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Use of VR and AR to grow across the smart cities sector through 5G

Frost & Sullivan’s analysis predicts that virtual and augmented reality technologies will be empowered through 5G for public sector applications such as disaster preparedness and personnel training.

VR/AR applications are currently constrained by infrastructure issues
VR/AR applications are currently constrained by infrastructure issues

The continued development of the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) across sectors including the smart city industry will increase significantly with the growth in global 5G deployments, a new study finds.


Frost & Sullivan’s analysis, Empowering the Future of VR/AR Content Consumption through 5G, covers seven virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) application areas and their use cases.


Public sector


The market overview includes public sector, automotive, the education and training industries, manufacturing/engineering and robotics, healthcare, retail and hospitality, and gaming and entertainment.


“Although the adoption of VR/AR technology outside gaming and entertainment is still in its infancy, immediate work needs to be done to establish the use cases and vision for VR/AR and develop solutions to disrupt the predicted spaces,” said Melody Siefken, information and communication technologies research analyst.


“Countries at the forefront of 5G deployments are the US, South Korea and China, with other countries catching up with either mobile or fixed wireless access to 5G.”

“There is an optimistic push for 5G deployments to cater to the rising demand for bandwidth and the need for faster networking speed”

Frost & Sullivan notes market participants should focus on the following five industries to capitalise on ‘immense’ growth prospects:

  • public sector: AR/VR can enhance smart cities, emergency management, and defence programmes. Disaster preparedness, real-time information overlay, and personnel training are some of the application areas in the public sector
  • automotive: aside from driver assistance and customer experience, there are many emerging application areas for VR in the automotive industry. For instance, VR can provide an alternative to new vehicle test-driving, which is safer and cheaper as it eliminates the need for additional vehicles for test driving
  • education and training: AR/VR could enable remote training and distance learning to create engaging classroom content that accomplishes the same objectives as in-person schooling
  • healthcare: virtual therapy, vital health monitoring and the opportunity to create platforms for training and exploration are benefits of using AR/VR in healthcare
  • manufacturing, engineering, and robotics: the manufacturing industry is being disrupted by use of VR and AR in design, prototyping, production, prevention of workplace hazards, inventory management, training, and assembly.

“The need for VR/AR technology to alleviate challenges posed by the global pandemic is immediate but constrained by infrastructure issues such as lack of 5G networks and capable devices,” Siefken added.


“There is an optimistic push for 5G deployments to cater to the rising demand for bandwidth and the need for faster networking speed. With the Covid-19 crisis, there has been a slowdown in the supply chain that could delay 5G deployments, which could ultimately impact the use cases of AR/VR.”


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