Optus demos live 5G with robots, VR and 8K streaming in your car

We keep hearing 5G is going to change our world, but Optus wants to show you how fast your connected future will actually be when it arrives January 2019.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
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  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly
2 min read

Optus wants to show you what the 5G future looks like, and it's all robots , VR and watching sports matches streamed in 8K to the back of your car.

The telco opened a 5G showcase on the Gold Coast on Thursday, showing the public what the new mobile technology will offer when it starts rolling out next year.

It's also promising to have 5G services available for the public to use in their homes by January 2019, thanks to a commercial router that is going through the final stages of testing now. 

With a massive marquee just off Broadbeach, Optus has timed its 5G Live showcase to take advantage of the captive audience heading to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games.

Visitors can play real soccer through a VR headset, square off against a robot at scissors-paper-rock and watch 360-degree live-streamed video in a massive geodesic dome. 


Optus demos low-latency 5G with a robotic arm that responds to human gestures in real time. 


But it's not just about robots and VR soccer. The telco is claiming a world first by demonstrating these use cases while also live-streaming 8K video to a roving van, all at the same time, using the single router. 

"What we have here today is a spectacular simultaneous demonstration of 5G capability, powered by a live 5G network, rather than through simulations," said Optus' managing director of networks, Dennis Wong.

The buzz around 5G is ramping up, especially after Optus and Telstra both announced they would begin rolling out fixed wireless 5G networks in early 2019.

But for most Australians, 5G is still a vague concept and a far way from becoming a reality.

The technology offers incredibly low latency, making it ideal for mission-critical applications that need to eliminate network delays -- think things like surgery conducted virtually by robotic arms or 5G-connected cars that can detect and react to their surroundings in real time.

The network is also geared toward an always-on, always-connected future. The high bandwidth of 5G means the countless networked devices we'll be using in the future (internet-connected street signs, sensors on everything) won't be stuck on over-crowded legacy networks.

Optus now hopes to convince the public that 5G will be worth their time, especially when it comes to spending money on accessing those fast new speeds.

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