You think 5G is just for smartphones? Think again. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showed us how versatile 5G can be.

We’ve said for a long time that 5G is designed to connect the world’s next wave of smart gear. From cars to translators and more.

On the road again

5G is set to pave the road for the true self-driving car of your dreams.

Both Qualcomm and Sony were out in force to demonstrate that at this year’s CES.

Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon Digital Chassis at the show, which is a suite of connected systems designed for near-future self-driving cars.

The systems – all connected via 5G to the cloud – it’s a suite of systems that come together to create a view of the car’s surroundings.

Using this information, both the driver and the machine can have up-to-the-second info about what’s happening around the car.

Cheap and cheerful

5G isn’t just for thousand-dollar super phones. Nokia is seeing to that.

At CES this year, it demonstrated that 5G is available to even the inexpensive end of the smartphone line-up.

The Nokia G400 will go for just $US239 when it launches this year. And it’s no slouch, with a 120Hz display for a smooth experience and a 48-megapixel camera.

We can expect to see 5G devices get cheaper and cheaper in coming months and years. It’s even coming built-in on many laptops coming out this year too.

5G for your nan

At first the idea of an umbrella that doesn’t keep you dry seems silly. But then you realise that it’s the 5G-enabled Essence SmartCare Umbrella, and it’s a personal protection system for your nanna.

The Essence Umbrella is what’s known as a “mobile personal emergency response system” (or mPERS), and it’s designed to keep you safe wherever you go.

It features “built-in fall detection, real-time activity monitoring and two-way voice capabilities” so those living alone or in senior care scenarios can feel safe.

It’s a tiny device that runs on 5G CAT-M networks, so it also functions as a location device.

A babel fish?

We’ve seen awesome translators come out on smartphones recently, like the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

But what if you need to translate something to a bunch of people at once? That’s where VM-Fi works best.

The VM-Fi is a 5G-powered translator that can broadcast live translations to multiple people in a single room.

With a range of about 50 metres and a super-fast connection, it can translate speeches, tours and meetings in an instant.