You need to see what pro football players can do with 5G

Imagine you’re watching the big game on Sunday in virtual reality. You’re sitting there with your goggles on, watching a professional American football player soar over three defenders to make a finger-tip catch. It’s like you’re there, better than any seat in the stadium. Or maybe you are even wearing a haptic suit that lets you feel every hit and block. Now imagine that football star is the one wearing the goggles… during the game… and still making the catch.

player playing helmet for baseball

Crazy, right? But this is the reality of 5G – networks with such low latency that players can wear VR goggles and still throw, dodge and tackle at close to full speed. If it sounds far-fetched, check out the video below from Verizon and Ericsson and see just what's possible:

What's incredible isn't just that star football players like Matt Forte and Jamal Adams can make one-handed catches wearing VR goggles in MetLife Stadium outside New York City. It's that they could do it so fast. VR has been linked to issues such as inducing nausea and disorientation in some participants – something attributed to the "lag" or latency between when something actually happens and when the brain synapses think it should happen.

I might have thought they could pull this off with weeks of training, or maybe if they were in some sort of alternative VR sports league. But, no, they did this all in a matter of hours, if not minutes.

Talk about a game changer.

Catch the power of low latency in 5G

This isn't our only example of the power of latency in the milliseconds. Check out a race car driver zoom around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in VR goggles – with the windows blacked out – in another collaboration with Verizon.

But while VR may transform the way we watch and even play sports, for me these videos illustrate the possibilities of 5G across the board. Think about what this kind of network can do for your business. Now think about a networked world with this kind of low latency across the globe – touch a remote control in Peru and a machine moves instantly in Russia.

It's putting smart tools in the hands of remote experts, and it's one way that technology will augment the humans working with it, making them capable of more than ever before.

We've been doing work on low latency applications with a range of partners. We're working on remote control devices that make mines safer, haptic feedback in transportation, manufacturing and health care, and augmented reality to troubleshoot in the factories of the future.

And let's not forget the fun either. 5G and other super-fast networks will transform the sports playing and watching experience. Learn more about the live experience on our Connected Stadium page. But it's also about gamifying squash or providing instant analytics that will make players like Matt Forte and Jamal Adams even better, even if they never put on VR goggles again.

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At the Ericsson Blog, we provide insight to make complex ideas on technology, innovation and business simple.