As mobile phone carriers gradually shift over to 5G technology, consumers are expected to benefit. However, basic telephony functions such as calling and texting will not really see any noticeable changes. Mobile internet, however, will see a significant increase in bandwidth, which in turn delivers faster speeds.
Meanwhile, augmented reality (AR) technology is changing how people interact with software. Mixed reality applications are now giving users new ways to experience entertainment on their smartphones and 5G is expected to take it further.
AR applications and games on mobile phones rely on the device's processing power and other resources to function optimally. Most of the software likewise rely on a stable internet connection to communicate with servers and transfer data. As it stands right now, 4G technology can provide just enough speed and latency for acceptable performance. With 5G, developers will be capable of pushing the boundaries of mobile entertainment.
Traditionally, video games ran on hardware such as home consoles and PC, but portable gaming eventually allowed people to game on the go. With the evolution of smartphones, more people are now gaming on their mobile phones and tablets. VentureBeat notes that in the last five years AR and VR started becoming mainstream. The publication believes 5G networks might be the key to success. As the gaming industry starts to focus on cloud-based gaming, the advantages it brings could benefit gamers and game studios.
One of Nintendo's beloved franchise even made the jump to mobile phones with AR at its core. Pokémon Go players can use their smartphone's camera to scan their surroundings for creatures. Once the target is spotted then begins the catching phase. In theory, 5G networks can make it faster for the servers to relay data and enhance the gameplay. Ultimately, augmented reality is a promising platform with commercial applications as well.
Perhaps the biggest advantage AR has over virtual reality is the hardware. The latter normally requires accessories such as a VR headset and a capable machine to run it. AR, on the other hand, can function with a compatible mobile device and a stable internet connection, which 5G is expected to offer.