Tech Notes: 2021 Tech Predictions

Happy New Year, Seabrookers!

As we enter the new year, we find ourselves faced with many of the same challenges that we faced in 2020. With many of us staying home more these days, technology is playing a big part in our daily lives more so now than ever before.

I thought I would start the new year by writing down my thoughts and predictions in the world of tech for 2021.

Streaming Services Will Continue to Expand in 2021
2020 was certainly the year that streaming TV and movies really took off. And what great timing for these companies to exist in the middle of a global pandemic where people were stuck at home looking for entertainment options. 2020 saw the rise of Disney’s new streaming service Disney+, in addition to NBC introducing their streaming service, Peacock. Netflix and Amazon Prime continue to be the heavy hitters in the streaming world, and they will look to continue their dominance in 2021.

This year has already seen the addition of a new streaming platform, (Discovery+), as well as CBS All-Access’s upcoming rebrand of their streaming service to Paramount+.

We are now at a point in technology where many of us have to take notice of all the streaming platforms that we are paying for and subscribing to. For years, we hoped to be able to choose our cable TV channels in an à la carte fashion. While we are now able to do that, with that ability comes a lot of separate logins and payments that could quickly add up to be confusing and more expensive than traditional cable ever was.

Social Media Platforms Come to a Crossroads
The growing outrage over social media and its censorship, privacy issues, and inaccurate information will be more apparent than ever here in 2021. Just look at what Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms have done since the unfortunate riots on the US Capitol building in the past week. This will be a huge talking point, especially in the political world, as to how these social media networks should act with regard to hate speech and misinformation. We’ve already seen how these companies are using techniques to gain personal information about our daily lives, and that will continue to be a point of contention going forward.

Will a new social media platform come to the forefront? Time will tell.

The New Trend in Televisions Will Be 8K
Did you purchase a big new fancy television last year? Was it a 4K model? Well, get ready for 8K. Twice as expensive? Probably. Twice as good? Perhaps not.

These TV manufacturers are always looking to flood the market and entice customers with the latest and greatest technology, and 2021 should be the year that 8K makes its way into the vernacular. These TVs will offer twice the resolution of 4K sets, but networks aren’t prepared to send 8K signals to these sets yet, so waiting may be your best option here.

Speaking of Trends, Add 5G Networks to the List
5G is here, although it’s still in its early stages of implementation in the Charleston area- gotta work out those kinks! Many larger cities are already taking advantage of these faster networks. Don’t fret though, you’ll need to replace your current smartphone or tablet to take advantage of it anyway. But the stage is set for the next evolution of cellular networks. It has the capability of providing download speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second, which could change the way in which we access and pay for our home-based internet providers. (Lookout, Comcast!)

A Greater Push Towards Smart Cars
2021 should see the automobile industry make greater strides towards creating autonomous and battery-operated vehicles with manufacturers pushing to become more environmentally conscious in their options. We already have many hybrid-model vehicles to choose from, and companies like Tesla are leading the way in the early model electric car market. Companies like Waymo (a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet), Uber, General Motors, and others are testing their versions of self-driving vehicles. The automobile industry should see a complete shift in the ongoing decade of the 2020s, much like the music industry of the 2000s and the movie industry of the 2010s. With this growth, we’ll also see Smart Car charging stations start to increase in quantity as well.

What are your tech predictions for 2021? I’d love to hear them. Shoot me an email ( Until then, talk to you next time!

-Chad Droze, Guest Columnist
Post & Computer Center – Freshfields Village