Tech Notes: 2019 Tech Forecast

Hello Seabrookers! I hope everyone had a nice holiday season and start to the new year.

I thought for today’s post, I would attempt to look into the crystal ball to see what 2019 holds in store for the tech industry. With each passing year, our digital lives evolve and the gadgets and gizmos in our homes become more and more a part of our daily routines.

1)  Will 2019 be the year that robocalls stop? I certainly hope so. I talked to more people last year that told me their phones are constantly being bombarded with those spam and robocalls. Whether it’s debt consolidation, health insurance, or those fake “Hi, this is Microsoft” calls, these calls are no longer just coming through on our landlines, but they’ve made their way to our cell phones. The “Do Not Call” registry seems useless these days, and there needs to be more done to help stop this issue. 2019 could be the year that this gets underway. Maybe it’s legislation, or maybe some technology will come to the forefront that can detect these types of calls before our phones even ring.

2)  5G Networks  Cellular companies are racing to be the first providers to offer 5G Connections, first in the larger metro cities and then spreading outward. With speeds up to 1000 times faster than our current 4G Connections, we’ll all have to replace our mobile devices with ones that will support this faster connection. You’ll see Verizon, AT&T and the gang with commercials indicating that they are ready to provide us with these connections. At these kinds of speeds, this will blow our home-based providers (Xfinity, U-Verse) out of the water. Of course, these home providers are getting faster as well as areas upgrade their old wiring to new “gigabit” speeds, especially in newly developed communities.

3)  Phone upgrades come to a screeching halt. With the cost of new cell phones being as expensive as ever, consumers are starting to keep their existing phones longer than in previous years. Many of us are happy with our current phones, maybe opting to replace worn-out batteries in devices rather than replace the entire phones. Apple has to be careful with the price points of newer phones, many of us just can’t justify spending over $1000 for a new cell phone. What more can we expect or want from our cell phones that the current ones can’t do? An upcoming rumored trend in cell phones is this idea of “foldable phones and tablets.” Samsung is expected to release one in 2019. Will this be the beginning of shatterproof screens? Can I turn my 7-inch cell phone into a 20-inch-size device with a laptop-esque feel? There are lots of concepts and predictions out there, and someone will be brave enough to give it a go.

4)  Speaking of Apple  With all that our iDevices can do, Apple may shift its focus more to their services and subscriptions than new hardware. In 2019, they will continue to push their Apple Music platform to us (so much so that they recently partnered with rival Amazon that allows Alexa to play music via Apple Music), and some expect the monthly cost of our iCloud storage space to rise. But new services may appear as well, including a long-rumored service that Apple may get into the “streaming TV” business, which will allow even more of us to “cut the cable” on our traditional TV carriers. 2019 will also bring us closer to the rumored “Apple Car” project, the self-driving autonomous vehicle that is supposedly in the works. (Read more here.)

5)  8K?  I haven’t even upgraded to 4K yet!!!  Expect TV manufacturers to rush to be the first to bring 8K television to the market. With even better picture and more realism to our displays, it’s hard to imagine TVs can look better than the current 4K models. It won’t matter too much initially, as cable networks have to film and broadcast their content to truly take advantage, but Sony and Panasonic are claiming that the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan will be broadcast in stunning 8K format.

6)  Death to the Mechanical Hard Drive  2018 was the year of the SSD (solid state drive).  Prices came way down and computer manufacturers started making computers available with these as standard options. This means that older “mechanical” hard drives should be a thing of the past. This is good news anyway, as SSD hard drives are more energy efficient, less prone to failure, and provide much faster data transfer speeds. In fact, make sure to stop by the shop and ask us about upgrading your current machine from an old, clunky, mechanical hard drive to faster SSD. The speed difference is very noticeable!

7)  Security breaches will once again reign supreme  As the number of internet-connected devices in our homes increase, so will the number of attacks to try to hack into these things. Security cameras, smart speakers, wearable fitness devices, and more will all be more likely to be vulnerable to attackers to complicate things even further.  And companies, thanks to the new GDPR act that went into effect last year, (Read my article from last year here.) will have to try even harder to protect our identities and our private data.

I look forward to helping all of you with your tech and computer needs in 2019!

Chad Droze
Post & Computer Center – Freshfields Village