Last year, a Microsoft study found 162 million Americans lack broadband internet. That’s nearly half the US population.
In a small, one-story house in Ames, central Iowa officials got a look at a futuristic living space powered by what Mediacom calls “the next generation of broadband technology.”
The company debuted its “smart home” on Thursday, touting it as the first field trial in the country for a new 10G platform and showing more than 70 smart devices including many “bandwidth intensive” ones at work at once.
The platform allows a ramp-up to 10 gigabits per second from the 1 gigabit speeds available today, Mediacom said. Such speeds allow devices in the house – smart kitchen appliances like a voice-activated faucet, smart coffee maker mug and water bottles; smart security systems like flood, smoke and motion detectors; and virtual and augmented reality for communication and gaming – to work together.
Mediacom worked on the house in collaboration with CableLabs and NCTA – The Internet & Television Association.
Apple Watch Series 6: Is it worth it to upgrade?
Facebook: Critics launch independent oversight board to monitor handling of the election
‘It opens the door to so much’
Mediacom debuted the technology during an open house with Ames and central Iowa officials, including Ames Chamber of Commerce CEO Dan Culhane.
After seeing everything from home security technology to a holographic television and a little robotic dog that ran around the home’s kitchen, Culhane said it was “fascinating” to see the 10G broadband in action, as well as the futuristic appliances demonstrated during a tour of the home.
“It was all so incredible,” Culhane said. “The tools and equipment they illustrated … it opens up the door so much to the things you could do in your home. The sky really is the limit for this.”
The 10G technology showcased will change how people live, learn, work and play, according to Mediacom’s Senior Vice President of Government Public Relations Tom Larsen – especially during and following the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused families, businesses and schools to rely more than ever before on at-home connectivity.
“You could do everything you ever want to do from home without ever having to leave, and that’s a big deal in today’s environment,” Larsen said. “Schools are rushing to get kids online, employers are looking more at work-from-home options, and this technology enables all of that.”
Culhane agreed, and said “this is so top-of-mind for everyone right now,” due to the virus. “This sort of power would make things like working from home extremely easy.”
What is 10G and why is it important?
When the coronavirus pandemic first isolated residents to their homes beginning in March, the internet was vital in keeping people connected. Whether it was used to work from home, study and take classes, connect with family and friends, or purchase groceries for delivery, internet traffic surged.
According to CableLabs Vice President of Wired Technology Research and Development Curtis Knittle, people were only able to do so because of the investments made to the networks in the decades leading up to the pandemic.
It’s that forward-thinking the cable industry is working to continue with the introduction of 10G.
Netflix, Uber and other companies weren’t thought up before the network could support them, Knittle said in a news release: “It was the other way around — these ideas and resulting companies were conceived once the network was capable of providing the capacity and latency required by them.
“The network was the enabler and the catalyst for new ideas. 10G will be the enabler and catalyst of the next generation of applications and companies that will take advantage of what the 10G platform provides.”
According to CableLabs’ website, the 10G platform is a “combination of technologies” that will deliver speeds 10 times faster than current networks and 100 times faster than what most consumers currently experience.
In addition to having higher speeds, 10G also has lower latency, and is more secure and reliable, especially as the number of connected devices in a home increases, CableLabs said.
The industry-wide initiative to implement 10G, led by CableLabs and NCTA, aims to make 10G widely available across the United States by 2025, Larsen said. They hope to conduct all of the field trials, of which Ames is the first to officially kick off in a residential setting, by the end of this year.
Mediacom Senior Vice President of Technology and Chief Technology Officer JR Walden said, “it’s more about the internet of tomorrow than the internet of today,” but he is excited to see the technology develop and eventually be used in homes across the country.
“Somewhere, there’s a 16-year-old in their basement in some country who is inventing the next super cool thing,” said Walden, and the entire cable industry, not just Mediacom or CableLabs alone, is working to ensure those ideas can be brought to life.
How could this change your home or business?
According to a Deloitte study last year, U.S. households own an average of 11 connected devices, including seven with screens to view content. And that number continues to grow.
That’s why, Walden said, having a 10G network is becoming more necessary for consumers to stay connected and have the best technological experiences possible.
In order to simulate the experiences 10G will provide, Mediacom installed the more than 70 internet-enabled devices within the Ames home. Like all the homes in its neighborhood, they used only a cable modem to connect.
Officials showed off the network’s capabilities by presenting technology which could alter the ways people live, including:
- Home management and automation: Alarm.com exhibited how home monitoring, management and automation could simplify a person’s life and ensure better security, with the ability to power the lights, change the temperature or lock the doors with the touch of a button.
- Cooking: Zestful Kitchen showed the benefits of smart kitchen appliances, as well as the ability to access on-demand cooking demonstrations, grocery delivery and meal prep services.
- Health and telemedicine: UnityPoint Health demonstrated how patients could be connected with doctors using telemedicine services, as well as the ability to use technology like smart pill boxes, habit tracking and more to maintain wellness.
- Virtual reality and augmented reality wellness: Healium officials transported guests to outdoor settings in an AR/VR experience which they say exercises the mind and relieves stress.
- Gaming: With the rapidly expanding interest in eSports, Iowa Chill presented a competitive gaming setup, which would allow users to game in a new way.
- Holographic display entertainment: CableLabs displayed “the future of entertainment” using holographic display technology for the home, allowing viewers to watch 3D images and videos through a Looking Glass light field display without needing glasses or special headwear.
“Some of these emerging technologies were once thought of as science fiction,” CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney said in a news release, “but now they’re on the cusp of reality.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/09/27/mediacom-tour-of-10-g-broadband-internet-smart-home/3518364001/
For the latest tech news and updates, Install TechCodex App, and follow us on Google News, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, if you like our efforts, consider sharing this story with your friends, this will encourage us to bring more exciting updates for you.