What is 5G, and how
will it affect your life?

Find out how 5G and other 2019 tech trends will change how you create, game and more.

A gamer lines up his shot at a giant monster displayed via Augmented Reality on his Samsung Galaxy device.

You may have heard that 5G is coming in 2019, but do you know what 5G actually is? How is it going to impact your life, and what is it going to change? New technology comes with new questions, so we're breaking down how 5G is going to impact the technology trends of 2019 and what that will mean for you.

A commuter checks her Samsung Galaxy phone while on the train.

What is 5G, anyway?

There aren’t five of anything in 5G—it simply means “fifth generation,” as in the fifth generation of cellular technology. 3G was the third generation, 4G was the fourth, and 2019 will bring the fifth.

It's easy to underestimate just how much faster 5G will be. The most noticeable difference will be in its significantly decreased latency, or how quickly signals are sent to and from devices. For context, 3G's latency response rate was 100 milliseconds, 4G's was 50 ms, and 5G's is going to be 1 ms.

Gaming especially is ready for this huge leap forward. 5G's response time will be so fast, lag time will be reduced to a point where gaming feels instantaneous. Say goodbye to loading screens—with response times like this, mobile gaming is going to just be "gaming". If you think playing Fortnite on the bus is cool, then you're in for a whole new world of remote gaming.

If you think playing
Fortnite on the bus is cool, then you're
in for a whole new world with 5G.

Gamers team up to take on a giant troll monster in a park thanks to Augmented Reality provided by 5G.

Mobile gaming levels up with AR

Remember Pokémon GO, the game that took the summer of 2016 by storm? As players moved through the real world, Pokémon would pop up in a map on their phone screens for them to catch. While simplistic, it made us feel like there was an entire world all around us that we could access through our phones.

That was our first taste of Augmented Reality (AR), virtual reality’s less cumbersome cousin, and it’s only going to get better in 2019 as 5G begins to roll out. You won't just be hunting down monsters on your way to the grocery store—you and 50 local players will descend on a park to rid it of a 50-foot frost troll that you can only see through your phones.

A fashion designer creates his latest work on a stand up display powered by 5G.

Creativity gets unleashed

5G isn't just going to change how we game—it's going to lead a creative revolution in the worlds of fashion, art, design and more. Much of the creative process already happens within a virtual space like a tablet or laptop, but dynamic displays powered by 5G are going to blur the line between those virtual spaces and the real world.

Until now, digital creation tools have done their best to approximate your ideas on a screen. But with innovations in standing displays, AR mirrors, foldable screens and more, those virtual creative spaces will be able to mimic the mental space where ideas are born. On top of that, 5G's negligible latency will enable those screens to respond in real time, so you can manipulate your creations and ideas with your own hands right on the screen itself.

A man does pull ups while a Samsung wearable tracks his progress.

Better tech, better health

While 2019 might be 5G's year, wearables are also undergoing a major growth spurt at the same time. And when these two technology trends get together, we're going to see some amazing things happen in our health and fitness routines.

With advances in smart fabrics and sensors, wearables are going beyond smartwatches in 2019. We’re going to see wearable technology in shoes, shirts, and more—basically anything that can be worn is going to get some tech sewn into it. And along with lower latency rates, 5G's massive connectivity upgrade is also going to significantly increase how many devices can collaborate together at once. So you won't just know how many steps you took today, you'll know what the weather was during each step, how local humidity affected your stride distance, and how much weight you put on each foot.

What's more, you'll be able to share all that information with your doctor the minute it's available, meaning they'll already have a pretty clear picture of your health before you even walk in the door. So, your doctor can be more efficient, saving you time in the waiting room.

A group of joggers run along their route while AI mixes their playlists for them based on information obtained from their wearables.

Music that moves with you

Entertainment in particular has only scratched the surface of what's possible with 5G. Music can already be transferred from one speaker to another easily within a household—but you have to tell it to do that. What if it just did it for you? With 5G empowering devices and sensors in your home, your music will be able to follow you as you move from room to room.

But surely you'd still have to tell your speakers what to play, right? Not with wearable tech tracking things like your heart rate, hormones, blood pressure, and more all day. If your health data indicates you're coming home tense from a long day at work, a comprehensive AI assistant, like Bixby, will know you're wound-up and need to listen to something soothing. Or perhaps you just got some great news and need to celebrate with your arena rock track list.

5G will take this physical and emotional adaptability outside the home as well. When you start running, Bixby will know to play music that gets you fired up and ready to move, and as your run comes to an end, it'll know to play something to cool you down.

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