From smart homes to ultrafast wireless speeds, this is what you need to see.


The 2010s made one thing clear: Technology is everywhere.


Technology is in our homes with thermostats that heat our house before we enter through the door. It is in our cars with safety features that warn us about vehicles in the adjacent lanes. It is on our televisions, where many of us watch series and movies through applications. We even use it in the form of watches that monitor our health.

In 2020 and over the next decade, these trends are likely to gain strength. They will also be seen in CES, a huge consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas that generally serves to take a look at the most exciting technological advances of the year.

At the fair, the next-generation cellular technology known as 5G, which transmits data at impressive speeds, is expected to be the protagonist as one of the most important issues. We are also likely to see the evolution of smart homes, with appliances connected to the Internet such as refrigerators, televisions and vacuum cleaners that work together evenly, and with less human interaction.

“The biggest issue is to connect everything”said Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst for research firm Creative Strategies. “Anything in the home: we will have more cameras, more microphones, more sensors”.

If some of these things seem to be the same as last year, it is because they are, but that is because new technologies often take time to mature.

Here are some of the things we can expect from technology this year.

The smartest house

True automation In recent years, Amazon, Apple and Google have struggled to become the center of our homes.

Your virtual assistants - Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri - respond to voice commands to play music from the speakers, control the lights and activate robotic vacuum cleaners. Smart home products work well, but it is difficult to configure them, so most people use virtual assistants only for basic tasks such as programming a kitchen clock and checking the weather.

Then, in December, Amazon, Apple and Google agreed to realize what appeared to be a truce: they announced that they would work together on a standard to help make household products compatible with each other.

In other words, when you buy a spotlight connected to the Internet that works with Alexa, it should also work with Siri and Google Assistant. In theory that will help reduce confusion when you buy household products and improve the ease with which connected devices work with each other.

Milanesi said that eliminating complexity was a necessary step for tech giants to reach their maximum goal: uniform home automation without the need for people to tell attendees what to do.

The slow and steady rise of 5G

In 2019, the wireless industry began to switch to 5G, a technology that can transmit data at such incredibly fast speeds that people can download full movies in a few seconds.

However, the deployment of 5G was anti-static and uneven. Across the United States, service providers deployed 5G in just a few dozen cities. And only a handful of smartphones worked last year with the new cellular technology.

In 2020, 5G will gain some momentum. Verizon said he expected half of the country to have access to 5G this year. AT&T, which offers two types of 5G — 5G Evolution, gradually faster than 4G, and 5G Plus, the ultra-fast version — said it expected 5G Plus to reach some parts of 30 cities by early 2020.

Another sign that 5G really is coming? A wider series of devices They will feature the new wireless standard.

Samsung, for example, has begun to include 5G support on some of its newer Galaxy devices. Apple, which declined to comment, is also expected to launch its first 5G-compatible iPhones this year.

In addition, 5G will work behind the scenes in ways that will reveal over time. An important benefit of technology is its ability to reduce the waiting time, that is, the period it takes for devices to communicate with each other. That will be important for the compatibility of next generation devices such as robots, autonomous vehicles and drones.

The wearable technology market gains strength

It is a time of intense competition in wearable computers, which will result in more creativity and innovation.

For a long time, Apple has mastered the wearables. In 2015, he launched the Apple Watch, a smart watch that focuses on monitoring health. In 2016, the company introduced the AirPods, wireless headphones that can be controlled with Siri.

Since then, many others have entered the quite, including Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei. Google recently acquired Fitbit, the manufacturer of fitness devices, for $ 2.1 billion, hoping to reach Apple.

Computer microprocessors are making their way to other electronic products such as hearing aids, which means that companies are likely to introduce innovations in wearable accessories, said Frank Gillett, a technology analyst at Forrester. Two possibilities: hearing aids that monitor your health by detecting pulses in your ears or headphones that also function as hearing aids.

“All that area of improving our hearing and hearing the way other people listen to us is very interesting”, commented.

The streaming revolution

We have fully entered the era of streaming, and that trend will continue.

In 2019, Netflix was the most watched video service in the United States, and people spent an average of 23 minutes a day watching its content, according to eMarketer, the research firm. In total, digital video made up about a quarter of the daily time we spent using digital devices last year, which included the time we spent using applications and web browsers.

Netflix's percentage of the total time we spend watching videos on devices will likely decrease in 2020, according to eMarketer, due to the arrival of other rival streaming services such as Disney Plus, HBO Max and Apple TV Plus.



c.2019 The New York Times Company


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