The tactile internet will be the next evolution of the IoT. By enabling real-time human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions through high-speed, low-latency 5G network connections, humans and machines will be able to interact with their environments using touch and visual feedback. IoT-integrated edge computing, with AI and machine-learning algorithms, will allow condition-based maintenance of parts such as car engines and manufacturing robots; machines can also log themselves in for automatically administered maintenance.
Reprogrammable robotics are the future of industrial production: cloud edge computing for instance can track essential data such as inventory information, and the The coordination of robots can be optimised by repurposing them regularly, as performed today by Baxter and Rethink Robotics.
The tactile internet will enable efficient manufacture of highly customised products, and take people out of harm’s way in a range of hazardous industrial contexts. Humans assisting production will be equipped with connected tools such as touch-sensitive connected gloves and wearable sensors. Human error and the risk of injury can thereby be minimised, or even eliminated entirely, as in remote mining. Meanwhile duties such as inspection, maintenance and repair can be conducted remotely, in settings from smart industrial plants to aeroplanes. ProGlove’s connected touch feedback system, for instance, can already optimise quality-checks within factories, as well as assisting assembly and enhancing various other aspects of the manufacturing process. Specialised portable robots will make customised limited edition production far more affordable, adding to the demand for these technologies and making them more economic as time goes on.
High-speed, low-latency mobile connectivity combined with AR/VR will enable new levels of telepresence, enabling the navigation of high-risk situations from the safety of a control room. AR/VR devices will, thanks to 5G and the new generation of headsets, be wireless and highly portable. If professionals need to learn how to assemble satellites in the middle of the desert, or manage an oil refinery remotely, services such as Immerse can provide highly effective and intuitive virtual training. Low-latency, high-speed 5G Wi-Fi connections will be essential to such imitation of real life situations.
Training in machinery and safety will in future generally be conducted through AR. It will be possible to rehearse complex tasks before performing them; surgeons for instance could practice heart surgery, and civil engineers their complex duties before applying the irreversible changes on machines. The emerging intelligent ecosystem will be able to apply predictive analysis to determine high probability results, allowing education as we know it to be permanently redefined.