This past year was challenging for the tech world, to say the least, but the new year brings an opportunity to change the conversation. A huge opportunity, actually — CES 2019, the world’s largest tech show, is right around the corner.
CES (which used to stand for “consumer electronics show” but is now its own term) certainly has its share of overhyped gadgets, meaningless concepts, and just plain dumb ideas, but the overall vibe tends to be optimistic. Tech can solve problems, and the whole industry descends upon the Las Vegas Strip to tell their stories for a few days in January.
We’re also on the cusp of at least one major technological shift — the transition to 5G networks — that has consequences for the entire tech industry, adding to the weight of what’s already pretty weighty show. At the same time, incremental advances are adding up in areas like the smart home and consumer health tech to push forward meaningful advances that aren’t just hype.
What are the biggest trends that CES 2019 will be known for? Read on.
1. 5G gets real
Well, “real.” To be sure, 5G is already here (Verizon and AT&T both have — extremely limited — active networks), but we’re still weeks if not months away from smartphones that can take advantage of them. And even when those phones arrive, the transition isn’t as simple as turning on a 5G modem.
Nonetheless, 2019 is poised to become the Year of 5G, and they hype train begins at CES, at least as far as consumers are concerned. If all goes well, CES 2019 will show the world what 5G will do for us besides just giving us faster smartphones. More secure smart-home devices, battery-operated remote sensors, and reliable tele-health apps are all good answers to that question, but seeing is believing.