BY AIDEN JEWELLE GONZALES
On the 2020 clock, but the (tech) party don’t stop…it continues here, where we give you all the tech trends to look out for this year!
Beyond giving us the stunning photos that we can now take on – if Santa has been especially nice this year – our newest iPhone 11 Pro Max, technology is beginning to fast outpace even the most outlandish Asimov novels. While 2019’s tech advances have brought us our first ever picture of a black hole, they’ve also given us a lifetime’s worth of paranoia with the proliferation of user data tracking and fake news bots. This next decade heralds the advent of even wilder technology taking over our lives, so for good or ill, let’s brace ourselves for these likely tech trends this 2020.
LIGHTNING-FAST INTERNET SPEEDS
Current Wi-Fi and data speeds can really put a crimp on our productivity – or our need to post about how much fun we’re having when we’re not posting about how much fun we’re having. Fear not! This year, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are zooming in to save our grams, promising up to 50GB/s download speeds and 40 percent faster downloads, respectively. Thailand will be one of the first ASEAN countries to adopt the new data standard this year, while Wi-Fi 6 was certified in September 2019, so expect hardware that can access it soon.
What to expect: More security; more apps focused on connectivity; and better public services due to real-time updates.
Cons: This new technology can be co-opted by some countries to better spy on their citizens, and people on the BTS will be even less likely to look up from their phones.
Captain America might have retired, but we may soon have platoons of super soldiers tore place him – this next year, biotechnology will be more relevant than ever. Not only will we have more innovations like Ford’s exoskeletons that allow its workers to perform physically taxing tasks, but we can soon look forward to mainstream human augmentation. 3D printing organs has already reached Thailand, and with the advent of the controversial CRISPR and ARGUS gene-editing, certain diseases – or weak chins! – may be eradicated before children are even born.
From Skynet to J.A.R.V.I.S., Artificial Intelligence (AI) has both fascinated and terrified us in equal measure. 2020 is the year we hold on to our tin-foil hats as AI is poised to become more mainstream: from taking over traffic; to chatbots and calls that sound just like your mates; to literal mind-reading machines like AlterEgo. Better brush up on your social skills, as soon we may have to go from winning friends and influencing people to recognising friends and influencing robots.
What to expect: Hyper-personalisation: tailored services and applications just for you; better predictive healthcare; new job markets opening.
Cons: A rise in disinformation as it gets harder and harder to know who is and isn’t human; facial recognition being used by AIs to violate people’s privacy.
Self-driving cars may still sound like the start of a bad joke, but 2020 onwards is going to see them slowly taking over our roads. If you thought the quintessential tuk-tuk would never change, think again – at the end of 2019, Thailand tested its first self-driving tuk- tuk, and is looking to roll out more driverless vehicles over the next few years. And if that wasn’t enough change to Bangkok’s infamous roads, we may soon see less of the ubiquitous e-commerce drivers as self-driving vehicles take over deliveries as well.
What to expect: New legislation for self-driving vehicles; fewer road accidents.
Cons: People’s fears may stop them from adopting this new technology.
Reality is supposedly stranger than fiction but what if it becomes both fact and fiction? Most of our newer smart phones already have Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities, and the gamers among us have been salivating over the Oculus Rift, a Virtual Reality (VR) headset, for years. However, this year, extended reality will not only be relegated to our Pokémon Go-obsessed friends. From trainings, to simulations, to interacting with customers, our world will truly become more than what we can just see with our naked eye.
What to expect: More interactive marketing where you’re able to virtually ‘use’ products before you buy them.
Cons: Fact and fiction may start to blur even more; tech devices become even more addictive.