Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, took the stage at CES this morning to walk us through the ambitious plans the company has for developing and implementing 5G connectivity to power immersive experiences, connecting everything, and transforming industries such as transportation and healthcare. According to a study on the “5G Economy” the company conducted, 5G-related goods and services will generate over $12 trillion in value in 2035 and create over 22 million jobs worldwide.
Powering Immersive Experiences On 5G
In November. Qualcomm unveiled their newest processing chip called Snapdragon 835, which the company now hopes will work with the 5G network it is building to enable a better and smoother immersive experiences on desktop and mobile devices. The higher data speeds enabled in 5G means faster downloads, which is essential in improving untethered VR experiences. Qualcomm is also working with other media partners to develop VR and AR experiences powered by its processor. The company previewed a Power Ranger-themed VR experience it developed with Lionsgate, as well as a shaper VR livestream of NBA matches that NextVR will be able to deliver over 5G connectivity.
Connecting Everything To Build A Smart Future
The enhanced connectivity provided by 5G networks will also enable us turn everyday objects into connected devices. And since the 5G connection will be strong enough to carry a city-wide worth of utility and infrastructure devices, it would bring to life the kind of smart cities that some technologists have envisioned where those connected devices communicate with each other to share data and offer the city dwellers perks of convenience and safety.
Transforming Industries With Next-Level Connectivity
Perhaps most importantly, 5G networks, coupled with powerful processors capable of handling that accelerated connectivity, will transform various industries ranging from healthcare to transportation by enabling new tools such as autonomous drones and industrial IoT networks. For example, Qualcomm is working with healthcare companies such as UnitedHealthcare, Novartis, and Philips to create a healthcare network that securely connects medical and healthcare devices over 5G. The faster speed brought by 5G will also be instrumental in the development of connected cars and self-driving cars, according to Qualcomm, which in turn will bring major disruptions for the auto and transportation industries.
Key Takeaways For Brands
These innovations that Qualcomm is working to unleash with 5G network will usher in a new reality for consumers and brands, where new immersive formats become the norm, instant connectivity is expected everywhere, and AI-powered automation and data analysis running in the background quietly improves services and customer experiences. To get ready for that future, brands will need to start exploring immersive media formats such as VR and AR to build up their content catalogue, adopt a data-centric omnichannel approach in designing your customer experience to ensure that it stays consistent across platforms, and begin to think about how your brand may incorporate machine learning and AI automation into your products and services to deliver a better customer experience.
Today marks the third day of the 2016 Mobile World Congress, where plans for 5G network have been dominating the conversation. Companies like Intel, Nokia, and wireless equipment supplier Ericsson all revealed their plans to push for the new wireless technology. Ericsson said it would start 5G radio test-bed trials this year, but pegged the full commercial roll-out of the networks at 2020. As more and more connected devices and data-rich personalized services become available, the demand for faster and more powerful networks will only grow.
Besides the developments in IoT, another driving force behind the push for 5G networks is the increasing consumption of mobile video. A 2015 study from the IAB confirms that 35% of viewers are watching more video on their smartphones, and they prefer to watch videos in apps rather than on the mobile web. Therefore, it is no surprise that Buzzfeed, the leading site in creating viral videos and branded content, announced at Mobile World Congress yesterday that it is launching a mobile app for binge-watching Buzzfeed videos. Available for both iOS and Android, the app currently carries no ads, but Buzzfeed says it plans to roll out native advertising down the road.
What Brands Need To Do
As digital video continues to draw consumer attention away from linear TV content and print media, brands must follow the eyeballs and start developing fun or useful branded video content to engage the audience, and take full advantage of the mobile video boom to reach customers. One way to do so is working with experienced publishers like Buzzfeed to create branded videos and distribute them through their content portals. But thanks to the field-leveling power of streaming platforms, where branded video content can live alongside traditional media content, brands can consider developing their own video apps as well.
To read more on how brands can reach viewers on mobile and OTT platforms with branded content, please check out the Appified TV section in our Outlook 2016.
Header image courtesy of mluxurystyle.com
Last week the Lab crossed the Atlantic Ocean to attend the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. In addition to our daily recaps for Day one, two, and three, we are now proud to present a final recap to cover everything you need to know about the event and highlight our favorites among the 2,000 exhibiting companies.
Download the Final Recap for MWC 2015 here.
Virtual Reality and Gaming
One of the most surprising announcements at MWC15 was the HTC Vive VR headset
. While the exact technical specs and pricing are still a bit of a mystery, HTC’s rationale to partner with Valve is not. Today, we visited with Jeff Gattis, HTC’s executive marketing director, to get his take on the partnership. According to Gattis, it all comes down to credibility and community—specifically, the credibility Valve has earned in building their Steam VR platform and the community of over 110MM users. With a great VR standard, a solid network of content developers, and a massive global audience, The HTC Vive is well-positioned to be the first widely adopted VR headset.
One of our favorite activities at Mobile World has been scoping out the various country pavilions—it’s a start up EPCOT, and we love the ingenuity on display. While Germany, France, and host country Spain all had solid showings, Norway stole the show, particularly companies like:
- Elliptic Labs: Gesture-based control for the smartphone.
- Thinfilm: Print-based approach to electronics brings digital interactivity (through NFC) to physical objects.
- Nordic Semiconducters: Chipsets that power proximity marketing solutions like BLE beacons from well-know providers like as Estimote, Kontakt.io and Roximity. Their nRF51 series chipset also powers products like smart lights, wireless keyboards, and the Adidas FIT SMART wristband tracker.
5G Connecting the Future
The promise of 5G—a new wireless network standard that is expected be implemented by 2020—is of course more bandwidth (faster speeds) and lower latency (gamers rejoice). A few of the reasons why we’re excited about 5G is because this new standard has the ability to power new experiences such streaming VR, self-driving cars, and a plethora of connected devices, which are expected to number upwards of 50B by 2020. Companies demoing 5G inspired experiences at MWC15 include Ericsson with Volvo and Telstra, Huawei & Japanese mobile service provider NTT Docomo, and Alerta & China Mobile.