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6G will bring ‘digital replicas’ of our physical selves, Samsung says

Only a fraction of the smartphone using population are enjoying 5G data speeds, but that isn’t stopping Samsung looking ahead to future 6G connectivity.

In a white paper published by Samsung Research on Tuesday, the company said it plans to commence full scale research into 6G this year and expects networks to be available as soon as 2028.

The company said 6G will bring “the next hyper-connected experience to every corner of life”, which will include truly immersive XR (a combination of VR, AR and XR) experiences, while opening the door to high-fidelity mobile holograms and digital replicas of our physical selves.

If the latter caused your ears to prick up, then you aren’t alone. Here’s Samsung’s explanation of the concept.

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In the research paper, the company writes: “In a 6G environment, through digital twins, users will be able to explore and monitor the reality in a virtual world, without temporal or spatial constraints. Users will be able to observe changes or detect problems remotely through the representation offered by digital twins.”

“Users will be even able to go beyond observation, and actually interact with the digital twins, using VR devices or holographic displays. A digital twin could be a representation of a remotely controlled set of sensors and actuators. In this manner, a user’s interaction with a digital twin can result in actions in the physical world.”

That could lead to doctors carrying out remote surgeries, for example.

Of course, the technical challenges behind such breakthroughs are quite significant. Samsung says 6G will need to have a peak data rate of 1,000Gbps and latency below 100 microseconds. That’s compared to the 20Gbps peak data rate it is hoped that 5G will achieve.

Samsung believes rapid progress will be made towards 6G because the International Telecommunication Union’s Radiocommunications Sector will seek to define the technical standards for 6G as soon as next year.

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