The entire wireless industry is working overtime to convince the world that 5G, and the higher prices associated with the faster speeds it affords, will not only be worth it but will deliver never-before-seen wonders. But few companies have produced such a stunningly well-done sales job as Three, one of the leading wireless giants in the UK.
To make its 5G case the company put together what can only be described as a short science fiction film to show consumers at least some of what's on the way, and augmented reality plays a starring role.
The video starts by showing us a smartphone user receiving a mysterious call that transports her (via 5G connection) to a vast cityscape, layered with all manner of holographic displays and advertisements.
Soon after, we're plunged into the back seat of a robot-controlled taxi where a passenger interacts with a gesture-controlled holographic display projected by a smartwatch.
Next, we get a glimpse of the next iteration of the UK's currency, which features holographic projections that outpace even what the country has released in real life.
However, the person offering the cash happens to be wearing an age-deception face filter in an attempt to buy beer. His ruse revealed when the proprietor holds up his smartphone AR face filter tool, showing that the would-be buyer is a child.
Seconds later, we get a glimpse of what virtual interfaces layered over existing smartphones might look like in the future. It's not clear if the music fan is using AR smartglasses or just interacting with a holographic projection of some sort.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the video is a man using a holographic training program that includes a life-sized, tentacled alien chasing him to get him to run faster and longer, with virtual controls projected from a wearable smart device.
Finally, we end with a man sitting in his living room playing a deeply immersive VR game using a set of tiny spectacles. When he snatches them off, we see that he's sitting in a living room with his wife, who is reading a virtual newspaper, and his son, who isn't actually in the room but projected (Star Wars hologram style) from a remote location.
It's a whimsical but not particularly technical take on some of the wonders of immersive computing that lie ahead powered in part by 5G wireless access. Of course, much of what we see in this video is just fun "what if" scenarios that aren't necessarily logical based on what we can discern.
Nevertheless, it's an ambitious and undeniably fun approach to 5G marketing. Examples like these might help consumers understand that they're about to enter a new realm of connectivity, blanketed by the AR cloud and a million AR and holographic experiences that will change the very fabric of our daily reality.