The modern world is so interconnected that most Americans would be hard pressed to name a part of their lives that technology doesn’t touch or facilitate in some way. Whether it’s a smartphone, smart home, or another innovation, there’s no doubt that, by and large, these tools make our lives easier.
So, what great unveiling should you be looking for next? This is an exciting time in tech, with new products and services being announced regularly—and yet this breakneck speed of change can make it hard to keep up with major trends within the industry.
Not to worry: we’ve done the research and identified the major tech trends to watch out for this year. Here’s what’s on our radar in 2019:
1. Concerns over individual privacy and ethical technologies will remain front and center.
Facebook recently announced that it will be making some major privacy-related shifts to its platform, which sparked a lot of debate over whether it would be able to pull it off, given the security breaches that happened in 2018.
As security breaches become the norm (experts predict there’s little hope of them slowing down in 2019), people are becoming more and more concerned about their data and who has control over it. As consumer awareness grows, we believe that we’ll continue to see tech companies both large and small choosing to change the way that they handle our data and communicate about it with consumers—before government regulators force their hand.
We’re curious to see where this focus on ethical technology and transparent policies leads, and we look forward to seeing new startups arise in the midst of these conversations.
2. AI will continue to make products and services increasingly personalized and convenient.
According to Fast Company, advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2019 will allow “gadgets and services to subtly begin to anticipate our wants,” particularly in healthcare. New devices that allow you to monitor your own health-related data are on the rise, and experts believe that AI will soon have the potential to eliminate largely preventable medical and administrative human errors, thus increasing patient safety and reducing risks commonly associated with receiving medical treatment.
On the home front, tech giants will compete to outfit your entire smart home suite. We’ll see digital assistants like Alexa and Siri infused into more products, like microwaves and even table lamps. It won’t be long before almost everything in your home has voice assistant capabilities; hotels are already adopting these technologies to add a new level of ease to travelers’ stays.
Worried that all this personalization means greater privacy concerns down the road? Not in 2019, according to some industry analysts. They believe that the public’s increasing security concerns and pressure on Big Tech will move the companies to build on existing tools, as well as create new ones, that allow AI personalization without data sharing.
3. Streaming options will be faster, sleeker — and more plentiful than ever
After a decade in the making, we expect to see 5G expanding across the market this year. In case you’re not up to—ahem—speed, 5G is a network that offers speeds up to twenty times faster than 4G LTE networks, depending on frequency bands. These lightning-fast speeds open up a world of possibilities: more power behind the Internet of Things (IoT), flying cars…the sky is quite literally the limit here.
There’s a scramble to be the first company to debut the 5G smartphone, and we can’t wait to see who emerges front of line. (Spoiler alert: Sorry, Apple lovers, but It’s not going to be an iPhone.) And speaking of mobile technology, keep an eye out for Samsung’s folding phones, devices that wrap up the functionality and screen size of a tablet into a portable phone format.
4. Demand for tech jobs will only increase
As we move toward more secure, hyper-personalized, faster products and services, let’s not overlook what this means for the tech workforce. Consumer demand and the sheer amount of new inventions happening in tech will push sector growth forward and create new jobs across many areas, including machine learning, AI, and blockchain. There is already sustained high demand for tech roles like data scientists and full-stack developers, and we predict that those jobs won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
One thing’s for sure: if you’re working in tech (or want to be), Skillshare has hundreds of tech classes that will keep you on the cutting-edge.