Just as 2019 hits full stride, the technology giants are plying their newest wares. Last month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), as in every year, was an extravaganza of tech finery, providing a barometer for things to come. Not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, after all.

 

Just as with the latest Pantone color of the year — which is Living Coral, by the way — the tech at CES is an annual opportunity for the world’s super nerds to ballyhoo upcoming tech. The promise of culture-shifting gadgets and mind-bending services is an exciting escape. And, like every year, that’s what much of this is: escapism. Even so, some of the stranger-than-fiction forays into the future will become the best realities, so let’s explore!

 

As we sink our teeth into 2019’s morsels, let’s sweep away 2018’s crumbs. Last year began with Bitcoin poised to become a currency king, foldable phones promising to be as ubiquitous as folding chairs and the vision of all teens everywhere taking a break from their screens and cleaning their rooms. Okay, that last one wasn’t real … for obvious reasons.

 

Predictions are increasingly challenging for the tech world, because tech is changing at such a staggering pace. Families are destined to be behind the curve, trying to catch up to what the world is doing around them. Even so, there’s value in looking ahead.

 

WIRELESS PROMISES

More than seeing Living Coral, this year you’ll hear the term 5G more than ever before. While there won’t be widespread adoption of this new standard in mobile service out of the gates, the marketing of this technology is going to be a mega wave of promises. Those companies who fail to sail the high seas of 5G forecasts will fear getting washed away by the competition, so they’ll fill your ears to prevent emptying their accounts.

 

Gimmicks and grandstanding aside, the prospect of 5G will revolutionize our world. When our phones were given the LTE ability to work as fast as our home networks, we didn’t ooh and aah. We kind of expected it. We assumed our phones should stream Netflix with the smooth, pacifying somnolence of our high-speed homes. We’ve taken 4G for granted, but the next “G” might as well stand for game changer.

 

The wired, wired west is about to give way to a wirelessly connected world. And, the possibilities are endless. We’ll save that column for another day, but it is coming, and you’re about to hear more about that than you ever wanted. You heard it here first. See? Told ya it would be annoying.

 

SCREENS, SMOKE AND MIRRORS

Also, this year the 8K drumbeat will build. The 8K screen resolution gods don’t want your sacrifices just yet, but they do want to pique your interest, laying the groundwork to convince you to part ways with 4K and bow before the great 8K screen. Don’t fall for the smoke and mirrors just yet, though. When 4K became the sexy new sell, pixel gurus around the globe tried to convince the masses that the practicality of 4K was tenuous at best and indistinguishable by most. If that was true for 4K, it’s exponentially truer for 8K. Do start saving your tech toy money (see how I didn’t say Bitcoin?), but use it for a sky-high payment for the rocket sled industry of EVs that’s silently making more noise than ever.

 

ELECTRIC DREAMS

Tesla is the company that folks loved and loved to hate in 2018. With near-religious vigor on the one hand and gnarly, seething viciousness on the other, 2018 saw the car industry finally give a little less side-eye, seemingly waking up to the reality that the fuel future is subatomic, not molecular. As 2019 launches, so are all the new EVs. And, the list is a cornucopia of conspicuous consumption of piled-up dollars and pulsating electricity. Your choices to save the planet and ride the electricity wave are about to explode like an internal combustion engine full of gas.

 

Full disclosure: I’m on team Tesla, and my Model 3 has my heart … pounding like a carnival ride, that is. It’s an otherworldly experience, and hundreds of thousands more are going to have that experience in 2019 as the world’s biggest carmakers begin to add horses to their stables powered by lightning, not liquid. Yes. Yes. I know that the vast amount of electricity comes from fossil fuel, but renewables are on the rise!

 

As our year unfolds, there will be surprises aplenty, and next year we’ll be back here scratching our heads about all that didn’t pan out. No matter the case, the likelihood is that the world will be a better place because of the technology that your family has access to this year, and that’s a great way to look ahead – hoping for what can be!

 

Richard Singleton MACE, MAMFC, LPC, is the president of STARRY in Round Rock.

 

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