Technology is progressing at a remarkable pace. Not a day goes by without the announcement of a new smart product or software that promises to make our lives easier. So what does this year have in store? The place to find out is the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, which has just wrapped up its 2020 offering.
Trends this year revolve around digital connectivity and smart design, bringing with them convenience, control, and even health benefits. Here’s our pick of the trends we can look forward to hearing more about this year.
New technology is coming to healthcare in a big way, helping us to help ourselves in our quest for improved health, and helping healthcare professionals too.
New consumer products have several health issues covered. They include the Withings Scanwatch that monitors health indicators such as heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep apnoea and the GoBe3 smartwatch that keeps an eye on calorie absorption and stress levels. Ear-buds that measure blood pressure promise to help diagnose hypertension. If teeth are your worry, the Alexa-controlled Oral-B toothbrush/speaker tells you how well you’re brushing your teeth.
Gadgets will also enable us to link up our findings to medical experts. A wearable that can predict you’re catching a cold will contact a pharmacy and request a medicine delivery. And doctors will be able to conduct virtual examinations on patients if they are in possession of a Medwand, which will examine a variety of body parts and transmit the results during a remote consultation.
Screens are a particular love of ours at Plotto and developments in this area promise higher-quality display, bigger screens, longer battery life and better image capture – perfect for improved video footage. They also promise to be even more portable with the arrival of foldable phones.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is a pioneer in this field, promising a phone that can be used one-handed but, when fully open, offers a ‘tablet experience’. This is an ideal option for anyone who spends a lot of time viewing and creating high volumes of video content. The phone packs in a total of six cameras, enabling standard, zoom and wide-angle photography and videography – perfect for great quality video surveys!
While the Samsung is at the upper end of the price spectrum, TCL showcased a more affordable alternative – and there were several foldable laptops and tablets on display too, so expect more foldable screens as the months go on.
With climate change top of the agenda, sustainability has crept into a number of tech innovations. In cars, this came in the form of electric options such as the zero-emissions, vegan interiors-clad Fisker Ocean. Jeep also announced that all its vehicles will be electric by 2022, and its first plug-in hybrid will be on sale this year.
Following the success of its Impossible Burger last year, Impossible Foods introduced Impossible Pork at CES 2020. A plant-based meat substitute, the product hopes to have a positive impact on the climate, our health and our ability to feed the world’s rising population.
Other new businesses are also focusing their efforts on sustainability. A Dutch company called Nowi aims to reduce our need for batteries by producing a chip that uses the air, radio waves, heat and movement to harvest energy for smartwatches, sensors and other Internet of Things devices.
As usual at CES there was a plethora of new technology for us to welcome into our home, all intended to make our lives run more smoothly by making fewer demands on human intelligence. Alexa (and other smart assistants) put in an appearance, of course – last year she was seen in a toilet, and this year she popped up in a shower.
There are clever doors and clever fridges to look forward to as well. Netatmo’s Smart Door Lock and Keys involves an app that allows us to unlock our front door from a smartphone or using a pre-programmed key, as well as let guests in remotely. LG’s latest fridge produces ice balls instead of cubes and boasts a touchscreen that can turn transparent so you can look inside your fridge without having to open the door. It also will give you recipes based on what you have inside.
Yep, you read that correctly. If Uber and Hyundai’s predictions come true, by 2023 we’ll be able to avoid the torture of sitting in traffic jams watching the meter tick. Instead, we’ll have an emergency parachute on hand, just in case.
It’s good to have options.