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6G may be fast enough for us to communicate with futuristic holograms

Published May 6th, 2024 5:34PM EDT
Speed of light in the city of London
Image: YiuCheung/Adobe

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Scientists have created a new programmable antenna that is being considered the world’s first 6G antenna. The data speeds possible with the new antenna could be such a breakthrough, reports indicate, that holograms may actually become a viable way to communicate.

That sounds crazy and, honestly, like something right out of a Star Wars movie. But, the dynamic metasurface antenna (DMA) could actually be fast enough to make that possible. The device is controlled by a digitally coded mini processor that essentially works as a high-speed field programmable gate array (FPGA).

This ultimately means that the processor is capable of delivering a 6G signal in the 60 GHz millimeter-wave band, which is currently reserved for industrial, medical, and scientific applications. The scientists responsible for the world’s first 6G antenna shared their findings in a study published in IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation.

A person wearing a Pixel Watch 2 and using a Pixel 8 phone.
6G will take mobile communication even further. Image source: Google via Twitter/X

Considering that 5G is currently the most advanced communications standard we have for mobile communications right now, it’s impressive to think of what 6G would be capable of, as scientists say it could be thousands of times faster. Whether or not 6G would actually allow us to communicate via hologram isn’t set in stone.

We already know that some scientists are finding new ways to create holograms, but these visual systems are often heavy-handed and expensive. Even if they aren’t possible on 6G, being able to browse the web, download files, and transfer data at much faster speeds than 5G offers will be a boon for many who rely on 5G for their main internet connection

6G is expected to reach its final stage of specifications in 2028, with rollout for commercial services experienced to happen in the early 2030s. We’re still a good ways away from the next generation of mobile communication, but considering what could be possible with it, the world’s first 6G antenna is a great place to start.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.