It’s hard to believe we are almost halfway through January, and it’s almost even harder to believe that we are living in the year 2019! Congrats, we’ve officially made it into the future. While flying cars and robot waiters aren’t here yet, there are still cool things happening in tech to get excited about, and we’re not just talking about AirPods.
With that being said, it turns out that 2019 is going to be a bit of a transitional year. There’s a lot of fun tech to play with out there, but the theme for 2019 seems to be laying the framework for new developments in the 2020s. We’ll highlight both below:
5G may turn out to be the Big Thing for 2019, as smartphones were in 2007. 5G is essentially internet that runs as fast as accessing a file stored right on your computer, and as much as this phrase gets overused, 5G really is going to change everything.
Moto Z3. On release of the “Moto Mod,” Motorola’s Z3 will be the first 5G phone on the market in the new year. Moto Mod will be a simple upgrade that allows the phone to hop onto a 5G connection. This will be a great option for early adopters, while the race is still on for the first 5G-standard smartphone, with Oppo, Vivo, Zte and Xiamoi all eager to be among the first 5G devices on the market.
Snapdragon X50 5G Modem. You’re going to see a lot of Snapdragon modems on event floors and in offices in 2019. The most obvious benefits will be for tech-oriented companies collaborating in real time on projects, but 5G will be vital to event planners who need to provide internet to a huge staff all at once. Imagine how fast checkout lines will be when you don’t have to wait for the transaction to go through. 5G will eventually be the standard, but you might as well hop on board early while you can.
2019 is going to be a busy year, and you’re going to be a busy person. Here are some apps that will come in handy:
Obscura 2. It is very hard to get good, quality images through your phone’s built-in camera. Sure, it has a high pixel count, but without the options of a conventional camera, it’s hard to get the results you want. Obscura 2 is an iPhone app with a whole host of options to let you adjust exposure, contrast, focus and so on. When you get photos for your brochures and website, you want them to look better than iPhone snaps, so if you don’t want to shell out for a professional photographer to promote your event, Obscura 2 is the way to go.
TikTok. A Chinese-built app that serves as an alternative to social media platforms like Snapchat and Vine. New social media platforms are hit or miss. You might spend all day setting up your profile only to discover that the platform is pretty much dead on arrival. But that’s why it’s worth taking the time to get a foothold on all the new ones that seem promising. We never know which one is going to blow up, and the first wave of users always seem to wind up with the biggest following once the site gets big.
Chatbots. Not a specific app but a whole category of apps that are going to be huge in 2019. Moving into the first couple of quarters, the call center may quickly become a thing of the past. When a chatbot can take an order for a pizza or tell customers how to operate their new TV, why hire a whole phone crew?
Okay here’s the fun stuff! New laptops and apps are great, but we kind of know what to expect: The same thing but better. Luckily, there are some new gadgets that are blowing up right now that will come in handy no matter what your line of work.
Smart Speakers. Right now smart speakers are mostly a feature of the automated IoT-enabled home-space. But these “hot word” activated devices are going to be populating retail centers and convention floors in the very near future. It’s not hard to imagine how these will help make your life a little easier. If you’re getting tired of reciting the same spiel over and over at events while a line is forming, you can have smart speakers set up to answer frequently asked questions to keep the line moving by serving more people at once.
Superboost Wi-Fi. A simple and necessary gadget: You plug it in somewhere in your house, and it boosts the Wi-Fi signal from your router. That’s it. But imagine how effective that will be in a big work setting, keeping everyone connected across the entire event floor. Not the most exciting new invention of the decade, but one of the most useful.
DroneX Pro. Not that long ago, drones were a purchase that was hard to justify even if you had some money to burn. Now they’re the kind of thing you can pick up for a nephew during a Black Friday sale. If you want the very best drones on the market, be prepared to spend a little extra on a DJI Mavic 2, but consumer-grade drones like the DroneX Pro are quickly closing the gap and changing the game just as affordable camcorders did in the 2000s with high-performing drones available in the $50-$100 range. If you want to add million-dollar aerial shots to a shoestring-budget promo video or TV spot, this is the way to do it.
The Naboso Mat. A yoga mat seems like a hard thing to innovate on, but they found a way: The Naboso uses a material that stimulates the proprioceptors, or small nerves, in the skin of your feet and hands, allowing you to hold a firmer balance and tighter skin-to-mat grip during your yoga routine. The mat was inspired by studies showing that standard yoga mats actually de-activate these nerves, which is why you often feel like you’re slipping around a little too much when using a conventional store-bought mat. It’s all about tactile feedback. You can really feel the texture of the Naboso mat, and that helps you to be more aware of exactly how your feet and hands are positioned on the mat.
A lot of the technology we have out there right now is still in that “wait and see” phase. We’re still waiting for VR to really become the new television, and we’re still figuring what exactly we can do with augmented reality apps. But all signs do point to chatbots and 5G being huge in 2019, big ideas coming to health tech, cool gear like drones and wearables coming down in price, and there are more apps than ever out there to make your day a little easier. We’ll keep you posted.