all qualities that, if utilized correctly, would be extremely beneficial to humans. Furthermore, a bug-sized bot is economical. If one short-circuits or gets lost, it won’t totally break the bank.

What’s next?

Something scientists have yet to replicate in robotics is the material elements that make insects so unique and powerful, such as tiny claws or sticky pads. What if a robot could produce excrement that could build something, the way bees do in their hives, or spiders do with their webs? While replicating these materials is often difficult and costly, it is undoubtedly the next frontier in bug-inspired robotics – and it will likely open doors for humans that we never imaged possible.

This is all to say that in the pursuit of creating strong, powerful robots, they need not always be big in stature – sometimes, the tiniest robots are just the best for the task.

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4 ways startups prove their investment in upcoming technology trends

(TECH NEWS) Want to see into the future? Just take a look at what technology the tech field is exploring and investing in today — that’s the stuff that will make up the world of tomorrow.

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Woman testing VR technology

Big companies scout like for small ones that have proven ideas and prototypes, rather than take the initial risk on themselves. So startups have to stay ahead of technology by their very nature, in order to be stand-out candidates when selling their ideas to investors.

Innovation Leader, in partnership with KPMG LLP, recently conducted a study that sheds light onto the bleeding edge of tech: The technologies that the biggest companies are most interested in building right now.

The study asked its respondents to group 16 technologies into four categorical buckets, which Innovation Leader CEO Scott Kirsner refers to as “commitment level.”

The highest commitment level, “in-market or accelerating investment,” basically means that technology is already mainstream. For optimum tech-clairvoyance, keep your eyes on the technologies which land in the middle of the ranking.

“Investing or piloting” represents the second-highest commitment level – that means they have offerings that are approaching market-readiness.

The standout in this category is Advanced Analytics. That’s a pretty vague title, but it generally refers to the automated interpretation and prediction on data sets, and has overlap with Machine learning.

Wearables, on the other hand, are self explanatory. From smart watches to location trackers for children, these devices often pick up on input from the body, such heart rate.

The “Internet of Things” is finding new and improved ways to embed sensor and network capabilities into objects within the home, the workplace, and the world at large. (Hopefully that doesn’t mean anyone’s out there trying to reinvent Juicero, though.)

Collaboration tools and cloud computing also land on this list. That’s no shock, given the continuous pandemic.

The next tier is “learning and exploring”— that represents lower commitment, but a high level of curiosity. These technologies will take a longer time to become common, but only because they have an abundance of unexplored potential.

Blockchain was the highest ranked under this category. Not surprising, considering it’s the OG of making people go “wait, what?”

Augmented & virtual reality has been hyped up particularly hard recently and is in high demand (again, due to the pandemic forcing us to seek new ways to interact without human contact.)

And notably, AI & machine learning appears on rankings for both second and third commitment levels, indicating it’s possibly in transition between these categories.

The lowest level is “not exploring or investing,” which represents little to no interest.

Quantum computing is the standout selection for this category of technology. But there’s reason to believe that it, too, is just waiting for the right breakthroughs to happen.

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Will AI take over copywriting roles? This tool hopes to make that a reality

(TECH NEWS) CopyAI hopes to give copywriters a run for their… well, WPM. But how much can AI fully replace copywriting skills?

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Hands typing on a laptop, working on copywriting piece.

Copywriting is an important trade. Writers are often able to breathe life into otherwise formulaic websites peddling products which, sans the copy from those writers, might very well suffer a fate of relative obscurity. However, copywriters are also expensive, and their duties—indispensable as they may be—can be replicated fairly easily by little more than basic machine learning.

The question is this: Can AI replace copywriters? That’s a question that CopyAI hopes to answer with a resounding “yes”.

CopyAI is an “AI powered [sic] assistant for writing and brainstorming marketing copy.” This makes it a powerful tool to complement human writing, at the very least; is it enough to put people like me out of a job?

From my experience with the tool, no—at least, not yet. CopyAI can’t create an engagement strategy, respond to customers, spin testimonials to evoke heart-felt reactions, or analyze its own trends.

But that doesn’t detract from how freaking cool it is in practice.

CopyAI asks for very little from its user. Upon selecting a style of copy—Facebook Market, website carousel, or even page header, for example–you are prompted to enter the title of your product and a couple of short sentences describing it in the context of your ad. CopyAI does the rest, and while the results can be hilariously out of touch, you’re able to pick the ones that sound the most like your desired copy and then generate more options that sound similar.

The service has a huge number of different options for advertisement types, and you can use multiple different copy projects in one specific campaign.

Naturally, CopyAI has a few flaws, most of which replicate the problems we’ve seen with machine learning-based writing in the past: It doesn’t sound quite human enough to be comfortable. However, that’s a problem for a skilled copywriter to solve—and quickly, thus making something like CopyAI a potentially preferable choice for mass copywriting.

So, again, we ask: Is there a way for CopyAI to replace copywriters entirely in the future? Probably not. The copy it produces is intriguing, and often close enough that underfunded campaigns might find some value in using it short-term, but it doesn’t have the punch that a real person can pack into an advertisement.

That said, combining CopyAI with a small team of copywriters to reduce burnout—and repetition—could make for some very efficient work on the back end.

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