The roll-out of 5G technology will enable brands to create experiences that “merge” the physical and virtual worlds in increasingly powerful ways, a leading executive from Qualcomm, the chip manufacturer, has argued.

Penny Baldwin, Qualcomm’s CMO, discussed the subject at the 2019 Brand Marketing Summit, an event held by the Incite Group in San Francisco.

The high-speed connections allowed by 5G, she said, will enable “digitally enhanced physical experiences” via technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality.

“That’s essentially the merging together of your physical world with your virtual world … And that’s going to bring in some really powerful marketing applications,” Baldiwn said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Three 5G marketing predictions from Qualcomm.)

As a case in point, Baldwin predicted that shopping for furniture no longer will involve travelling to a brick-and-mortar retail store.

“You’ll be able to stand in your home, shop virtually, pick up all the imagery that you’re considering for installation in your home, and see it in a virtual world with volumetric data,” she said.

That vision won’t be “a single-pane image; it will be a three-dimensional image that you’ve brought into your home” that lets a consumer see exactly how a new sofa and coffee table combination suits their living room.

Digitally enhanced experiences will also extend to retail settings, she said, where a sales associate will be able to load previous purchases on a smart device and quickly look at new merchandise that matches their preferences.

“So, whether it’s porting AR/VR applications into your home environment or whether it’s going into a physical environment and bringing in AR/VR, the merging of these two worlds is going to affect marketing opportunities,” Baldwin said.

She also noted that 5G technology, which should give consumers the ability to download a high-definition movie in less than a minute, will have a significant impact on content consumption.

“There will be the ability to just immerse far more deeply in video content,” she said. “Video consumption is forecast to increase 9x by 2022 … Video streaming will become much like audio streaming is today.”

Sourced from WARC