The same cellular signals that are making our phones zippier, 5G — which stands for 5th-generation mobile network — are beginning to connect things. A drill, easily misplaced on a construction site — 5G connected. Locks, like high school students use — 5G connected. A bike, now trackable down to the centimeter because it's 5G connected. Your dog's collar — 5G connected? Indeed. Create a virtual fence using your phone's GPS, and Fido gets an alert when he's approaching it.
"So, if they go to the fence, they're going to get a beep." said Ken Ehrman, the inventor of Halo Dog Collar. "And whistle means 'come back.' Which means, wherever your dog is, when the whistle comes out of here, it means 'come right back to me.' If you teach your dog those two things, you can have a completely safe life off-leash."
It's getting harder for any of us, or our things, to be off-leash — The leash of connectivity. That much is apparent at the Mobility World Congress convention in Los Angeles.
"This conference is all about highlighting the potential of the mobile ecosystem to change society, industry and business." said Stephanie Lynch-Habib, CMO of Mobility World Congress.
Businesses are just beginning to harness what 5G makes possible.
"What's interesting about 5G is that it will somewhat disproportionately advantage more industrial and commercial opportunities than you saw with 4G," said Rob High, vice president and CTO of Networking & Edge Computing, IBM. "And the reason is because of the spectrums that 5G introduces."
It's a spectrum that carries vastly more data. But, to take full advantage of it, vastly more antennas are needed. Innovative solutions are emerging, like a city street's garbage can that also houses a 5G antenna.
JASON BELLINI: "How soon will we be living in what you consider to be a 5G world?"
ROB HIGH: "I think it's beginning now. We're already — with, of course, mobile computing — going to see 5G mobile devices. We're also seeing that same piece of mobile device being used in the factory environment as well."
Rob High and IBM are working together to make Boston dynamics' robotic dog, Spot, be guided by 5G. Speaking of dogs ... That 5G dog collar? Cesar Millan stopped by to help promote it.
BELLINI: "Our dogs are going to be connected to the internet?"
CESAR MILLAN: "They have to evolve with the human. Dogs have incredible adaptability. Right, so the two species that will be anywhere in the world is human and dog. That's it. So if the human evolves in technology, the dog, it's the loyalty of the dog. The dog adapts."
Turns out phones were just the beginning. There's much more ahead for us to adapt to. Jason Bellini, Newsy, Los Angeles.