image of 5G – The next quantum leap?

5G – The next quantum leap?

Jan. 28, 2021

BIM is not the end of disruptive innovation for the AEC industry. 

Disruptive Innovation 

The term disruptive innovation comes up often within the Architecture industry, its driver being technological shifts and breakthroughs. The changes are not gradual nor incremental, but shift exponentially each time, changing the way we work and requiring different skillsets.   
 
But as promising as it sounds, speculation and over-hyped technologies may have oversold the notion. Processes in construction have not changed much in the last century. In fact, the AEC industry has been termed the “last craft industry”.   
 
That is all set to change. Tech events like BeyondX (more on facing page) present a compelling outlook for technology, showcasing exponential capabilities like AR/VR, 3D Printing and Artificial Intelligence; most of these already being implemented for processes within the industry. But there is one technology that is already brewing, and it is set to (further) boost almost every aspect of our lives.
image of 5G – The next quantum leap?
image of 5G – The next quantum leap?

Fifth Generation Network 

Prepare the calvary, for the next tidal wave of technology appears to be the upcoming 5G Network, or Fifth Generation Network. The new benchmark for wireless network performance, it will allow ground-breaking peak speeds of 100 gigabits per second – a network infrastructure that reduces latency dramatically, with enough capacity for a new range of emerging technologies.   
 
Expect nothing less than buffer-less video streaming and unprecedented levels of connectivity. In the near future, so long as an appliance is electrified, it can be connected with an infinite plethora of other appliances, resulting in an Internet of Things (IOT). Experts estimate 28 to 100 billion devices to be connected to the internet in 2020.  
 
Apart from its obvious potential to enhance everyday living, consider the effects on the AEC industry: drones that monitor health and safety issues at a building site, sending alerts when structural beams affect construction integrity from afar, smart buildings that control lighting and shade for more efficient ventilation and indoor temperature regulation, and even smart grids to distribute energy efficiently throughout cities.
image of 5G – The next quantum leap?
image of 5G – The next quantum leap?

New Technologies  

New technologies like 3D printing have seen architects going back to the drawing board and opening new doors for traditional materials. Timber laminate is now envisioned to play an integral part in building higher and lighter, and researchers are aiming for these advances to become a part of construction sites within the next five years.  
 
What about green energy sources? Take solar, for example. SunRun, Vinvint Solar and Tesla are leaders of the solar tech race and are not only making next generation of green energy affordable to households, but plan to integrate their capabilities with smart household abilities, like activating the use of solar power by phone for a warm shower.   
 
Perhaps in the near future, we can replicate how the Karez Well system in China allows people to work with, rather than against, the forces of nature to deliver their needs. Let's nurture what we touch. 5G should prove just the catalyst.

 

This article first appeared in the October 2019 issue of 360 News. You can download and read the full article here. 



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