How Edge Devices can shape future work environment in the post pandemic era?

Mitch TsengMitch Tseng I have the right answer for you.
edited March 2020 in Technology

The world is changing, the business operation is changing, and the method of work is changing for many people amid the storm of the coronavirus. A question is, will people and corporation resume the old ways (“the good olde days”) once crisis is over? At the beginning, the corporations and people were struggling to cope with these changes; however, it is likely that a “new norm” will be formed after three or four months’ chaotic operations. Regardless how companies are coping with these changes, the term “remote” seems to be the magic word for individuals to develop new routines to maintain “social distancing” and comply with the “shelter in place” city ordinances.

We can probably find a silver lining in the cloud through new Edge Devices, though. In order to have this "remote operation mode" to be more tolerable and efficient, new edge devices such as glasses with Intelligent AR capability and advanced multimedia web-meeting consoles, will certainly change the practices on shopping from home (go to a “virtual Mall”) and working from home especially when these can be supported by reliable adequate last-mile connectivity.

What else?


  • Mitch TsengMitch Tseng I have the right answer for you.

    During the Edge Computing Task Group meeting today, we talked about how advanced/intelligent AR can help in multiple ways to address this "distant or remote" operations. For example, if an expert is not available to be on site for a field work, a local technician with reasonable skill can attend to the problem on site and the expert can guide the local technician via intelligent.

    Furthermore, in the medical field, while remote operation is still challenging mostly because of the concerns on the latency or jitters in the network, remote training and education can also be greatly benefited through advanced goggle or better displays.

    Of course, with more and more people entering the "shelter in place" status, goods delivery, either through fleets or drones, will definitely a subject to work on. Tracking the goods while it is delivered would certainly play a more crucial role especially when perishable goods are involved. Safety (of goods) will receive more attention due to this change.

    Confidence of personal safety in public spaces, such as hospitals, clinics, post offices, airport, public vehicles (train and buses but also taxis), malls, will be extended to cover hygiene or sanitation of the place. We have seen the robots with UV lights used in hospital to clean a room or a ward in the hospital, but before those robots can be populated, adequate methods, such as use cameras to assist janitors track the areas while they clean the surface of handles, counter or desk tops, etc. Of course, infrared cameras have been widely used to detect people with fevers.

    The list just keep growing ...

  • Bassam ZarkoutBassam Zarkout IGnPower admin

    Here is a related discussion about how the pandemic will impact the Digital transformation in Industry.

  • Mitch TsengMitch Tseng I have the right answer for you.

    Most of the states in US has issued "stay-at-home" order and kept the school closed until the end of the semester. As a result, the use of internet has exploded. I remember I got on an IIC WebEX call around 8:55am at the first day the state-wide stay-at-home order was issued. A few minutes later, I lost my internet. I went outside and found all my neighbors with the same internet provider all lost their services. Some of my neighbors switched to mobile internet and it did not last long, either.

    It seems to me, this may be a great scenario to make your case for 5G services to cover the last-mile.

  • Chuck ByersChuck Byers Associate CTO - Industrial Internet COnsortium


    5G for the last mile may seem on the surface to be a great solution to the capacity deficit we are currently living under because of all the "X at Home" (where X could be work, stream videos, take classes, order food, exercise, etc.) 5G demonstrations in several cities show download speeds in the 1.8Gb/s range (this was an AT&T number I believe). That is 10X better than my DOCSIS 3 cable modem can deliver (on a good day, and would be hundreds of times better if my local network is hopelessly congested). Sounds good, right?

    However, I strongly object to the proposal to use fixed wireless access (5G or otherwise) for widespread residential broadband services. My objection is on ecological grounds. Wireless spectrum is a precious and finite resource (just like fresh water, petroleum, timber, oxygen, etc.). We can't waste it, and must conserve what little there is for applications that have no alternative. If everyone connects their residential Wi-Fi router to the internet via 5G, that huge batch of capacity is no longer available for the critical interconnections to smartphones, vehicles, remote sensors, drones, monitoring moving parts, and all the other places where one can't string a cable. We must preserve the spectrum for those applications. Residential broadband access needs to be via deep fiber architectures, where very fast (i.e. 10-400Gb/s) fibers run from internet points of presence right into the home (or at least to within a few hundred meters of a cluster of homes, which are in turn served by CATV, DSL, or freespace optical links to finish the connection).

    I would replace the coax cable that serves my home with a 1Gb/s fiber in a heartbeat, if the stupid service providers would stop dragging their feet on fiber deployment. For the reasons above, I would not go to fixed wireless (except, perhaps as an emergency backup connection to be used only if there is a total failure of the primary fiber).

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