The marketing drum of 6G has begun and Nokia is among those speculating on what it might do – such as chipping humans with NFC devices and scanners that can measure the bodily information of crowds.

While there’s still plenty to say and do with regards to 5G, Nokia perhaps more than most firms at MWC is making a big show of what sci-fi type things 6G might usher in. We popped by the firm’s stand and asked Head of Europe Rolf Werner about what he sees as the potential applications of the next generation of networks.

“I’ve been in the technology industry for 30 years, roughly. And each time we discuss an auction… we speak about the killer application. We spoke about location based services 15, 20 years back. It never kicked in. The moment we spoke about it, it took a couple of years to get there. This doesn’t mean we don’t have to push big time for the new applications and whatever’s needed. But I would say based on the experiences we have from the past. I think it takes a little bit of time to get to the point where we say okay, now, this will happen.”

Werner, who took over the top European job at Nokia 8 weeks ago, indicated to us an area on his hand where he has had an NFC chip implanted, which he uses to do things like open his front door.

“I can even show myself as an example – I’m chipped. So in the future, I think that’s going to be an active communication vehicle. This is a passive one, you can only read it by NFC, but for the future it will be active whether it’s here or somewhere else – the brain, maybe glasses. Whatever we see higher bandwidth, lower latency, we can do much more stuff in real time in the future… there’s a lot of fantasy around what’s going to come. And we have of course a few ideas of what’s possible.

One thing that’s being suggested is that 6G will be able to ‘sense’ all sorts of information about people which can then be recorded or used as some sort of crowd monitoring, and Nokia was demonstrating something along these lines at its stand.

“Temperature, wavelength, infrared, you can do stuff which goes all around,” continued Werner. “You can tune an airport don’t have to show a passport… you walk through because the network is able to gain information from everything you have… there’s a lot of stuff coming around. 6G in 2030 is our visionary year, or that’s when we think it will kick in. Of course a lot of things have to happen before that.”

We’ve asked a lot of people at MWC this year what 6G is going to look like, or what it will do that 5G can’t, and we received a varied set of answers in return. When it does all become a bit clearer in the years to come, you can certainly envisage some raised eyebrows (at minimum) if the 6G marketing machine leads with concepts like chipping people and scanning the heartbeats of crowds, it has to be said.

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