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IDTechEx Reports on 6G’s Fusion of Sensing and Communicating

by Anthony Weaver

Author:_ Dr Yu-Han Chang – Senior Technology Analyst at IDTechEx_

6G is the next generation of wireless technology that promises to go
beyond mobile communication and revolutionize how people interact with
the world around them. According to IDTechEx’s latest 6G research [2],
6G could be with us in 2028 at the earliest. With its unparalleled
capabilities in sensing, imaging, precise positioning, and even energy
harvesting, 6G is poised to unlock a plethora of potential applications.
These applications range from smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and
virtual reality to healthcare, energy, and more. Of all of these
possibilities, integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) stands out as
one of the most interesting.

 6G – An overview of key applications. Source: IDTechEx – “6G Market
2023-2043: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players”

Integrated Sensing and Communication (ISAC) is a concept that combines
wireless communication and sensing technologies seamlessly. It involves
the integration of various sensors, such as temperature, particles,
pressure, and motion sensors, with wireless communication systems to
enable real-time monitoring and control of physical systems. By
combining these two functionalities, ISAC creates a system that can both
communicate and sense its environment, providing a wealth of new
opportunities for applications in various fields, making 6G much more
than just a communication platform.

ISAC has been an active area of research, and Huawei’s latest
publication on ISAC highlights the vast range of applications enabled by
this technology. The potential applications can be broadly categorized
into four types, each with its unique benefits and use cases.

Firstly, high-accuracy localization and tracking is a key area where
ISAC can make a significant impact, specifically in factory environments
where precision is crucial. ISAC has the potential to enable
subcentimeter-level accuracy in localization, which is critical for
robotic applications in these settings. This can result in more
efficient and optimized operations, reducing the need for human
intervention and improving overall productivity.

The second category of applications ISAC enables is simultaneous
localization and mapping (SLAM). This technique utilizes multipath
information to reconstruct 2D images and 3D models of the environment,
allowing for more reliable and accurate positioning services. As an
example, with SLAM, robots can navigate their environment and deliver
targets to humans with greater precision and efficiency, thanks to the
integration of sensing functions as well as AI. This feature will be
particularly relevant for city mapping and environmental image

The third category is augmented human sensing capabilities enabled by
ISAC, which can significantly impact various areas, including medical
diagnosis and monitoring, enhanced sensing in vehicular devices, etc.
ISAC’s sensing devices can be integrated into mobile phones, wearables,
and implanted medical equipment to provide millimeter-level image
resolution and facilitate information collection even in low-visibility
environments. Based on identifying targets through their electromagnetic
or photonic characteristics, spectrogram recognition is another
potential application of ISAC enabled by higher frequencies such as THz
and NIR. This technique has the potential to understand the composition
of materials, such as metallic oxides, and can play a crucial role in
various fields.

Finally, ISAC can be applied to gesture and activity recognition using
base stations as sensors to sense the surroundings, leading to
better-fused sensing performance. This approach can enable various use
cases, such as a smart hospital that automates patient supervision. In
this scenario, every base station would act as a sensor, allowing for
comprehensive monitoring and analysis of patient activities and

In conclusion, the ISAC paradigm is expected to play a significant role
in the development of 6G networks. With its ability to integrate
multiple sources of data obtained from sensing, ISAC has the potential
to transform many aspects of our daily lives, such as manufacturing,
healthcare, and smart cities. By leveraging the power of artificial
intelligence and machine learning, ISAC can enable autonomous
decision-making, proactive maintenance, and real-time optimization,
leading to a more efficient, secure, and sustainable future. However,
the successful implementation of ISAC in 6G networks requires
significant research and development efforts, including the design of
new hardware and software architectures, the development of advanced
sensing and processing algorithms, and the creation of new standards and

To learn more about 6G’s technology, applications, and market, please
refer to IDTechEx’s newly released 6G market research report. “6G Market
2023-2043: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players [3]”. This 6G report
is built on IDTechEx’s expertise, covering the latest 6G technology
development trend, key applications, player activities, and market
outlook, aiming to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding
of 6G technology and the market. For the full portfolio of 5G and 6G
-related research available from IDTechEx please visit here [4].

About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research,
Subscription and Consultancy products, helping you profit from emerging
technologies. For more information, contact research@IDTechEx.com or
visit www.IDTechEx.com [5].

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