The scenario is:
I see a sitting room belonging to an old lady, lets call her Josie, a mother and a grandmother. The room is in a house in a vilage, something like we all know, in the country, population about 1000. Her husband has passed away and her family are working and living elsewhere. One of here daughters is called Mary. The front room where she spends most of her life has the usual, TV, photos, sofa, seat, table, lamps etc. It has been teched up and hooked to the smart rural platform.

She is a bit lonely but proud and independant. Quite well travelled, fond of giving advice.

So my dream is Josie walks into the room and says “Mary, are you there”. The technology picks this up and calls Mary.( Who hopefully is able to answer.)

Now based on the new stuff coming ( and already here) Mary can imemdiately appear in the room, she might be standing, sitting etc etc. The people in the digital media world will be able to put a full size Mary anywhere into the room based on previous data collections. The smart rural platform will have enabled to room with tiny devices: speakers, cameras, projectors, microphones, etc etc.
Josie can put on a set of reading glasses ( again techie enabled on the smart rural platform) and show Mary something she bought and Mary can see it. You could go further and Josie and Mary could each put on a glove and if Josie touches it Mary can feel the touch.
That’s one scenario.

Another scenario is that if Josie has other kids/grandkids they could come along virtually and sit with her to watch say a soap every night or some nights per week. They could chat about the programme as it happens and basically create a “live” companionship.

It will never of course be the same as an actual visit but with the techie that is already here and if 5 g does what it says then we can do this in the next couple of years.

I read about creating empathic robots to sit and talk to people. I read that most of the new houses and apartments that need to be built between now and 2050 will be in cities and will be only for 1 or 2 people. I read that lonliness in the middle of huge cities is growing and indeed leading to some less than optimal human health side effects.

We can do better. #smartrural