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How 6G will impact our daily lives by 2030

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A elderly woman checking blood pressure of an elderly man at home
Soon diagnosing a stroke, at home, may become as simple as monitoring blood pressure | Photo: Vlada Karpovich

As I land in Helsinki to catch my second plane to Oulu, I am already running late. So I rush through the busy airport, trying to find my boarding gate – always the last one when you are running late.

Once I finally make it to gate 40-something, I look outside the window and, although winter has not yet fully set in, the Finnish capital already has more snow in a few days than I will probably see in England until Easter. And then I see it: out of all the more modern aircrafts parked on the tarmac, having snow jet-washed off their wings, I find out that mine is the oldest one. Very old indeed. I should have guessed by the twin-engine turboprop that made it look like a toy.

It doesn’t take long to realize that if you are flying short-haul on Finnair in the Nordic region, there is a high chance you may end up on one of those ATR 72-500s, an aircraft model used by the centenary company since the 80s. As I make my way to write a feature about Finland championing 6G, the sixth-generation technology for wireless communications, I can’t help feeling caught between two worlds: a nostalgic past represented by the old airplane with beige leather seats, and a brand-new world only possible in imagination – and cartoons.

1 hour and 10 minutes, and a few blueberry juices later, we arrive safely.

I see even more snow and beautiful buildings.

Unlike the Jetsons, the American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera, there are no flying cars in the city where dozens of people are employed in the present to research the internet of the future – probably because I am way too early for that, as the cartoon, a futuristic version of the hit series The Flintstones, is set in 2062.

Fast forward a few hours, my visit to a local university finally brings me closer to the technology I was hoping to hear about.

Back in 2018, the University of Oulu, one of the largest universities in Finland, founded six decades earlier, decided to apply to a national research flagship competition with the 6G research program currently being run today.

“Having started in 2018, we are now in the second phase of our research, and we plan to continue it until the end of 2028. The flagship is operated by the University of Oulu, and currently, we have about 500 researchers from 50 nationalities,” says Professor Matti Latva-aho, Director of the 6G Flagship, the world’s first 6G research programme. “Every ten years, a new mobile standard is developed to meet the growing needs of wireless networks, which are rapidly expanding into new application areas. 5G was the first step towards the next mobile technology breakthrough, and 6G will be the next.”

There is a focus on making 6G networks more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. The ambitions project involves optimizing the use of resources to reduce the overall energy consumption of the network infrastructure.

6G, as presently forecasted, is also likely to utilize a wider range of frequencies when it finally becomes a reality, around 2030, including terahertz frequencies, to accommodate the increasing demand for bandwidth.

“One of the new things that have already started to emerge with the use of 5G are the new developments towards the super-efficient local connectivity solutions, including extreme speedy and reliability, as well as increased localization and sensing accuracy,” says Matti Latva-aho.

“The massive automation of society is really what is pushing us forward. It is often said that 6G will merge physical, digital, and biological worlds in different ways, to have unbelievable applications that no one can imagine today. We have many challenges, compared to 5G. We have to do it better, more efficiently, and push everything to the limit, far beyond what 5G is capable of. The standard 6G should be ready in 2028, and people should be able to buy devices enabled for this new technology from supermarkets in 2030,” forecasts Latva-aho, who was recently recognised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to the field of mobile communication systems.

“When we think about the 6G era, two things are of interest at this point: massive twinning, and later on, the 6G metaverse will probably see groundbreaking new types of applications built around future wireless technologies – both in our personal lives and across various forms of entertainment systems. Overall, I believe we are moving towards a holistic digitalization of society. Everything will be connected, and we will depend more and more on it,” says Latva-aho, envisioning a future society that is data-driven and reliant on near-instant, unlimited wireless connectivity.

Connectivity is essential in modern times. There is a lot of discussion around personalized health, with 6G also likely to impact the way we take care of ourselves, with large data processing allowing for more remote assessments and patient diagnosis.

