With the first month of 2019 now in the books, it appears that 2019 could be a big year for the world of technology. Following the end of CES 2019 last month, lots of consumer ready tech was revealed, along with some almost ready tech. Here’s a quick roundup of 3 tech trends we think you should keep on your radar in 2019.
The current state of foldable smartphones in 2019 can range from available now to prototype. However, with how quickly the technology is progressing, it’s safe to say we’ll likely see a few consumer ready foldable smartphones sometime in 2019. The Royole FlexPai is an example of a foldable smartphone in its early production stage with developer models available now. It features a 7.8-inch AMOLED plastic screen, powerful internal specs, and a custom Android 9.0 OS called Water. The FlexPai folds down the middle with the screen on the outside to give it a book-like fold. However, many early adopters report the OS being sluggish, inconsistent with orientation recognition, and more. Therefore, it appears the FlexPai is still rough around the edges, likely a symptom of Royole’s desire to be the first foldable smartphone on sale in the market. Most of the larger smartphone manufacturers have also started to bet on foldable smartphone technology. For example, Samsung had already shown off their bendable display technology last year, so a consumer ready smartphone is fully expected this year. We’ll have to see what happens in the months to come, but it seems phone manufacturers are banking on a potential consumer demand for a hybrid smartphone-tablet.
5G technology has been around for a bit now, however, it appears as though 2019 will be the year we finally have official 5G mobile capabilities available to the masses. 5G will be a major game changer in the Internet of Things (IoT). As more and more of the devices we use everyday, from our cars to our homes, are becoming internet-connected, 5G will propel new IoT developments even further with insanely faster speeds and lower latency. The primary issue so far is that there are no smartphones currently able to handle 5G. This will almost certainly change very soon in 2019 with Qualcomm already having announced their Snapdragon 855, which includes the necessary modem technology for smartphones to use 5G. Currently 5G networks are already being rolled out. For example, Verizon launched a 5G home internet service in select cities late last year. AT&T has also gone live with a 5G mobile network. However, it is currently only available through a mobile hotspot, marketed to limited businesses and individuals. With the only necessary steps left being for smartphone manufacturers to develop 5G capable smartphones and for 5G networks to be fully expanded, it is quite clear that we are very close to finally having 5G mobile.
One area of technology you can expect improvements in almost every year is televisions, and 2019 is no exception to this. While 8K technology has existed for quite some time now, nearly every major manufacturer, such as Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, and LG presented 8K resolution TVs at CES this year. There’s an argument to be made if 8K is really even necessary, but nonetheless, 8K provides an unmatched viewing experience. With a resolution of 7680x4320, 8K provides four times the amount of pixels as 4K (33,177,600 vs 8,294,400). The main propellant of 8K technology is the fact that TVs are getting bigger and bigger, with most major TV manufacturers now offering 98-inch TVs. With TVs getting larger, it’s only natural that TV resolutions increase as well to maintain a crisp image. Since 8K TVs have actually been on sale for a while now, we don’t need to look forward to 8K TVs hitting shelves. What we have to look forward to in 2019 is 8K content and lower prices. You see, 8K is naturally going to face the same issues 4K faced when it was being mainstreamed. With high price points, most consumers likely won’t get their hands on 8K TVs soon. And without much 8K resolution content, then there really is no use for an 8K TV. However, television and movie studios have already started to use 8K cameras. And as technology progresses and production becomes more efficient, prices will naturally drop as well. Therefore, you can safely expect to see more 8K content and lower TV prices in 2019.