As 5G continues its phased rollout even the promise of mobile 8K VR experiences can seem like yesterday’s news. What if we could communicate with tactile holographs? According to researchers involved in scoping a 6G network, this is our future.
In a paper published by IEEE, academics from Sweden, New Zealand, Southern California (USC), and London imagine 6G as the building block to “vastly connected societies.”
The study outlines what it calls a “high-fidelity holographic society,” one in which “holographic presence will enable remote users [to be represented] as a rendered local presence.”
READ MORE: 6G Wireless Systems: Vision, Requirements, Challenges, Insights, and Opportunities (IEEE Journals & Magazine)
That’s not so farfetched given that even now Microsoft, Google, and others are developing next-level videoconference systems designed to enable some form of holographic telepresence.
The authors note that 4G and expected 5G data rates may not enable such technologies — but that 6G might — owing to the fact that “holographic images will need transmission from multiple viewpoints to account for variation in tilts, angles, and observer positions relative to the hologram.”
Another promising possibility the study teases involves what they call a haptic Internet. “We believe that a variety of sensory experiences may get integrated with holograms,” the authors write. “To this end, using holograms as the medium of communication, emotion-sensing wearable devices capable of monitoring our mental health, facilitating social interactions, and improving our experience as users will become the building blocks of networks of the future.”
Other use cases mentioned in the paper involve what they call extremely high-rate “information showers” — hotspots where one can experience terabits-per-second data transfer rates — mobile edge computing, and space-terrestrial integrated networks.
Let’s not get carried away. As report co-author Andreas Molisch cautions, “There is [still] a lot of research that needs to be done…before the actual standardisation process can start.”