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From 5G to driverless vehicles, home robots, smart wearables and blockchain, there’s plenty of innovative technology to look forward to in 2019.
There’s no doubt that 5G is this year’s game changer in the IT world. This new mobile communication network is 10 times faster than broadband, enabling higher-definition video on smartphones and tablets, including ultra high definition movies, and the use of augmented and virtual-reality applications. Perhaps most importantly, 5G technology will facilitate the transmission of massive amounts of data, making autonomous vehicles, sophisticated drones, the Internet of Things, and supercomputers at home and in the workplace more of a reality.
Interestingly, much of the innovative technology on the horizon will have a significant impact on our health and fitness. While we’re all used to monitoring our movement and / or sleep patterns using a Fitbit or Smartwatch, the latest evolutions of wearable technology will offer much more. With technology previously reserved for medical centres and hospitals, the new Apple Watch Series 4, for instance, comes with an electrocardiogram (ECG), as does Withings analog Move ECG smartwatch.
Meanwhile, a new virtual reality (VR) bike will make getting fit more fun than ever before. Yes, NordicTrack’s VR bike comes with an HTC Vive Focus headset – get stuck into a cycling workout while being immersed in VR gaming – just keep your ECG smartwatch on so you can monitor your hearts rhythm and activity in case it all gets too much!
Robots will also play a part in boosting our health and well-being in 2019. Bot Care from Samsung is a multi-tasking robot that can provide people with personal care and companionship, monitor their blood pressure and heart rate, and enable family members to make contact via built in telephony.
In hospitals, robotic surgeons powered by artificial intelligence will aid training, and make surgery more accurate and more accessible, especially in remote settings where human surgeons are a scarce resource.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning will also be used in industries that include engineering design, manufacturing, agriculture and space exploration, changing how people work and collaborate across geographic boundaries. This year you can also expect to see the most innovative companies across industries using Blockchain to complete financial transactions.
Back at home, the trend towards smart devices will continue with more people taking advantage of voice activated digital assistants such as the Google Assistant, Apple Homepod and Amazon Echo. According to GlobalData, the number of automated voice assistants will hit an amazing 100 million units by the end of 2019 and double to 200 million by 2020.
The emergence of more effective smart devices for home use will also be embraced. Look forward to smart security, smart lighting, smart toys, robots to take care of your housework and a smart video doorbell that lets you see who’s at the door (even when you’re not at home).
When it comes to home entertainment, it’s time to get excited by both the functionality and aesthetics now available. LG has released a Signature OLED TV R, with a 65-inch 4K screen that silently retracts into the soundbar base when not in use. You can also expect to see a number of 8K television screens coming through offering four-times the sharpness of 4K, and Apple has promised AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility to several televisions in 2019, including Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio.
More controversial is the concept of bio sensor chips implanted under the skin that will scan and provide secure access to your office or computer. Efficient yes, but the ethical and legal consequences will certainly be hot topics played out in the global media.
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