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CES 2020: 5 Highlights That Will Define The New Decade

We’re gearing up to attend CES 2020 at Las Vegas this coming week – the biggest, baddest event on the tech calendar every year. It’s a new decade, and after all is said, done and reminisced about the decade of the 2010s, we’re ready for the next one.

1. Artificial Intelligence

The 2010s saw the proliferation of AI tech first seen commercially in smartphones with the popular voice-based Google Assistant and Siri services, and we’re looking at a more widespread proliferation of AI technology in other means.

Initially confined to handsets, AI assistants soon moved over onto computers, to home speakers like the Google Home/Google Nest line of smart products, and then to always-on gadgets like smartwatches and earphones. Front-end applications might see an expansion to more products and in terms of use case. We’re thinking connected clothing and touch-free gesture-based user interfaces.

Google Home got the AI assistant ball rolling here in Singapore. Image: Ian Ling/VR Zone

Google, the current front runner in the AI race, would likely double down on their efforts to get the public talking about its assistant vis-a-vis competitor Amazon. In 2019, Google showed off a new on-device transcribing mode on the Pixel 4, along with nifty gesture controls on that device and the Google Nest Hub Max.

Controversially, the CES will be host to Ivanka Trump, daughter of USA President Donald Trump. In her keynote dialogue with Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro, titled “The Path to the Future of Work”, Trump will discuss the impact of AI on jobs – both positive and negative, while sharing education reforms by the Trump administration to deal with these changes.

2. 5G

Already seeing a rapid increase in adoption and implementation, 2019 was the trial year of 5G connectivity. Insane, off-the-charts network speeds accompanied millimetre wave networks, but it was plagued by poor coverage.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is the first phone with a foldable display to hit shelves, and is the first in the line of 5G-ready smartphones.

CES Host city Las Vegas features 5G networks by AT&T and T-Mobile, and it would be a great chance to showcase the future during the show. We’re expecting a resurgence of automotive, smart city and other large-scale demonstrations, but it would be exciting to see what the big boys have in store.

3. (Subscription) Services

If anything, the rise of subscription services in the tech world (and beyond) benefits corporations more than consumers. Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Microsoft’s 365 Office suite, Apple TV+ and Disney+ streaming services and Apple Arcade and Google Stadia gaming services – most of the tech world has progressed to this vastly different model.

The Apple TV+ subscription service launched in 2019. Image: Apple

With the uptick in content streaming subscriptions, TVs and other display technologies stand to benefit. LG’s show-stopping rolling TV will make a comeback, this time extending downwards like a projector screen from the ceiling.

4. Privacy & Security

Apart from all the money-grabbing in the past few years came the user data exploits. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal was soon followed by a spate of data leaks, hacks and exploits across the tech world.

At the CES 2020 Chief Privacy Officer Roundtable, privacy officers at Apple, Facebook and Procter & Gamble along with Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter discuss the scalability and sustainability of privacy, along with regulation and consumer demands.

5. Health & Accessibility

That’s not to say that tech is all that bad. Touching stories of how newfangled features like emergency service calling, ECG, abnormal heart rate detection and fall detection have saved lives bear testament to the benevolent potential of technology.

The Apple Watch Series 4 debuted the remarkable ability to take an ECG right on your wrist. Image: Apple

An emerging segment, health tech will now be consolidated on the show floor, with gadgets aimed to help us better monitor our activity, diet and sleep.

Ian Ling
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

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