The Tactile Internet will completely transform the way humans interact with machines, thanks to 5G’s Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) defines the Tactile Internet as an internet network that combines ultra-low latency with extremely high availability, reliability, and security. One of the major features that distinguish the Tactile Internet is the increased availability of high-speed internet connectivity. Low-latency internet will bring a new dimension of haptic interaction between humans and machines. The Tactile Internet will help usher in the fourth industrial revolution, also referred to as Industry 4.0. But how exactly will the Tactile Internet work?
The Tactile Internet leverages 5G technology to provide an ultra-fast internet connection to users that can enable haptic interaction with visual feedback. It will enable humans to ‘feel’ their environment through machines due to ultra-low latency. Machines will have the ability to mimic human reaction speed, thanks to low latency provided by high-speed internet connections. Humans can control machines remotely and these machines will respond with ‘human reflexes’.
The Tactile Internet, thanks to low latency and high responsiveness, will see applications in a plethora of industries such as healthcare, education, gaming, and mining, to name a few. It will completely transform the way these industries operate. Here’s a look at how the Tactile Internet will change the healthcare and education sector.
The healthcare industry will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Tactile Internet. The Tactile Internet will transform connected healthcare completely. Medical professionals can see vast improvements in telediagnosis, telesurgeries, and telerehabilitation. Currently, medical expertise and consultations are restricted to the location of the physicians. However, when the Tactile Internet arrives, physicians can conduct physical examinations of patients remotely with the help of the Tactile Internet. The physician can use a telerobot to physically examine patients. With haptic feedback, physicians can ‘feel’ their patients, and, thus help in diagnosis and treatment. Similarly, telesurgeries can be carried out by surgeons. The telerobot used by the surgeons will have a response time similar to the surgeon. Thus, remote surgeries will become advanced and will enable doctors to carry out complex surgeries remotely.
The Tactile Internet can help improve learning and teaching experiences. With a haptic overlay, teachers will be able to experience students’ movements when they undertake a physical task to test a student’s motor skills. Similarly, students will be able to see, hear, and feel teachers’ movements. The Tactile Internet will involve the use of AR and VR technology. For example, with the help of AR technology, students will able to feel objects projected on the real-world by ‘touching’ them. Similarly, teachers can give remote lectures to students with the help of a telerobot. Teachers can even utilize objects in the classroom for teaching purposes by controlling the telerobot. Thus, the Tactile Internet will help provide education in remote areas, helping improve literacy rates, especially in third-world countries. However, investment in infrastructure, government regulations, and the reach of the technology will prove to be a major challenge in leveraging the Tactile Internet in education.
The Tactile Internet will not be confined to the above-mentioned industries. As the technology advances, other sectors such as gaming, manufacturing, and supply chain and logistics, too, will reap the benefits of the Tactile Internet. However, businesses looking to leverage the Tactile Internet may have to wait until 5G becomes mainstream. Until then, they can work on developing solutions specific to their needs. Once the technology becomes readily available, they can start enjoying its benefits.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.