Making predictions is always dangerous, but since we’ve entered a new year and decade, now is probably the right time to make them. With that in mind, here are three things that I think will happen and three things I really want to happen in the world of technology.
Three things I think will happen
- Connected transport
If you’ve read this column before, you may remember my scepticism towards self-driving cars (if not you can read all about it here). However, I have recently found myself getting excited about connected cars. I think 2020 will see an explosion in the number of options available for drivers and, by the end of the decade, it will be second nature for cars to offer practical information such as where the best parking places are. 2019 was the first time I had the chance to play with Android Auto and it has come on leaps in just the six months that I have used it. If it continues to develop at a similar pace, it will be (alongside Apple Car Play) and essential tool for all drivers.
- IoT grows up
I imagine the wider Internet of Things (IoT) will be much talked about in 2020 again, but possibly with little in the way of progress. The ‘connected fridge of the future’ was being promised 20 years ago and seems as far away now as it was then, as well as being just as pointless. These sexy applications of IoT will not be where the money is. It will be in diagnostics, asset management and remote monitoring in industries such as utilities and manufacturing.
- 5G hype and reality
February will see every handset manufacturer rushing to bring out 5G handsets; however, I am not sure 5G will take the public by storm in 2020. Expect lots of stories about how fast 5G is on test networks in specific cities but my guess is that very few connections will be sold. Even those that are will be made to people that will continue to rely mainly on 4G networks.
Three things I would love to see happen
- A competitor or Android and iOS
Of course, iOS and Android dominate the mobile software markets, but it would be interesting to see new competition to the software. Imagine finding a new and completely different software – not based on apps – that enables haptics and gestures to be fully exploited.
- A new mobile form factor
Fed up with the glass screen mobile handset yet? It has dominated the last 10 years and formed the basis of every mobile device on sale. I believe it’s also uninspiring and impractical. The height of innovation in mobile devices recently seems to have been to effectively hide selfie cameras and try to make devices ever thinner. Innovation is taking place (step forward Moto and Planet Computers) but more is needed urgently.
- An end of security fears
Surely it is time for the industry to pool resources and ensure that computing is intrinsically secure? As technology becomes embedded everywhere, it becomes more important to be secure. This is just one area where industry collaboration could deliver huge dividends. Will it? I am sceptical but I really hope so.