With CES 2019 that took place recently, we have just seen what tech companies hope will be some of the most anticipated tech trends for 2019.
But which of these tech trends are just that, and what is worth investing in? Remember when tech companies really thought this was the time that 3D would take over the world? Yeah, it sucks to dump cash into stuff that doesn't pan out. So what new tech is worth the cost?
1. Flexible screens: This is still on the edge of what consumers can afford, but this trend is likely to evolve and gain prominences very quickly. Let's face it, this is not really one of the holy grails of tech. Flexible screens will be far more resistant, if not completely immune to traditional breaking. Portability, modification and plasticity in a variety of use cases, not to mention the potential return of phone-mounted keyboards make this one a feature to watch for.
So far there is one major phone offering from Chinese manufacturer Royole. The developer model is a hefty $1300, but given that the latest iPhones now weigh in at around $1000, this isn’t actually too bad and bodes well for near-term adoption from other companies.
2. 5G is around the corner: The next big wireless standard is 5G. These shifts are comparatively infrequent, with the iPhone's entire 11-year lifespan just barely covering the last three major wireless generations. With that said, 4G LTE has been the primary high-speed mobile network used by telecoms for just shy of ten years. SO there is a good chance that this next step will last a bit longer (hopefully).
It's also coming down the pike really quickly. AT&T and other mobile operators are expecting dozens of U.S. cities by the end of the year, with at least Samsung known to be planning the rollout of their next line of phones and 5G integration later this year.
3. Increasing smart homes: Alexa, Google Now, etc. have made massive inroads into creating massive categories for recognized commands, much stronger and more complex integration with apps and software. That's not to mention the bevvy of spendy, but attainable tech like smart locks, doorbells and lighting that middle-class families may want to splurge on to help streamline one bit of their life.
4. Flying – and walking – cars, maybe: Futuristic means of transportation are some of the easiest things to get excited about. Like flying cars? C'mon... It is definitely easy to get pumped about the future of transportation.
Also on the horizon is the Hyundai Elevate, a walking car intended for use as a versatile rescue and support vehicle. It's only a concept for now, but if it works as intended, it could herald a totally new way to move humans around. Modulating the size of the core tech – four legs with six functional joints as well as a similarly flexible powertrain – either up or down could mark a transportation revolution. Maximally accessible public transit could navigate some dense urban environments as well as electric wheelchairs that can easily climb stairs.
But again… how many times have we all been hyped for that big next step in transportation? It won't be here until it's here, and when it is, it'll probably be amazing. But the rollout of revolutionary tech is often slow so there'll likely be a wait yet. But, our sincere hope is that some major player in the automotive/tech space has a fully functional consumer-class model ready to spring on us in the next year. We've waited long enough for flying cars, dammit.