Ericsson and King's College London

"Companies are calling this idea the “internet of skills” that would enable you to transfer your expertise over a great distance in real time using robotics and haptic feedback."

Not Just Speed: 7 Incredible Things You Can Do With 5G, CNET

The Challenge

We’ve been a part of an exciting showcase, sharing the potential of the #internetofskills at Ericsson’s stand in Mobile World Congress 2017. As well as exhibiting our own understanding of innovative technology, attending the event allowed us to gather a greater sense of other contributions being made on the digital frontier.

Mobile World Congress is a place for innovation, and 5G has been the buzzword this year. Our use of this exhilarating breakthrough in technology focuses on enabling societies through connectivity and empowering people through knowledge. Knowledge that can be shared immediately and openly, breaking down economic barriers and geopolitical boundaries. 5G is not just about the spread of connectivity, it’s about the growth of global education.


Technology enables us to overcome the wider challenges facing our world: explorations of 5G use cases give us an insight into what networks we need to build in the future, and how they need to be structured.

The Solution

The potential of real-time use cases in medical applications provided by 5G are demonstrated in the Internet of Skills.

We were able to practically demonstrate this kind of surgery at Mobile World Congress. Sensors on the tip of the robotic arm transfer tactile data back to the doctor operating remotely, through the use of a haptic glove, which in turn controls the movements of the robot. Also fitted with a virtual reality headset, the doctor can be totally immersed in an operation performed by telepresence. In addition to the sensors and virtual immersion, the 360 camera provides a live feed and transfer of visual data to the doctor.



This exciting glimpse at the future of remote surgery is only possible because of the importance of ultra-low latency achieved through 5G. Having under ten milliseconds of latency lowers the chance of risk during surgery, and enables a space within which to calculate compressions: this is a breakthrough not just for bandwidth, but an opportunity to develop advanced algorithms in parallel.

Despite long distances, 5G enhances the opportunity for remote training by multiplying the benefits of visual and tactile communication. The doctor becomes the teacher. And students in remote locations could experience and follow the pressures of surgery from their own homes. By sharing the same immersive experience but not directly impacting the procedure, these students will emerge with new skillsets.



The primary aim of the Internet of Skills is to extend abilities, understanding and knowledge beyond geographical limitations. By sending data both ways, the remote operation allows for tactile, visual and sound data to be shared.

We built small electronics that encourage tactile interaction and the transfer of visual data, exploring the combination of immersive technologies and physical experiences.

5G will not only offer a new dawn for modern communication: it will need to be a cultural shift. Introducing courses of experience that can be shared by people from all walks of life, across the globe. Training, learning and understanding that was only available in certain places will be able to influence the whole of humanity and create a more cohesive future for all of us.

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