︎︎︎ About

With 5G as a narrative and framework, this design project explores future use cases and discusses the impact it could have on our society.

︎︎︎ Artifacts

  1. Autonomous Decisions
  2. Remote Work
  3. Fake Society
  4. Cultural Streaming
  5. Decentralized Health
  6. Contagion Mapping
  7. Digital Education
  8. Connectivity as Real Estate
  9. Virtual Shopping

︎︎︎ Final Reflections

We are in the middle of a connectivity-shift, where 5G is expanding every day.

︎︎︎Picture Library



Remote Work


What if physical presence did not determine the jobs you could perform?


By 2050 it’s projected that more than two-thirds of the world population will live in urban areas. Expanding cities to meet the needs of the future requires extensive construction work, in every part of the world. As a consequence, a new type of business model has appeared for the construction industry, enabling remote operations on a large scale.





5G and Feasibility


The remote operation of heavy machinery such as excavators, cranes and bulldozers relies on the 5G networks precision positioning, increased speeds, reduced latency and network slicing. The combination of characteristics allows for haptic feedback, real-time video transmission in high definition, with a secure and prioritized portion of the network dedicated to the construction business. Ericsson has done similar projects using 4G previously, but suggests that 5G is the future for this kind of evolution as the 4G network is not suited for tasks where a couple milliseconds of latency could be disastrous.
They also address the challenges of hiring skilled people for jobs in remote areas, as they are often drawn to the cities, which this artifact explores. Much like the physical boundaries of the football field in the previous artifact, construction sites are usually restricted areas with many security precautions, and a suitable starting point for implementing remote controlled machinery, as opposed to open, accessible and crowded locations.


︎︎︎The commucation between the operator and customer. If the operator speaks a different language the chat will instantaneously translate the messages for both of them.


Reflection

When discussing remote or digital presence, especially tied to critical services or operations, there are several issues that arise. The possibility for people to live where they want, and perform a job where work is available, is something many people would appreciate. However, this idea might also open up possibilities that have less desirable effects. What if large companies recruit a workforce in low-cost countries with poor wages, and use them to outperform local actors based on prices? Would anyone care where the workers were located, and their working conditions? How could you even be sure who was piloting the machinery in the first place?


When discussing this artifact with Joakim Formo who has been working on the Ericsson 4G excavator project mentioned previously, we learned that in the case of current physical excavator operation, there is a huge amount of time spent waiting. One person could effectively operate 10 excavators at once by connecting to another job while waiting for others to perform their tasks on the previous one. Would the amount of machines controlled by a single operator be limited due to security concerns, or would they be offered piecework payment encouraging simultaneous jobs? What does the remote construction industry look like on the customer's side?


The questions we ask through this artifact involve physical presence, job markets and decentralization. It can be perceived as the construction industry equivalent to Econovenience services (Fiverr, Uber, Foodora, Voi) which might eventually expand to other industries like mining, forestry or shipping. What would this mean for future job markets, education and demographics? Would we see the disappearance of local providers and workers due to outsourcing? Or could the need for on-demand machinery create new jobs and opportunities locally?


Physical presence =
illusion of trust?
︎︎︎

Remote Work
︎︎︎

Physical Precense



Operator
︎︎︎

Excavator
Crane
Mining
Cargo transport
︎︎︎

Ocean
Air
Rail
Road
Transport of
people
︎︎︎
Bus
Tram
Underground
Train
Boat
Plane