by Valentine Baldassari
With fifth generation mobile networks (5G) launching at the end of the year in some countries, researchers are already working on the next generation of coverage, 6G.
The University of Oulu in central Finland has announced the start of 6Genesis, a new research programme focused on the development of wireless technology, including what it calls the “essential components” of 6G.
The project aims to meet the needs of the society of the future. The research team has even released a five minute video showing what they think such a society will look like and what it will need 6G for.
In their imagined future, devices with hologram-like “projected interfaces” and personalised artificial intelligence have replaced phones. “Smart” clothing will be able to monitor your health and water bottles will have live, customisable displays instead of labels.
All of these developments are part of 6Genesis’s prediction for 2030. Back in the present, however, 5G isn’t ready and will only be rolled out in the UK from 2020. How can scientists improve on something that doesn’t exist yet?
Matti Latva-aho, Director of 6Genesis and Professor of Communications Engineering, explained that:
“We started 5G research in 2009. It is now very natural to start to look at what comes next as the 5G standard is getting ready. Someone has to be the first one to start.”
He added that working on a long-term project in a field that is evolving so quickly is a normal approach in academic research.
Finland isn’t the only country working on 6G. Earlier this year, China announced it was starting its own research. The Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei pointed out that the growing number of connected objects would require faster networks that can transmit more data than those of today.
Featured Image supplied by 6Genesis