The internet opened up a world of opportunities. Well, we are still talking past. Now, it is wireless, A.I and next-gen consumer technology that is influencing society creating a hybrid generation where privacy is slowly becoming obsolete.
Again, if we are looking at A.I, we have 5G, 3D mainstream printing and much more, yet to come. Even as we talk A.I. is all set to provide consumers with e-commerce solutions and interactive product visualization, both of which are fast gaining popularity.
So, if you are going to work, you are not leaving your kids alone, they are either talking to or simply being watched over by A.I. At the current pace, you will ask the microwave to cook your breakfast, tell the stereo to play the news or some music and ask your smartphone for a schedule of your appointments.
CES 2019, held between 8th and 11th January 2019 will showcase real-world technologies, their drivers and mobility revolutions that are fast gaining precedence. Some of the year’s hottest trends, along with A.I-driven virtual assistants will highlight tech topics as companies will display voice-controlled refrigerators, car accessories, alarm clocks, vacuum cleaners and much more. Google’s Assistant and Amazon Alexa are two of the most intelligent assistants that are embedded in these technologies.
Most of it almost seems like they had been passed on since last year because Artificial Intelligence took center stage at the time as well. But then again, the tech industry has been able to progress only that much without making totally new breakthroughs.
One of the newer tech trends that will be debuting this year is 5G or the fifth-generation cellular network that promises quickened internet speeds. Alongside, consumers will see a proliferation of cybersecurity products, now that so many devices actually connect to the internet. There are also technologies that have received undue attention and are yet only in the ‘optimistic’ light such as self-driven cars. But there have been no dealerships signed and none are in the offing for these vehicles, yet.
Voice Assistants changing lives
Intelligent automated personal assistants are becoming essential. In fact, the virtual digital assistants even understand natural language in written and spoken forms. Some of the most popular ones include Amazon’s Echo that was introduced sometime in 2015. Its virtual assistant speaker is called Alexa. Even before that, you had Siri made known to the world by Apple. This one became a standard on the smart iPhone. Now, Siri has become the smart speaker, since the institution of the HomePod. The Android platform provided Google Now, which later was to become Google Assistant. With the smart speakers responding to‘Hey Google’ and ‘Alexa’these words became a part of a household’s daily routine. People can have conversations with both of these instruments. Finally, Google Assistant became a part of Google Home while Alexa became a part of the Echo and the Echo Dot.
While Google and Alexa are the more popular ones, there are others as well such as Bixby from Samsung, Watson from IBM, Cortana from Microsoft, and Nuance brings Nina with it. Recently, in 2018, Amazon also introduced a Microwave entrenched with Alexa, the virtual assistant.
Today, getting a go-digital companion is imperative even as technology giants are incorporating voice controls and virtual assistants into doorbells, light bulbs, thermostats, and even car accessories. This time, CES is going to see Google forge ahead with its Assistant while presenting a wide array of products compatible with it.
Amazon is not the one to be left far behind. All set to display a wide range of technologies, next week, it plans to present Alexa Everywhere. With this, the company ideates to make the virtual assistant a part of the office, car, kitchen and living room.
But all caution is not to be left to the wind because these technologies still come with some limitations. The assistants, still, only accept specific commands to enable device control. Anything unfamiliar will drive difficulty levels to the extent that you may not be able to mend it with the press of a single button.
Doubts of virtual companionship
We may seem all excited about the opportunity, but are societies really ready to get a digitally ubiquitous device that is involved in their daily tasks? Summon the digital assistants for basic functions such as playing music, setting the timer or even checking the weather. Extensive usage is still a distant dream even with the presence of many options.
Antivirus software is present on the computers but what about all the other devices connected to the internet. We have so many smart and intelligent devices working out of the network such as phones, televisions, speakers, watches and much more. Hackers are increasingly targeting the Wi-Fi router and therefore, companies are now geared up to present a fresh inflow of devices that are equipped with internet security.
The fifth generation wireless or 5G injected into carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, is meant to transmit data at high speeds. Built on the 802.11ac IEEE wireless networking standard, data communication speeds by up to three times when compared to 4G IEEE 802.11n, its predecessor. Infrastructure upgrades can be expected this year, by the wireless industry, which means people should be able to download whole movies in just a few minutes.
Drones, security cameras, self-driven cars, and other robot-type devices will view 5G seriously as a technology that minimizes latency and improves communication. Still, in the testing phase, the technology is all scheduled to be deployed in some parts of Switzerland, China, South Korea, Australia, Britain and Germany and in a few areas across the United States. Initially, not all smartphones will be compatible with 5G. Nevertheless, there are some Chinese manufacturers that are keeping pace while Apple is taking its own time and will only release its 5G-compatible handset sometime in 2020.
Virtual reality and self-driving cars are still a nascent or premature idea although they are popular subjects of discussion. There are still many years to come until these two technologies become mainstream.