Matthew Gower

From cell phone upgrades, to advancements in cellular data and Wi-Fi, to improvements in Virtual Reality, many new technology innovations have been created recently with many more on the way.

When it comes to cell phones, a large portion of the population owns a handheld cellular device. According to Statista, an estimated 67% of the worldwide population had a cell phone as of 2019 and this number continues to grow year after year.

Currently, many cell phone networks operate on current 4G LTE technology. 4G allows for an average of 30 Mbps (Megabytes per second), HD Streaming, social media, complex gaming and other interactive apps.

Large companies such as Samsung, Intel and Qualcomm are investing in the next generation of cellular networking capabilities called 5G. The new networking is expected to operate much faster than 4G LTE networks with 5G operating at 60 Mbps-1Gbps (Gigabytes per second) when the technology was introduced in 2019.

These numbers continue to grow as the technology is more available and being added to certain providers and home internet options. Some of the features of 5G include Gigabit speeds, home internet, AI-based networking and automated sensors.

The quicker speeds are not the only changes 5G can bring, it can also help in the medical field via Artificial Intelligence by helping doctors in diagnosing patients and planning treatments.

“AI and machine learning are currently being used to diagnose and decide on the best treatments for patients. By automating health specialists’ tasks, patients are provided with more accurate diagnosis and treatment plans than humans…AI is currently being used to identify various types of tumors in patients. By analyzing more samples than a pathologist sees in their lifetime, an AI built algorithm can accurately cut down misdiagnosis rates. In one study, an algorithm found that 12% of brain tumors had been misdiagnosed by pathologists,” according to CENGN (Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks).

The idea of virtual reality (VR) has existed since the 1800s with the invention of the stereoscope, which used two mirrors to project a single image. This led to a further innovation on the idea called the View-Master in the 1900s which would let someone view different 3D images when held up to their eyes. The term virtual reality was not used until the 1980s by Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research who began working on the technology which included goggles and gloves.

The technology was not widely available at the time but has since become more available to consumers with the creation of Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and dozens of others. Despite their availability the various units can usually cost hundreds of dollars or more.

There have been many uses for VR headsets over the years not just for the average consumer, but also for those involved in the military, sports, medical training and so on. The US and UK military both use VR technology to help troops in their training in a large range of simulations they might encounter. VR technology has also been used in medical training allowing students to practice surgeries and procedures, helping to develop their skills.

Innovations with VR technology are constantly changing trying to develop more immersive experiences. Companies are developing new sensors, creating more advanced optics trying to create simulations that can more accurately depict what someone might see in the real world.

One of the latest of these innovations is Tactile Virtual Reality. This new technology’s aim is to build on what has already been established with sight and movement in the headsets. Tactile Virtual Reality aims to simulate the feeling of touch in virtual reality. Some of these technologies come in the form of gloves and other various controllers. Large companies such as Oculus and Cisco are currently investing in the technology.

With technological innovations such as these, industries developing them have continued to grow. They continue to develop more products building onto their pre-existing tech and moving forward with new ideas for the future. 

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