This is a year for a lot of new opportunities, one of those being the year of the tactile internet. The tactile internet will combine multiple technologies in one that will change the way we interact, communicate with one another and how businesses operate using advantages of the internet. This is because the tactile internet will enable the control of interconnected smart devices in real time and offer haptic (or kinesthetic communication) feedback to customers and business owners.
This type of technology is made possible mainly due to new and innovative 5G technology. 5G is the 5th generation of mobile technology that not only interconnects people like its predecessors, but also has the ability to interconnect and control machines, objects and devices. Let’s take a look at how the tactile internet will change different areas of business across the globe with 5G technology.
Human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interaction in real-time, business will turn to an automated contact center instead of a call center or operator to handle customer service calls and inquiries. These types of contact centers combine live agents with robots to help better assist customers. With 24/7 live chat capabilities, businesses are able to complete a number of client requests quicker and more efficiently, even after hours. This will change the consumer experience and allow for businesses to answer questions, resolve problems and deliver quality customer service instantly.
Another area where automation is can already be seen is the switchover from the traditional factory and industrial jobs to industrial automation. Industrial automation replaces human-operated tasks with computers and machines. Automation also allows robots to go in and inspect human and/or robotics projects that are more complex and need in-depth and accurate inspections. Robots are able to be equipped with cameras, scanners and other high-tech equipment to inspect work and record data as necessary. This type of tactile internet technology increases the product quality and production rate, but reduces production and labor costs. Factories are able to work faster to produce more products and in turn make more money. In addition, automation in this industry actually protects workers from harm in hazard work environments by using robots instead of humans for high-risk jobs.
With the technologies of the tactile internet available 24/7, people will have access to healthcare management and services without physically having to go see their physician. This will be made possible through audio-visual and tactile feedback via a remote physical exam by a teleoperated medical robot. These telerobots will allow physicians to provide patient care by enabling direct verbal and visual contact from multiple locations. This will allow physicians to care for more patients around the globe under any circumstance and in turn offer healthcare to patients who might not have otherwise been able to receive care.
Another area of health in which the tactile internet will change is the rehabilitation process. Virtual reality (VR) equipment has made it possible for trainers to provide their clients with training and real-life simulation to aid in the recovery of stroke, military accident victims and other serious accident victims who have been left paralyzed in some form. VR can be helpful by incorporating their impaired limbs to perform simulating motor skill tasks like picking up and transferring objects. By practicing acts that use upper and lower limbs inside the VR, patients are actually working to help their brain reprogram commands and form new neural connections.
The tactile internet will indefinitely change the way we live by enabling robots and the internet of things (IoT) while integrating mobile-edge computing and a 5G network to transmit content and data. With automation, robotics, virtual reality, telepresence and artificial intelligence in one, our world as we know it will be changed forever.