After the eight speakers from different industries presented in the Huawei Better World Summit for 5G + AR (you can read our coverage of the event by clicking here), Kevin Xu, Vice President of CNBG Marketing Demand Program, Huawei, and Eric Zhao, Vice President of CNBG Marketing, Huawei, took to the stage to answer questions from the media.
First, Kevin was asked about what Huawei is trying to deliver to the industry by releasing the whitepaper that was available at the end of the event. According to Kevin, Huawei released the said document to gain insights into the future. He believes that in terms of adoption, AR devices will become just another type of common or mainstream consumer electronics, such as smartphones today.
Kevin said that the convergence of 5G and AR will realise this – 5G will switch on AR, and AR will light up 5G. The whitepaper also consists of best practices for telcos in both China and other countries. For example, telcos in South Korea have established a successful business model in using AR in education, navigation and social networking. Chinese telcos are using AR for shopping, education and other domains.
“This white paper is to encourage the whole industry to contribute their strengths to establish an end-to-end connection enabling industry chain for the AR tech,” Kevin explained.
When it comes to monetisation of the industry, Kevin believes that AR has a great chance to make waves in both the consumer and enterprise market. This is because as 5G coverage increases, there will be a wider range of AR applications available. Kevin added that the combination of 5G and AR will unleash greater potential for all the apps in the market.
In terms of the current trends, Eric shared that the two most popular AR adoption or applications are in the gaming industry and the social networking industry. As for enterprises, Huawei has already seen different implementations of the technology in the manufacturing industry and healthcare. AR has already contributed to the efficiency boost, for example, of a factory.
Eric then highlighted three key takeaways and best practices that organisations can learn from the success of 5G + AR in South Korea and its telcos. “First is to have a 5G network that has the ultimate experience. Secondly, we must have diverse applications and services available. Third, we should implement a sound and reasonable tariff scheme. Of course, we also need to have sufficient devices available in the industry,” Kevin explained.
Outside South Korea and China, Eric said the technology is also emerging in other countries, with many AR start-ups working hard to develop the necessary hardware as well as to create an enabling ecosystem, while carriers are also playing their part in enabling the ultimate experience with their services.
Realising the Value of 5G + AR to Enable a Better, More Intelligent Future
This year’s Huawei Better World Summit is focused on the combination of 5G + AR for three reasons, explained Eric. The first reason is that Huawei has seen the actual value created by AR to global end-users, such as the consumers.
“During the presentations in the summit, we have learned that AR is now becoming a part of every aspect of our life. It is enriching people's lives and helping to boost the productivity of our work. Since this is a new technology that is creating value for us, we figure why don't we take the opportunity to let people know more about it?” he added.
The second reason is that Huawei has seen the value created by AR to their customers, which include telecom operators around the world, such as the case in South Korea. Finally, the third reason is that Huawei has seen that AR is contributing to the development of industries, especially in enhancing what they could achieve with devices, networks and content value.
As 5G advances, many opportunities are also being realised in the AR industry. Eric mentioned that in the past, the AR devices were all standalone models, where the storage, computing and display modules are all integrated together. These were bulky and expensive, hindering the popularisation of AR. “But now, with the support of 5G and other new technologies, such as the cloud, we can actually offload some of the storage and computing to the cloud from AR devices,” said Eric, adding that we can expect more innovations and improvements in the technology is utilised in the future as it fully matures.
Huawei is consistently expanding its 5G capabilities to enable 5G + AR adoption. Eric said that Huawei is dedicated to helping carriers deploy ultimate experiences with their networks because networks are always the foundation for the wide adoption of different services.
“At the same time, Huawei is working with telcos and industry partners to roll out the scenario-specific solutions that can help our customers, the customers of our customers, and partners to easily access AR testing and development platform for AR applications. In this way, they are able to quickly and easily develop AR apps and services,” added Eric.
Last but not least, he shared that 5G enhancements offer three vital features that can help encourage the adoption of AR, which are enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and mobility.