By JOE BALSAROTTI
Last year I gazed into my laser-etched, OLED-lit, solar-powered crystal ball and offered up some of the technical innovations that would hit the prime time in 2019. Here’s my score card:
Continued push toward 5G cellular communications. Check.
5G has already had a limited rollout and the Sprint/T-Mobile merger was approved. Look for the major metro areas to get this first. Don’t run out an buy a new phone to take advantage of 5G because it will be a painfully slow rollout for the rest of us.
I think we’ll see a pause in the breakneck speed of technology change in 2019. Check.
Most of what was promised tech-wise is still on the horizon. There weren’t a lot of leaps this past year and certainly no groundbreaking innovations, just refinement and cosmetic changes to most technologies.
Data security will continue to dog all industries and all types of tech. Check, check and double-check.
Recently, two separate news stories regaled tales of creeps hacking into Ring brand surveillance equipment and not only watching but interacting with those on camera. Quit using the same usernames and passwords for multiple websites and accounts. Ring wasn’t hacked, but rather the individual accounts were. IoT, the Internet of Things, will have to address the build-first, secure-later mentality which exists before it has any realistic chance of mainstream acceptance beyond select things like video doorbells and smart speakers.
Looking into 2020, besides it being a leap year, I doubt that there will be any quantum leaps in consumer electronics or technology in general. As happened in 2019, we are in the lull before things jump forward again. An exception is the new “space race” when the likes of Space X, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and Orbital are all starting to make commercial spaceflight look like the sci-fi movies all told us it would be. Once these companies truly make a trip into orbit an easy journey, the next step will be manufacturing in the weightlessness of space. Things will then get interesting quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see breakthroughs in materials, pharmaceuticals and processes change our lives in meaningful ways.
On a final note, this is my final regular column for St. Louis CNR. Like technology, things change in publishing and this page space has become too valuable for just the musings of a geek. It is my sincere hope that you’ve enjoyed the information and insights I’ve tried to bring to you over the years in an entertaining way. You can keep up with technology news by following me at Facebook.com/SoftwareToGo or on Twitter @softtogo
May we all SEE a bright future in 2020.
Joe Balsarotti is President of Software To Go and is a 40-year veteran of the computer industry, reaching back to the days of the Apple II. Keep up with tech by following him at Facebook.com/SoftwareToGo or on Twitter @softtogo.