What we cannot see

Calculated predictions and estimates are what we are very used to. What is the future going to be? How are lives going to change, what are the benefits of converting from petrol to electric, from on site to cloud, from self-managed to out-sourced, from upfront purchase to subscription models?

Prediction and estimates prepare ourselves for the change that is going to come. Ease our transition period and simply makes things faster and smoother as humanity moves to the next era of how we do things.

However, it is often the things that we cannot see that change us the most.

With the imminent 5G overhaul, countless of reputable parties have made their best guesstimates on what 5G will bring.

Some of the most talked about ones:

  • Better speed (10X), Lower latency (10X) than 4G
  • On Demand
  • Broadband everywhere
  • IoT
  • Remote operations
  • Self-driving
  • Mixed Reality

Sounds good? But what might be even better? What will 5G really change that could affect our lives or how we do things or consume content drastically?

Lets take a comparison when 4G was first talked about 10 years ago from reputable sources guesses and predictions:

  • Better speed (20X), lower latency (10X) (sounds familiar?) than 3G
  • Streaming music, movies on the go
  • IoT
  • Connected Cars
  • Immersive Gaming
  • Broadband on the go
  • Augmented reality

Personal thoughts on how 4G had really made an impact in certain fields that is just out of mainstream predictions.

Live Streaming – Not just streaming content but Live Streaming has changed how millions of people consume content over the internet and had changed how thousands of content creator to rethink and re-strategize their content. Twitch became a huge deal where people stream their gaming online and people just come on to watch other people play games. Unthinkable impossible industry, why would millions of people spend their time watching another person play their games? Why not just play the game yourself???

Live streaming of daily lives, online celebrities especially in China had an up roar as well. Again, who would be interested to see someone’s daily life live? Another unthinkable industry that happened.

Live auction (especially popular on facebook) remember your S-hook jie jie? Pls tell me some reputable source predicted this phenomenon and this “new ecommerce industry” due to 4G.

Ride Sharing – Uber, Grab, Lyft, Go-Jek. Enough said.

Pokemon GO – Immersive gaming? “Sure, there are currently titles with multiplayer functionality for Android and iOS, but many are turn-based. When the 4G rollout by operators reaches ubiquitous levels, we can expect new game genres, such as First Person Shooters, making their way onto the digital shelves of the various app stores.” – by a reputable source

It is not so much of immersive gaming such as the amount of “content” or graphics intensity that 4G brings. It is actually the ability to game OUTDOOR that mattered. Pokemon go’s graphics is incredibly simple and yet the global phenomenon was made possible due to it being a strictly outdoor game. And Pokemon go is a Single Player, that does not require live response/reaction.

Conclusion – as much as we can guess and predict what new technology will bring us, and yes, most of the prediction will hold true and does make a great difference in the way we go about our daily lives, more often than not, the biggest change from a technology shift are the things that we cannot see no matter how hard we try.

So rather than being “manipulated” by mass media and reputable sources in their predictions, (smart aircon, smart tv, smart washing machines that talk to each other), why not just think of you really need now which isn’t available in 4G?

I certainly do not need a smart washing machine, but I would love better data call quality and video calls.

And of course, leave the rest of the unknowns to future pleasant surprises.


Thank you for reading.

~ 初聽不知曲中意,再聽已是曲中人

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