Happy New Year! We hope your 2019 has got off to a great start..
January can be a difficult month to get through, so we thought we’d brighten your days with some tantalising glimpses of what you can expect this year in the world of tech. With CES (the annual Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas having just drawn to a close, now is the perfect time to look at the top tech trends based on what companies showcased there this year.
One of the most striking developments is how different areas of tech are converging. Tech in 2019 and beyond will be all about connectivity between technology, pointing to an Internet-of-Things-World where tech pervades every part of our lives in an attempt to simplify what we do and how we do it.
With that in mind, here are the top four trends coming out of CES:
Not just the next level of G. Moving from 4G to 5G will certainly mean mobile networks are faster and able to transmit more data, and it will also solve the problem of broadband dead spots by enabling the use of ‘fixed wireless broadband’ systems that do away with the reliance on fibre optic. But more than this, it will be the driving force behind any other Internet-reliant technology, as pointed out by Interesting Engineering, who say ‘5G technology is going to improve processing speeds by more than 10 times in 2019’. Smart devices can only work well if wireless connectivity is of a high enough quality, and nobody wants their fridge to forget the food order.
Which leads us onto the next trend…
AI and Virtual Assistants
Artificial Intelligence was abundant at CES 19 – not just of the obvious robot variety, but baked into devices that never previously knew AI. Suddenly these devices become smarter: TVs that can judge room lighting or the position of viewers to optimise their picture settings; mattresses that adapt to their users’ sleeping positions to give the best support; security cameras that recognise faces and monitor pets.
As LG President and Chief Technology Officer joked, ‘currently you need to be smart to use a smartphone.’ The new wave of AI will mean devices know what you need without you having to ask them.
A huge part of this AI growth is evident in Virtual Assistants, which are cropping up in more and more devices such as soundbars, laptops, TVs and cars. The ubiquity of assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant means that talking to your devices is becoming the normal way to engage with technology. Whether it is shouting out your shopping list, searching for recipes or controlling your kitchen appliances with one central control panel, or chatting to the Alexa who sits quietly in your toilet (yes, really), it seems that we won’t be able to escape from our virtual friends. Indeed, if recent news items are anything to go by – including claims that Alexa can tell if a couple’s marriage is in trouble, and a case in which Alexa was called forward as a witness in a murder trial – Virtual Assistants are already smarter than we might think.
Our screen experiences will be improved by a number of developments in the coming year.
Hot on the heels of 4K resolution comes 8K, ensuring superior display quality on our ever-bigger TV screens. We will also be able to roll those screens away, keeping them out of sight when not in use.
Meanwhile laptops are attracting more attention than they have in recent years, with brands competing for the biggest screen in the smallest possible frame.
With these smartphone and laptop improvements, we look forward to video surveys becoming even more enjoyable!
Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality
2019 promises to make the consumer experience better, with innovations such as smart mirrors in shops that can show you what the item you’re trying on would look like in a different colour or suggest other garments to try, apps like YouCam, which demonstrates how make-up would look on your face and then links you through to the purchase point, and the Lumini skincare assistant that scans your face to reveal the skin’s needs.
If none of the above grabs you, at least take comfort from the fact that your cat can soon have its own treadmill. How can CES 2020 possibly better that?