“6G will bring many advances to remote monitoring and diagnostics. And this will be very useful, as they can be used in smaller health centers or home monitoring, for example. But also because it enables diagnoses in situations when a catastrophe takes place and the infrastructure of a large hospital is destroyed by a natural disaster; remote monitoring and diagnostics are also essential in cases of a pandemic,” says Mariella Särestöniemi, an adjunct professor at Oulu University, who is working on a 6G Enabling Sustainable Society project investigating new wireless, energy-efficient diagnosis and monitoring solutions for future’s wireless hospital.

For Särestöniemi, healthcare provided electronically, in real time, goes far beyond a routine appointment: with more capacity to process massive amounts of data, people can expect to see wearable breast cancer screening devices as well as applications to detect brain tumours via tissue scanning using microwaves to detect the presence of a tumour.

The ATR 72-500 aircrafts have been used by Finnair since the 80s | Photo: Marcio Delgado

Although 5G has not yet been fully implemented around the world to help deliver the recent developments of artificial intelligence and machine learning projects, it is 6G that may introduce us to a futuristic world with driverless cars and fewer in-person visits to the doctor.

The Jetsons would be proud of our soon-to-be ultra-connected world.

But twin-engine turboprop aircraft, like the ATR 72-500 that took me 600 km north of Helsinki to visit Oulu University, may not be around anymore in 2030 when 6G lands commercially.

Journalist Marcio Delgado visited the 6G Flagship research programme, in Oulu as a guest of Business Finland, a public organization under the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.

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Artificial Intelligence to lead Vivatech 2024 in France

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Artificial Intelligence to lead Vivatech 2024 in France
VivaTech will explore three technological challenges of the 21st century such as Artificial Intelligence, sustainable tech, and mobility.

The eighth annual edition of VivaTech, Europe’s biggest event dedicated to startups and tech, will take place 22-25 May in Paris at Expo Porte de Versailles.

The event is expected to gather over 2,500 start-ups and 2,000 international investors. 350 companies and organizations from 25 dynamic sectors, including automotive, healthcare and finance, will also be present. 

A new programme will aim to stimulate growth and innovation among economic decision-makers. This year VivaTech will introduce the Impact Bridge, a space bringing together start-ups, innovations and associations with a responsible tech approach.

VivaTech will explore three technological challenges of the 21st century: Artificial Intelligence, sustainable tech and mobility.

It is no surprising AI be heavily featured during the two-day tech event in France: 37% of VivaTech’s partners currently offers AI solutions.  The event will also will showcase innovations across 25 economic sectors and host discussions on the societal challenges of AI with several worldwide speakers.

According to the VivaTech barometer, business leaders recognise the importance of Sustainable Tech, with 93% of them convinced of its crucial role in meeting future challenges. Investment in this sector is on the rise, with a forecast doubling by 2027 to encourage innovation in the face of climate change. This is illustrated by the success of Sustainable Tech start-ups, which have raised a record $51 billion by 2023.

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How sustainable is 3D printing in 2024?

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A 3D printer ready to be used
3D printing can be used to make eco-friendly products to increase sustainability in business | Photo: Jakub Zerdzicki

3D printing is making manufacturing more flexible, efficient, and adaptable than ever. In addition to its many creative uses, 3D printing is excellent at making eco-friendly products and might lead to sustainable production.

Sustainability means doing more with less. This mindset emphasizes energy and material efficiency and promotes a circular economy where items are reused and rebuilt. 3D printing may be utilized in many sectors and at all phases of manufacturing, from prototype to final product, to promote sustainable development.

Here are five ways 3D printing will make manufacturing greener in 2024.

Waste reduction

Additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) helps green production. Traditional manufacturing uses subtractive operations like grinding and cutting to remove raw elements from a bigger piece until a final product is made. As expected, this procedure may create a lot of trash.

