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How mobile edge computing is transforming the way we live, work, and play

The combination of 5G, Edge Computing, and advanced cloud services is inspiring a new wave of innovation—with far-reaching benefits

How mobile edge computing is transforming the way we live, work, and play
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5G and edge computing have come together to unleash a new wave of innovation that could impact nearly every aspect of our lives. 5G represents a generational leap in cellular technology in terms of speed, latency, and throughput. This potential to transport huge volumes of data from billions of connected devices is expected to accelerate adoption of connected and smart devices across all industries. When 5G is paired with edge computing—moving cloud computing resources closer to where data is actually generated—the resulting applications can transform products and experiences in ways that, before, were beyond our reach.

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Imagine being able to use high-definition, real-time-updated, 3D maps that render realistic city views to help you navigate to your destination and having critical road and safety information overlaid on those real-world views that appear on your car’s windshield with augmented reality (AR).

In this new world of 5G and edge computing, driving could be less stressful with “see through” capabilities that allow your vehicle to understand what is happening on the road ahead, even if your view is blocked by trucks or trees. Vehicles should be able to take preventive or evasive actions, autonomously, to avoid vulnerable road users, like pedestrians or cyclists. Localized traffic analysis can be performed to provide vehicles with improved routing that avoids slowdowns and traffic jams.

5G and edge computing can also bring more excitement to entertainment with new immersive experiences for live events. For example, sports fans will be able to view the current play from multiple angles in 4K, switching between real-time views as the plays are happening. They should also be able to look up instant statistics, historical averages, and even get an instant probability of the outcome of the next play. Venues will have real-time mapping of wait times for food or for using the nearest facilities.

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There’s enormous potential, too, for using this combination of reliable connectivity and powerful cloud services to improve all aspects of manufacturing. For example, in trials that are occurring today, computer vision software is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to enable autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and automated mobile robots (AMRs) in factories to ferry loads with speed and safety. AI/ML processing of video streams in the manufacturing process can be used for quality control and to spot safety concerns. Manufacturers should also be able to detect potential failures and perform predictive maintenance and servicing of onsite machinery, ensuring efficient and smooth operations.

When products hit retail shops, AMRs can be used for stock checking, inventory stocking, and other backroom operations. IoT sensors will be used to ensure cold-chain integrity, and edge computing- hosted applications will help with logistics and tracking to ensure freshness and stable temperatures, preventing spoilage and improving real-time inventory tracking.

Shopping experiences of tomorrow will be different as well. Software vendors are using augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) to help with in-store navigation. Pertinent and personalized information about product and offers could also be displayed on AR applications to provide a true “VIP” experience. Innovative “grab and go” capabilities are also being developed that should reduce the time we spend in checkout lines at popular stores.

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Verizon 5G Edge, which combines Verizon’s 5G network with AWS compute and storage infrastructure, moves the data and processing done by applications and services closer to the end user at the edge of the 5G network, enabling these innovative applications to be developed and deployed.

Learn what Verizon and AWS, together, can do for your business.

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FastCo Works is Fast Company's branded content studio. Advertisers commission us to consult on projects, as well as to create content and video on their behalf.

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