Try, for a second, to imagine a life without technology. Tricky, isn’t it? As the years tick by, it seems that swipes and clicks pervade our daily lives even more, becoming more and more instrumental in even the simplest of tasks. But what might be flashing up on our high-def horizon as we boot up 2019?
2018, as it disappears fast into our browser histories, saw a massive increase in the quality of phone cameras, a massive decrease in the popularity of iPhones, and the stone cold death of Bitcoin. So what’s coming down the wires this year?
The new space race will reach for the stars
Last year we spoke with Richard Branson, and the philanthropist revealed that he is “tantalisingly close to achieving [his] ambition” of reaching space and taking commercial travel into orbit.
However, his company, Virgin Galactic, are currently locked in a heated modern-day space race with Elon Musk’s troubled SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ awfully-named Blue Origin. But watch this space — sorry — as the billionaires’ face-off takes off proper in 2019, and the wealthy finally strap on their helmets and escape the atmosphere.
5G will come on leaps and bounds
Brace your smartphones, for the next step in mobile coverage is due to spring up across the world next year. True, it might not come with all the bells and whistles straight away, but rest assured that soon we’ll all be able to scroll, swipe, double tap and order a pizza faster than ever before.
The 5G network has been developed to increase the capacity of current mobile networks so more of us in one area can get fast downloads and uploads at the same time. There’s even been excitable buzzing that these speeds will top current WiFi speeds in the UK.
Smart speakers will spring to life in our homes
Many of us are now used to coming home to an ‘Alexa’ or ‘Google’. But we predict that this year will mark an even more widespread acceptance of these speaking speakers. If you don’t have one, you’ll get one. And if you do, you’ll get another, and then another — until there won’t be a room in your house without the ability to tell you how to soft boil an egg.
But you’ll have to be careful. With reports emerging that these smart speakers are listening to you all the time, it might be time to curb your gadget reliance before things all go a little bit ‘Black Mirror’.
AI is set to become a major part of business
Artificial Intelligence looks set to become a part of normal life this year. But don’t panic — you’re not going to have to start channelling Will Smith in iRobot. Instead, the tamer types of AI seen in everyday life, from from image detection to voice recognition, will simply get more advanced.
And it’s not just businesses that are planning to use AI to up productivity and efficiency. Just this week, Huawei used AI to complete Schubert’s famously Unfinished Symphony. Couple this with AI driving cars and writing our emails, and we’ll soon be left twiddling our thumbs.
3D printing will continue to grow
The list of materials that you can use to 3D print with has doubled in the last five years, along with the accessibility to printers increasing. In fact, the 3D printing business is set to hit a worth of $2.7 billion this year — before surpassing $3 billion by 2020.
There are more and more techniques for 3D printing emerging all the time, from the use of lasers to create seamless models to a concrete 3D printer that can print you a new house. Is 2019 the year you invest?
eSports will be far bigger than anyone thought it would be
It might be something we never thought — or hoped — we’d see in our lifetimes, but professional gamers are rising in popularity. Some even earn millions of pounds a year, and the eSports industry is set to be worth over $1 billion soon, with audiences of over 300 million fans watching worldwide.
Could we really have guessed gaming would get so big? International competitions are now even held in giant arenas and live streamed around the world to fans who buy merchandise from their favourite teams and idolise players — just as athletes have been admired for decades. It seems crazy — but that’s just 2019.
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