Using comprehensive plans, 3D printing places material precisely where it’s required, layer by layer, to create a finished object. trash management benefits immediately, and the process’s precision saves resources and reduces production and trash disposal energy, making manufacturing more ecologically friendly.

Cutting transportation

3D printing is ideal for ordering bespoke things. By just creating things as required, companies may decrease resource waste and overstocking. Home 3D printer users may create personalized items from home, reducing the environmental effect of transporting things vast distances.

According to Rotec, a CNC machining specialist, another key to sustainability is energy conservation. 3D printing simplifies production and eliminates the need for several pieces of equipment and tools, reducing energy usage. 3D printing reduces the number of equipment and machines needed to create a product to one: the printer.

Launching the circular economy

Circular economies reuse, recycle, and repurpose. 3D printing uses recyclable and biodegradable materials without considerable processing, making output more environmentally friendly.

3D printing revolutionizes manufacturing speed, personalization, and environmental care. 3D printing reduces waste, saves energy, and promotes a cycle economy, making it a vital tool for sustainable manufacturing.

Material innovations for sustainability

Combining 3D printing with environment changes manufacturing, and new materials are key. New eco-friendly 3D printing materials are transforming the industry and providing individuals long-term environmental solutions. Sustainable materials in 3D printing and their environmental impact are discussed in this section, utilizing recent advancements.

Eco-friendly 3D printer fibres

With more and more attention being paid to the environment, 3D printing materials should have as little negative effect as possible. A lot of 3D printing has been done with plastics, but recently the 3D sector has come up with several eco-friendly materials, such as Polylactic Acid (PLA), a plant-based plastic that can be recycled. These materials break down on their own, which is better than plastics made from oil. They also lessen the damage that 3D printing does to the earth.

Although the transition to sustainable materials in 3D printing is excellent for the environment, further research, commercial collaboration, and public awareness are still needed to make 3D printing a truly greener option in the long term.

One major issue is the rise of 3D-printed plastic waste, with printing processes like stereolithography (SLA) and digital light projection (DLP) currently employing petroleum-based thermosets, which contribute to increased plastic waste.

However, as technology evolves, we will also learn how to incorporate 3D printing into a sustainable way of manufacturing by developing new eco-friendly materials that cause less of a negative impact on our environment.

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Spanish mobile industry to launch online anti-fraud service

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A woman holding a mobile phone
Reported cases of cybercrime in Spain increased by 72% in 2022 | Photo: Jonas Leupe

Spain’s leading mobile operators Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone have announced the launch of two new services designed to help developers tackle online fraud and protect the digital identities of mobile customers.

As part of the global GSMA Open Gateway initiative, the operators have announced the  launch of two network API (Application Programmable Interface) services focused on improving digital security: Number Verification and SIM Swap. These APIs will allow developer teams and partners to create new intelligent layers of customer authentication, verification, and security within mobile phone networks. This will help businesses, such as financial institutions and online retailers, tackle identity fraud by enhancing user authentication and improving security.

These new services will be available at Mobile World Congress (MWC) taking place in Barcelona, Spain, from 26-29 February.

The latest figures from Spain’s Interior Minister show that reported cases of cybercrime increased by 72% in 2022 compared to 2019, with almost 90% of them being related to online fraud. Cybercrime now accounts for around a fifth of all offences registered in the country.

Juan Reyero Montes, Enterprise Marketing Director, Orange Spain, commented, “the launch of these two new APIs onto the Spanish market, addressing key use cases around fraud, aptly demonstrates the value that Orange and our partner operators can bring, utilising our network capabilities to improve the security of transactions whilst enhancing the user experience for customers through seamless authentication.

Launched one year ago at MWC Barcelona, the GSMA Open Gateway initiative represents a shift in the way the global telecoms industry designs and brings to market new mobile apps, and immersive and digital services. The new Number Verification and SIM Swap services will also make online authentication simpler and faster for online customers, as mobile applications, cloud services and connectivity networks will all be accessible through the APIs.

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