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Digital family member: "Concept T" shows today how we could communicate in the future

  • Deutsche Telekom presents design study on the influence of AI on communication
  • Hologram "Emma" becomes a digital companion in everyday life
  • "Concept T" as a further development of the router
„Concept View“: Holograph of a soccer stadium

„Concept View“: Holograph of a soccer stadium © Deutsche Telekom

What could personal communication look like in the future? How will telephones, routers and Internet access develop in terms of design and function? While future models are already commonplace in car manufacturing as marveled studies at trade fairs, telecommunications providers tend to look to the day after tomorrow behind closed doors. With the "Concept T" design study, Deutsche Telekom is opening up its world of thought to human-centered communication.

Artificial intelligence (AI), Web 3, computer vision, WiFi sensing and holography. These and other technologies will change the way we communicate, but how? Deutsche Telekom provides a look behind the scenes. The company is presenting its "Concept T" at the Mobile World Congress 2024: three design studies reflect its vision of the future using the router as an example.

"Concept T is researching how hologram telephony, among other things, could become a reality. It is our idea of an advanced router. Not on the shelves tomorrow, but in our heads and laboratories today. The study takes our human-centered understanding of technology a step further: I operate Concept T with a natural voice and gestures. All this will also be made possible by clever AI," says Claudia Nemat, Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. 

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Design study 1: "Concept View", the personal assistant as the communicative control center of tomorrow

"Emma, beam me up" may not work yet, but the holographic calls with "Concept View" pick up on the idea of digital travel. And Emma, the AI-based avatar, can do much more. She gives artificial intelligence a face and serves people as a personal assistant for all aspects of daily life.  

"Concept View": Conversation with the avatar "Emma"

"Concept View": Conversation with the avatar "Emma". © Deutsche Telekom

She can thus become a central element in the household. For example, as a helpful shopping assistant that shows desired products as holograms in 3D for inspection. And, if desired, also suggests the right shoes to go with the new trousers. Or as a curator who helps you choose the right films, books or songs. Or as a concierge who knows the personal diet plan, shows only suitable recipes and filters the Internet for good deals on the next purchase. There are no limits to the imagination. 

Of course, Emma also masters Web 3 applications. She manages the digital wallet as well as the digital identities of household members. She also manages cryptocurrencies and NFTs. 

And, of course, she is the central point of contact for Deutsche Telekom services such as network management, contractual matters and service issues. Where chatbots today always start from scratch, Emma knows the customer's order history as well as their products and contracts. She can therefore provide perfect support in the event of any problems or general questions about operation and use. She controls the home network according to individual usage behavior. For example, she prioritizes certain devices for holographic video calls, TV and gaming. Or she regulates the room temperature only in the smart home. This way, a purely functional device such as a router can become a living "must have".  

At the Mobile World Congress, visitors can experience Emma and ask her, for example, to present products such as the T Phone and its features. And Emma will provide them with a three-dimensional image of the device. Holographic calls are also part of the "Concept View" portfolio. Interested visitors can also marvel at themselves as a hologram.  

Intelligent linking of technologies 

The hardware comes in the form of a simple glass ball. But it is not about clairvoyance or parapsychology. "Concept View" consistently implements a possible communication of the future as a thought concept. 

 The technical basis is the router. A device that customers will have at home in the future anyway. With "Concept T", however, Telekom is reinventing the router and expanding its range of applications: A technically perceived device thus becomes an emotional experience. The digital assistant in the form of a hologram gives the study a face in the truest sense of the word.  

In future, devices will respond to gestures and speech. This natural form of interaction makes buttons or complicated menus superfluous, and facial recognition enables individual user profiles. Digital assistants could also take over many routine decisions or actively make suggestions. 

AI is behind this. Speech recognition and basic models for generative AI make operation intuitive. The special feature lies in the intelligent fusion of the different technologies.

Design study 2: "Concept Level" - a modular system with a clean design

“Concept Level“, the modular system.

“Concept Level“, the modular system. © Deutsche Telekom

"Concept Level" enables a customized setup. The base with conventional router functions can be supplemented with additional elements. For example, a cylindrical module with a display. This contains an AI voice assistant and also offers smart home control via an interactive display. This shows the power consumption, for example. 

A cone-shaped module provides WiFi sensing with room monitoring. In other words, for home security functions such as front door monitoring or a burglary warning. And, not only useful for older people: sensors that register a fall and monitor heart rate. In the event of an emergency in the home, family members or a doctor are automatically notified.  

A Web 3 module serves as a digital wallet for cryptocurrencies or the secure storage of NFTs. It generates "Magenta Tokens" when used, which can be redeemed as vouchers for upgrades, for example.  

Another component is the mesh module. It ensures perfect connectivity and strengthens the connection wherever particularly good WiFi coverage is required. 

The individual modules are supplied with power contactlessly via WiFi charging so that they can also run separately from the base module. Other devices such as smartphones or smartwatches can be charged wirelessly on the areas of the base module then.  

Design study 3: "Concept Buddy", the friendly butler

"Concept Buddy", a friendly butler.

"Concept Buddy", a friendly butler. © Deutsche Telekom

With its big eyes and smile, the little robot gives the AI a friendly face. It offers all the functions of "Concept Level" and is also mobile. With its wheels, it can move around the home and measure the air quality in the rooms, for example, or play out the Wi-Fi with pinpoint accuracy.  

Thanks to a built-in projector, it becomes a watering assistant, for example: The device fades in the image of a rain cloud above the houseplants, reminding you that they need watering. Or it projects the personal trainer's video for the workout onto a wall and helps with the correct execution of the movements. And it shows Magenta TV in any size and with 360-degree surround sound wherever you want.  Concept Buddy can be controlled via gestures and voice. 

No products for direct sale 

The variants of "Concept T" represent a possible future route. They are not intended as products that will be in the store tomorrow. There is no claim that these technology concepts will be implemented and produced in exactly the same way. However, it is conceivable that individual functions could be implemented in different products.   

The study was carried out in collaboration with the Layer design agency in London.

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