Published on February 19th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan0
Top Tech Trends to Watch in 2021
While there was no physical 2021 CES conference in Las Vegas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event, like many others, went online. As usual, over 1,500 organizations showcased all their latest and greatest tech offerings and indicated the way things might shape up in various sectors.
Whether you’re an interested consumer, entrepreneur, or another type of innovator, check out some of the top tech trends worth keeping an eye on over the coming months.
With the global pandemic being front of mind for most of the planet over the last twelve months or so, it’s no surprise that technology developers are paying attention to it from a production perspective. Many companies are now increasingly looking at ways to design products that help battle viruses and improve health.
For example, LG is leading the charge with innovations such as wearable, as well as portable, air purifiers, the latter to clear cars and offices, among other places. The firm is also bringing in an autonomous UV-C light germ-killing robot designed to disinfect viruses on heavily touched surfaces.
AirPop, a smaller business, has come up with an Active+ Smart Mask that monitors people’s breathing and the air quality around them. Many tech firms are now also offering touchless appliances and fixtures that can be turned on and off or opened and shut via voice assistants or hand movement. Kohler, for instance, has developed a touchless sink and toilet.
Changing Work Arrangements
We all saw how much work setups changed during 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic meant many workplaces had to close during lockdown periods or change numbers allowed within venues at a time. This trend is set to continue longer-term, as so many companies and individuals have seen that remote work is not only possible but often favorable.
Tech-wise, this means developers and manufacturers are committing to more devices and accessories that improve work-from-home conditions and assist people in becoming more productive. Computer giant Dell, for instance, now has a video-conferencing-friendly monitor that makes online calls better by letting users adjust and swivel their screen to get the optimum angle for chats. It also has a high-resolution webcam. Similarly, Shure has come up with a microphone that enhances speech audio quality for video-conferencing.
On the other hand, with so many people working from home yet not doing so very securely, hackers have been out in force targeting remote workers. With increasing attacks in this area, there’s now a focus on training people to set up a secure network at home using quality security software and firewalls.
Comprehensive security options that cover a myriad of threats and provide real-time threat alerts are a necessity, not an option these days. Free online security programs are not enough to withstand highly sophisticated attacks. Workers are also encouraged to password-protect modems and other gadgets, choose quality passwords and use password managers, and be wary of the links and attachments they respond to. They’re taught to understand common hacker scams, too.
5G Rolling Out
5G has been talked about for years but is now finally rolling out. While this new tech will provide faster wireless networks, which is helpful for work, loading videos, streaming Netflix, and much more, it also brings other bonuses to the table. For example, healthcare and medical treatment options are likely to grow as people could be operated on by surgeons in other states or countries, due to the low latency of 5G. Plus, the tech will help with telemedicine.
5G is set to revolutionize distance learning, too. Verizon has given examples of projects it’s working on with its 5G network, including virtual reality (VR) science lessons for students and virtual tours of exhibits at the Smithsonian. With 5G antennas consuming less power, the implications are broad, too. For example, the protocol is better for small, connected, battery-powered Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which in themselves continue to multiply and expand.
Smarter Vehicles Continue to a Focus
Electric cars and autonomous vehicles have been invested in heavily in recent years by many tech giants and other manufacturers, yet 2021 looks to be the year when this smarter-vehicle trend grows even more rapidly.
Mercedes-Benz is working on an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-infused ‘Hyperscreen’ for its cars, for instance, which will provide a voice-activated, full-dashboard-width display. Fiat-Chrysler and other companies are also focusing on creating more interactive, 3D virtual tours of their vehicles (spurred on, no doubt, by pandemic lockdowns).
Other tech trends at the fore this year include smarter cities, robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and contactless delivery and shipping becoming the new normal. The global health crisis is certainly not the only factor changing the world we live in right now.
Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash