With the standardization and deployment of 5G, the focus has now shifted toward developing beyond-5G (B5G) solutions. A new wave of applications and services will demand ultra-high data rates and reliability. To this end, future wireless systems are expected to pave the way for entirely new fundamental air interface technologies to attain a breakthrough in spectrum efficiency (SE). This article discusses a new paradigm, named generalized polarization transform (GPT), to achieve an integrated design of coding, modulation, multi-antenna, multiple access, etc., in a real sense. The GPT enabled air interface develops far-reaching insights that the joint optimization of critical air interface ingredients can achieve remarkable gains on SE compared with the state-of-the-art module-stacking design. We present a comprehensive overview of the application of GPT in various coded transmission systems approaching Shannon limits under short to moderate blocklengths and highlight several promising trends for future research.