A new 5G Innovation Hub has been announced in Dundee. The majority of the Scottish tech-start-up hopes are pinned on Edinburgh, but Dundee has been quietly staking its claim as a hugely promising option. There is a strong community within the city in public and private sectors who support and collaborate with each other, organising and hosting events to create and further solidify the relationships. Not only this, but Dundee has one a lower cost of living as opposed to the big cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen – and has been voted as one of the best places to live in the UK, and is a city readily investing in itself. This new hub only solidifies its standing as an up-and-comer.
The Scotland 5G Centre launched a programme in 2020 to install these hubs across the country, as part of a £4M national network investment in next-generation connectivity. Governing bodies across the globe are looking to implement 5G technology and development practices to harness 5G’s power. Studies suggest that this next generation of communication network could trigger a radical new wave of products and processes, resulting in an estimated $13.2T boost to the global economy, as well as 22.3 million jobs. It’s a piece of technology that redefines limits, blows apart horizons.
One area of focus for the Dundee 5G Innovation Hub will be the supporting and promoting innovation and growth in gaming products.
5G will fundamentally alter what gaming is capable of. The industry has been moving towards testing and pushing the boundaries of what existing technology can achieve – PCs and laptops, Xboxes and PlayStations, Nintendo consoles – for a long time. Graphics are notable and obvious improvements. Its intention can be attributed to immersion, enabling gamers to fully be there in the game world, where the realism of the world – either in the way it looks like the gamer’s own or in its total commitment to looking unique – is transportive. It is, also, more simply a case of discovering new ground, making use of innovation, because the motivation for most businesses and research is to be better, do better: grow.
What a game can be is also more complex. The maps and levels are more expansive and interactive, with the decisions a gamer makes impacting on the story and world in ways which give each gamer their own almost personalised experience.
5G will affect both these aspects of gaming, but also the accessibility of the activity too. The key thing it’ll unlock is cloud computing, which is where the rendering and processing of a game is done via remote servers which the gamers will essentially stream their device. 5G will ensure this process is done far more efficiently, with the faster download speeds and lower latency. Those who play online casino and mobile games will benefit greatly. They will be able to transition from a desktop or TV screen to their mobile seamlessly, should their needs change, and it will liberate the necessity of having a state-of-the-art PC rig or console. It’ll only be monitors and TVs that gamers will need to invest in, as well as good internet packages.
Dundee’s 5G Innovation Hub will be particularly interested in creating a relationship with InGAME and their R&D departments, and fostering and existing within the gaming industry community.
Healthcare and Manufacturing
Another avenue which 5G and Dundee’s hub will be focusing on is the healthcare and manufacturing industries. Both of these stress the importance of work flows and processes, as well as sharing information.
5G, as mentioned, is a key for many new technologies to find themselves used more effectively but, also, in high-value areas which, right now, are priced out or aren’t yet convinced by current iterations. There are two key areas for industries in general but, especially, for Dundee’s interests, healthcare and manufacturing: Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality headsets and artificial intelligence.
For healthcare and manufacturing, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality headsets enable companies to have better visualisations of projects and workspaces. Doctors and surgeons can analyse models of a patient’s body in 3D, enabling them to fully investigate where and what something is. Designers and engineers can map a new component onto a rendering to improve the final product. Also, AR and MR will allow stockrooms and warehouses to be easily navigated, as items will be indexed and the headsets can lead workers to where they need to be.
AI will help with this navigation too. There are also applications which involve patients potentially being diagnosed and given treatment plans by AI, streamlining the process of patient-doctor relationships and making it more affordable. The 5G will enable AI to act smoothly and effectively wireless, across numerous devices. Workers, be they healthcare professionals or project managers and laborers, need real-time updates, and 5G will allow AI to act as quickly as possible.
Dundee 5G Innovation Centre is an important step towards the future. It’s physical site is still yet to be confirmed, but it has one foot in front of the other.