Two similar technologies where significant growth is expected from 5G are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). With 4G networks, users of VR often experience issues with latency and bad image quality – both of which can create motion sickness. The vastly faster speed of 5G could help solve these issues. Once these issues are resolved alongside general improvements in the technology, VR might transform into a completely new means of social interaction.
If used with a quick and stable internet connection, VR opens up the possibilities for realistic social contact without being in the same geographical location. This has been called Telepresence. The potential uses of Telepresence extend beyond entertainment purposes and could be applied in business and educational settings. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of such technologies.
There is wider importance of such technologies beyond social contact alone, especially for education. Because of VR’s design, students could virtually experience important or dangerous events in a safe setting – which is just one example of VR’s potential to make learning a more interesting, interactive experience. AR technology also has potential for education, as it could enrich student environments with useful information. In particular, visual, auditory, and haptic information could be used to help impaired students.