By Bird Bouchard
St. Clair College is providing students with future technology, today.
St. Clair College’s department of Applied Research and Development unveiled its emerging 5G technology at a gathering of industry partners and the media Friday.
The college has been working with Telus to equip the Ford Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing with the hardware that will eventually support a 5G network when it becomes available in Canada.
According to Telus, 5G technology will deliver connection speeds up to 10 times faster, with lower latency and the ability to connect numerous devices simultaneously. Augmented and virtual reality are also in the not-so-distant future.
St. Clair College is just the second Canadian post-secondary institution to have 5G-ready technology. But while telecommunication companies have the technology in place, Canada has not authorized them to allow devices to connect to it.
Peter Wawrow, director of Applied Research and Development at St Clair College believes 5G technology is revolutionary.
“When we look at 5G, we have speed, we have bandwidth, we have no latency and we have a reliable network that allows us to now do all kinds of things that we never even dreamed up before,” said Wawrow. “Essentially, whatever you do, it's, it's immediate.”
Apart from quicker upload and download speeds and being able to download movies in seconds, Wawrow added the network will allow for quicker data transformation, better cyber security, advancement virtual reality, make improvements to the healthcare system and also help with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Ben Cowan, Operations Manager for Telus’ Wireless Access Engineering team said 5G will change the way we connect with each other. In the past 20 years, Telus has invested more than $75 million in the Windsor-Essex region preparing for the 5G.
“5G is more transformational for the industry, for the consumer, for healthcare and for agriculture than any other technology we've seen since the beginning of the cellular communications.
He also believes students at the college can help fill the need for people who are familiar with 5G so they can support and leverage its capabilities.
“The future leaders are working on tomorrow's technology today, right here at St. Clair College,” said Cowan.
He believes 5G technology will play a huge role in our day to day commuting when commercial autonomous vehicles hit the road in four or five years.
Students are at the forefront of the technology. Kevel Patel, a second-year student in data analytics helped program Boxer.
“This is the best thing I’ve ever had,” said Patel about the new machine which can lift 200 kilograms. “I'm learning something new from this machine every day. I don’t think I could do this at any other institution.”