Despite the Consumer Electronics Show going virtual for the first time in its history, several trends in technology that we’ll be embracing were underlined. Here are some of the top tech trends to keep an eye out for this year.
With more of us working from home since the arrival of COVID-19 than anybody could have ever imagined – or any mistrusting bosses would have wanted – working from home isn’t set to go away anytime soon. This brings about a need for better connectivity, whether for Zoom meetings, dialling into work computers or just generally getting connected things done. Expect to see more business-edged functionalities creeping into devices for the home, in everything from phone systems through to multifunction printing devices.
5G OR NOT 5G?
The need for speed seems to be an innate human want, be it driving at mad velocities or chancing that rickety rollercoaster to safer pursuits, such as surfing the web. We loved 3G until 4G gave it the heave-ho in the pace department, and now it’s all about the 5G. Networks supporting the ultra-fast tech – simply put, it offers anywhere from ten to 100 times the speed of its predecessors, and for more devices to be connected – are being built more rapidly than ever, with the aim for near-as full 5G coverage across Australia as soon as is practicable.
BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST TV
We were chatting with a friend recently, marvelling at just how far TV tech has come in a mere 20 years. At the turn of the century old CRTs were still a thing, before LCD commenced a gradual march into most peoples’ homes, followed by Full HD, then 4K, and finally (at the moment) 8K. Now that we have tech offering us clarity like never before, the next step is getting bigger… and bigger! You can walk into JB and purchase a 100” screen today, and the race is on to go larger with emerging new tech such as Micro-LED.
WI-FI TO FLY
Wi-Fi has made our lives easier in so many ways, from saving on mobile data charges to keeping our smart homes ticking. It’s just there and it (usually) works, so you may not give much thought to it. But there are limits to how much data existing Wi-Fi can deal with at any one time, as anybody with a connected kid or two will likely attest. Wi-Fi 6, which is in the market now, is much faster, and able to deal with more data at the same time, but it’s also about future-proofing, setting us up for smooth sailing connectivity for years to come.
If you’ve been thinking along the lines of, “Hmm… Maybe that Howard Hughes bloke was onto something,” then get ready for a barrage of germ-defying tech. Were he still with us, that famous billionaire germaphobe would no doubt be loving where tech is heading, be it in the proliferation of air purifiers hitting the market, UV devices ranging from beds to detoxify your smartphone and special germ-zapping light bulbs, right through to products such as smart thermometers and LG’s PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier.
For many it started with a humble smart lightbulb, and it’s since progressed so that all manner of home functionality can be accomplished just by barking an order at your home assistant such as Google or Alexa. As we spend more time at home than ever before, expect more and more devices to be smartened up, from the super-helpful right down to the rather frivolous (but still kind of cool) like a Bluetooth toaster.