A native of Mexico and college soccer standout, Toby Redshaw went on to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and later to Verizon. Presently, he heads up 5G innovation at Verizon as SVP of 5G Ecosystems, Innovation and Product Development. The progression of 4G to 5G is no less than a tidal shift for consumers and businesses alike; in fact 5G has been estimated at 100 times faster than 4G, meaning, for example, that HD and 3D movies can be downloaded in seconds and that the Internet of Things is finally dawning, with smart home appliances, security cameras, door locks, and other types of internet-connected devices all working at the same time on the same network.
I spoke to Toby about some new projects and the future of 5G.
What do you look for in companies that you partner with?
They need to move fast and be able to quickly adapt to change and pivot when needed. I believe we are entering one of the most disruptive technology periods we have ever had. Resiliency and the ability to sense and respond will be important. We’re excited about this new, disruptive world – in fact, we’re proud of the fact that 5G will help drive the next industrial revolution. Companies that want to support us in this mission must be able to play in that same volatile, discovery-intensive environment.
Tell us more about 5G and how it enables your various partnerships.
An important part of building the 5G ecosystem is bringing people together – identifying the entrepreneurs, collaborators, academics and other innovators that will drive the development of tomorrow’s 5G use cases and giving them access to real 5G technology to help them develop, test and perfect their ideas.
At Alley, a curated, next-generation community for creators in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, we’re working with five of those thought leaders. Armed with access to Verizon’s pre-commercial 5G network installed onsite, they’ve been able to put their concepts to the test, refine them and demonstrate the true power of this game-changing technology. These are the projects we’re currently working on:
- ChalkTalk – Students and faculty from NYU are using interactive augmented reality on mobile devices as a learning tool during live presentations, allowing students to interact in real-time with educational content in 3D.
- ReCoVR – Columbia University students and faculty are creating VR therapist-patient exercises focused on motor skill improvement to enable physical rehabilitation when the therapist and patient are at different locations.
- Arvizio – This project is developing immersive mixed-reality collaboration tools that have the potential to improve processes and support remote workers in industries such as construction and engineering.
- BriefCam – This is about using 5G’s high bandwidth and speed to perform in-depth intelligent analytics of HD video to improve and understand the flow of cities, businesses and infrastructure.
- LiquidSky – LiquidSky is creating high-quality cloud gaming experiences that eliminate the need for hardware platforms and wired connections.
Why will partnerships between startups and established technology companies be critical in this next phase?
It’s the mix of external and internal innovation. The network we built, our approach to 5G and our internal assets (e.g., our Internet of Things development platform) are the foundation on which startups can innovate, invent and incubate with us. It really is a case of 1+1=5. Our company footprint, including Oath, Verizon Connect, Verizon Enterprise Solutions and Verizon Business Markets, and our technology solutions, like augmented reality and virtual reality, location services, security services and artificial intelligence, create the perfect launchpad for 5G innovation. That’s why we opened 5G Alley. We want to provide an environment for innovation and discovery that can create the 5G-enabled products and services we can’t even envision today. And we intend to expand these innovation hubs – providing incubation centers for health care, media, entertainment and more.
M.R. Rangaswami is co-founder of Sand Hill Group and publisher of SandHill.com.