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This story first appeared on GC Diaries blog (reshared with permission)
I was driving my family to church last Sunday morning when, like in most boardrooms today, my daughter and I struck a conversation about 5G.
It went like this:
Eliecia: Daddy, what would it be like if the car could drive itself so you can just sit and relax like all of us.
Dad (Me): Well, it is actually possible; more and more cars will be driving themselves in a few years from now.
Eliecia: But how is that possible?
Dad(Me): Well, thats what these clever people called Engineers are working on.
Eliecia: Like you Dad, I know you are an Engineer. But how will the cars not bump into each other?
Dad(Me): We have eyes to help us to see, right? These cars will have little eyes called sensors to help them see each other. They can also talk to each other.
Eliecia: Aaah Daddy, how can cars talk to each other?
Dad(Me): The same way the remote tells the gate to open when you press it. Remember I told you about signals that fly in the air like Superman and carry instructions telling the gate to open when you press the button?
Eliecia: Yes yes, I know. You can switch on the TV by the remote and signals help us to talk to granny who is far away in Zimbabwe.
Dad(Me): Thats right. So the cars will use these signals to talk to each other just as we talk to each other over the cellphone.
Eliecia: So why can’t they drive by themselves now and talk to each other?
Dad (Me): The signals used by the phones today are slow. When that white car infront of us stops, we want it to quickly tell our car to stop too before we have an accident. So one of the things Engineers are working to make are faster networks called 5G.
Eliecia: What is 5G? When is it coming? And will the cars be able to cook when we get home so mum can relax too?
Dad(Me): It will come in 2020 when you are in Grade 4. We need to get into church now, we will talk some more after church.
As I went into church, I was wondering if it was now time to introduce Internet of Things, Robotics and Automation to her syllabus.
With that thought, I thanked God for smart kids and prayed for His guidance as I teach them about life….and 5G?
Promoting STEM and encouraging women to join Engineering must not be an event at conferences, but a daily lived experience for our girl-children.