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3 Big Tech Trends: What's ahead for 2020 and beyond

January 16 2020

techhelp tech for 2020 and beyondFamous physicist Edward Teller once said, "The science of today is the technology of tomorrow." Both science and technology are making breakthroughs at a record pace today. The result is an increase in the velocity of new technology designed to improve how we live and how we work.

What's on the horizon are technologies that promise to improve the real estate business for agents and consumers alike. Here is a sampling of remarkable technologies we will see in the next year and beyond that will impact us all at work and at home.

Digital assistants get smarter, appear everywhere

If you drove a new car to work, used a new cell phone, or even Windows 10, artificial intelligence is improving your experience.

Improvements in AI are driving the popularity of digital assistants in the home. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant now can be found in appliances, clocks, mirrors, and more.

New cars feature all brands of AI-powered digital assistants; Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, and even Amazon Alexa can be your co-pilot when you drive.

In real estate, AI powers the work at OJO Labs in Austin. It is piloting a digital assistant for real estate, called OJO, for Realogy brands. OJO can instantly answer questions home shoppers have about a home before they choose to work with an agent. When a shopper is ready to buy, OJO immediately connects them with a real agent. Check out their overview video here.

Expect more personalization from the Next Gen of digital assistants as they use AI to learn your voice, your habits, and your preferences. Also expect DAs to be built into more devices, increasing the reach of the Internet of Things, or IoT, into our homes.

The next big trend: expect DAs to be more pervasive than ever in the workplace next year.

The Emergence of WiFi 6

Augmented reality, or AR, will require much higher bandwidth for it to become a mainstay in businesses like real estate, experts say. Well, super-high bandwidth is on the way.

WiFi 6 is the first significant overhaul of WiFi in 20 years. The promised new standard will ramp up internet speed for everyone—up to ten times faster than the current fastest speed. We are talking about the ability to stream 8K video. Lab tests have hit as high as 10Gb – that's 10,000 mbps. Today, the US average internet speed is under 22 mbps. It also will be able to handle more high-speed streams at once.

Think of the new WiFi 6 like a highway improvement: the speed limit just went from 10 miles per hour to 100, and more lanes were added to handle more vehicles at the same time.

The best news: it is "backward" compatible with current WiFi devices, but to get the max speeds, you can expect new WiFi 6 capable modems to emerge broadly in 2020.

Self-Driving Cars and Trucks

Many transportation experts believe that it won't be long until agents can send their clients on an open house tour without a driver. That may sound nuts, or at least something that will happen much farther in the future, but you might want to think again. AVs, or autonomous vehicles, are more than a trend—they are the future.

Uber and Volvo have partnered and are on their third version of a self-driving car, and have raised over $1 billion for its self-driving effort. Uber is testing self-driving cars, picking up passengers in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto. The good news is Uber customers can refuse a self-driving vehicle in the app.

This summer, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao reported more than 80 companies are testing 1,400 self-driving vehicles in 36 states. Tesla's Elon Musk promised his company would have self-driving electric cars ready in 2020. It could even be as early as the end of the year, The Verge recently wrote.

What will you see in 2020 and beyond in AVs? More self-driving semi-trucks. CNBC reported in September that Daimler Trucks, in partnership with Torc Robotics, are driving its autonomous trucks on public highways in southwest Virginia where Torc is headquartered.

Bigger news? Since May, UPS has been using autonomous trucking startup TuSimple to haul its cargo between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. UPS also has announced it has placed the largest order – 125 — of the all-electric Tesla Semi, which will come with a Semi-Autonomous Auto Pilot.

The commercial transport industry has the greatest incentive to move faster in deploying self-driving vehicles. This is mostly because of two things: reduced costs and a pervasive shortage of commercial truck drivers.

What's Next?

Future tech will see a lot more changes on the short horizon – within the next 5-10 years – for us all. Among the boldest new tech predictions that will impact home and work?

  • Sensors everywhere that know who we are and that will deliver the most personalized experiences.
  • Floors and furniture in our homes that light up as better LED and battery improvements make our homes more efficient and, well, brighter.
  • Transition windows that change opaqueness to filter out light and improve energy efficiency.
  • Earbuds that will translate languages instantly.
  • Drone delivery will explode, and not just because of Amazon, but Doordash and others are sprinting to get fast food to us faster.
  • LiFi could replace WiFi if they overcome some obstacles. LiFi uses visible light to transmit versus RF signals, with lab tests exceeding 200 times faster than a fiber connection. The challenge is that it can't go through walls.
  • RadarCat is an automated sensor that enables a computer to recognize different materials, as well as a variety of objects, from glass bottles to human body parts.
  • 3D Printing of anything: from clothes to jewelry to food — or even exact copies of a painting by Picasso or Monet. Material includes nylon, silver, titanium, steel, wax, photopolymers, and more.
  • Wireless charging may beam energy across a room, or a short distance to charge an electric car. Someday, it may even transmit energy from solar panels in space to earth.
  • IoNT – Internet of Nano Things – the microtization of technology will continue, creating nanomachines that could change everything from medicine to manufacturing.

Advancements in quantum computing could have the most significant impact on helping to advance all new technology. Google just announced it had achieved "computer supremacy." Its Sycamore computer completed an "impossible" computation in 200 seconds. Previously, the world's most powerful supercomputers would take 10,000 years to finish the task.

While we don't know which of these emerging technologies will be successfully adopted or not, we do know the science is real. The biggest factor of all may be which technologies provide us the most benefits in our work and daily lives.

Remember, Tech Helpline is here to help you adopt, troubleshoot and optimize the technology you use today. Give us a call, send us an email or chat livechat live with one of our techs!

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