I had my first “out of body” experience the other day.
Don’t worry — my heart was working fine. My eyes were playing tricks on me, though — thanks to the virtual reality (VR) headset I wore.
I wandered into a tech store at the mall, with VR headsets on prominent display.
I can see how someone could easily lose themselves in one of these VR rigs.
So, I roamed around three-dimensional worlds of my choosing.
Once you strap on that VR headset, you’re inside a digital universe with its own boundaries and rules. That’s very different from the real world, where we live with constant change.
Some nations’ economies heat up while others cool. Patterns of international trade shift. The value of sovereign currencies fluctuates in unexpected ways.
And then there are the individual investors, like us, trying to navigate this chaotic landscape — where the coronavirus took down the stock market and the great American economy in a matter of months.
But that’s all about to change, thanks to the Great American Reset — which is going to be spurred on by — you guessed it — virtual reality.
Virtual reality, however, has been around for a number of years. Why is it set to change the very economy as we know it right now?
It’s all thanks to another tripping point trend I follow — 5G.
You see, every few years, our communications networks get a major “generational” technology upgrade.
We currently live in a world of 4G networks, encompassing both “wired” and “wireless” networks. While it’s much faster than the bad ol’ days of 1G, 2G and 3G, it still has a long way to go.
Our supposedly high-speed wired data connections clock in at an average download rate of around .06 gigabits per second. Our mobile phone networks are even slower, with an average transfer speed of .02 gigabits per second.
So how fast will 5G technology be?
With 5G, our download speeds will be more than 10 times faster — at least one full gigabyte per second. So let’s just say 5G is really, really fast.
It also offers the bandwidth for all the things we use the internet for today and tomorrow: not just streaming on mobile devices, but extending massive data links to autonomous vehicles, “sensorized” factories, as well as “smart” cities and homes.
And yes, I believe the shift to 5G will push virtual reality into a new form of mass entertainment. And new forms of entertainment are needed now more than ever — when the average American is looking for ways to amuse themselves safe in their own home.
It takes a huge amount of bandwidth and computational power to create a convincing lifelike digital environment we can roam around and explore. It’s possible to do now, but it means bulky headsets, wires and high-powered gaming computers close at hand. With 5G data speeds, most of that technology could be parked in the cloud and fed to our VR headsets wirelessly.
Thanks to 5G, virtual reality will finally take off, leading to the Great American Reset — the greatest economic boom we’ve seen this side of the 21st century.