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Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
Top 10 Technology Trends in 2019

Top 10 Technology Trends in 2019

Daniel Horowitz
Technology changes rapidly, and it’s always exciting to see what’s new and in development for release in the next few years.
We’ve seen many new forms of technology infiltrating both the work and home spaces, and 2019 is likely to add several new types of consumer products as well as corporate innovations.
This year, it’s likely that artificial intelligence will be more commonplace as it becomes involved with marketing, personal items, and overall monitoring of behaviors.
Among other major trends in technology, brands are increasingly offering unique products as a way to compete with major corporations, such as Amazon. Its competitors are looking to use the one-size-fits-all approach as a model and offer more services, including cloud-based systems and streaming services.
This also extends to providing greater connectivity between smart devices, either in the workplace or at home, no matter what brand you choose as a consumer.
Consumers are expected to invest a whopping $398 billion in technology as forecasted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) [1], a record high for spending.
As we all get ready to open our wallets and embrace the future, here are the top 10 technology industry trends expected for 2019:
1. Streaming services
2. Smart home technology
3. Smart speakers with more features
4. Self-driving and better-performing cars
5. Even bigger, better displays
6. Improved VR headsets and business use
7. The decline of smartphones
8. A faster 5G network
9. Blockchain-for-good
10. Augmented reality
Let’s now break down each trend and see exactly how they’re expected to change the tech landscape over the next year or so.

1. Streaming services

With the prevalence of smart TVs, consumers are looking for more content and more ways to watch it. Netflix and Hulu set the standard for streaming services, but the greater streaming industry continues to grow and more platforms are emerging. This makes room for new types of content to be developed and for viewers to enjoy shows that may not have aired on a traditional cable network.
While video has seen the most growth among streaming services, there are other sectors seeking to change the way we consume media. For example, music subscriptions have made it easier than ever to listen to the music we love and discover new artists, and services such as Spotify and Amazon Music are expected to expand throughout the year.

2. Smart home technology

After streaming services, smart home technology is expected to make the biggest impact among tech trends in 2019. This includes devices such as smart thermostats, lighting, and smoke detectors built to monitor customer behavior more efficiently. While the smart home craze has been going on for a while now, this year marks a difference in how this technology is being packaged through branding [2].
In the past, these devices were created to exist separately from other enterprises, but users are finding ways to connect devices from various companies to create a more cohesive experience. Creating the most efficient and open ecosystem for smart devices remains a challenge, however, so it’ll be interesting to see how various platforms can connect to one another for greater functionality.

3. Smart speakers with more features

Experts believe that consumers are likely to buy more smart home assistants this year. According to the CTA, this falls in line with data that shows smart speaker purchases have increased by 44% from 2017 [3]. Because voice recognition software has gotten more advanced over the past few years, it only makes sense that consumers would want to connect them to their other tech items to do everything from perform online searches to control other smart home devices.
With smarter technology and more memory installed in the speakers, Google Assistant has now been programmed to carry on a conversation without having to say the word “wake.”
Not only that, but Amazon Alexa can now sing your baby a lullaby to help them fall asleep. In 2019, these voice assistants are poised to seem less like hardware and more like sentient beings through upgrades.

4. Self-driving and better-performing cars

What once seemed like science fiction is now closer to reality than ever. It may be some time before you start to see self-driving cars taking over roadways, but the technology inside the latest models is making serious progress.
For example, some of the newer vehicle capabilities have decreased the likelihood of an accident on your next commute. We may also see freight vehicles driven without a human driver on highways.
Interconnectivity is another feature that our vehicles will have within the coming years. It is already possible to connect your mobile phone with your Bluetooth-enabled car, but expect this tech to advance alongside improved voice recognition and smart appliances.
After all, there are already vehicles capable of reminding you to pick up a carton of milk by connecting with a smart fridge, so the possibilities will only open up from there.

5. Even bigger, better displays

Over the past few years, smart TVs have changed how we consume our media and what we enjoy watching and when. Now that companies have gathered consumer data and information from streaming services and our purchase habits, TVs are set to become bigger, brighter, and yes, even smarter within the next few years.
Also, as 4K becomes more affordable and widespread, technology experts are looking to the newest innovation in picture quality: 8K. These units are expected to be on the market within the next few months and may take over 4K purchases by 2022. Combined with better streaming, the at-home entertainment experience is about to get better than ever.

6. Improved VR headsets and business use

Through gaming and immersive experiences, virtual reality has primarily been used for entertainment purposes over the past few years. Businesses in a variety of verticals, from real estate to robotics, are looking at how they can use the technology in new ways, too, and it’s all part of projected growth for the industry as a whole.
According to Business Insider, “VR and augmented reality are projected to grow to $162 billion by 2020, and more products are targeting enterprise use [4].”
VR headsets are going to become lighter and more comfortable to use, and connectivity will allow you to incorporate your device with your wearables and TV sets. We may also see VR interacting with mobile phones and specific applications to further broaden the capabilities of this rapidly evolving tech.

7. The decline of smartphones

The smartphone has dominated the communications market, but there has been a decline in the number of purchases lately. Part of this is because there haven’t been any vast improvements in smartphone technology lately, and much of it has to do with the fact that Apple is investing in other forms of tech for consumers [5]. Android sales are also in a slump as PC World reports that purchases were down 0.7% over the last quarter in 2018 [6].
While there have been some changes in design, such as two-sided phones and folding screens, many buyers do not consider the cost of replacing their device worth the extra small changes.
Again, connections with other devices will be where phones are upgraded, and their compatibility with wearables and VR will be highlighted rather than major advancements in phone tech itself.

8. A faster 5G network

5G has been in development for over a decade [7], and this emerging technology is expected to be most influential on a corporate level in 2019. In addition to offering greater security, 5G will provide faster speeds that will really only be noticed by companies moving around large sets of data.
To the average consumer, a change in speed from 30 milliseconds (ms) to just 1 ms won’t be easily recognized, but to big companies, this can make a serious difference when processing large amounts of data.

9. Blockchain-for-good

While blockchain technology has been around for more than a decade, the way it’s going to be used is projected to change in 2019. A new trend called blockchain-for-good has altered how it’s being incorporated into new businesses.
Fintech and banking blockchain projects have been more involved in social media platforms like Twitter, making it easier than ever to complete online payments.
This change brings a host of new, ethical standards that have been promoted by companies such as IBM and Ford in order to protect the people, who often live in impoverished areas, who harvest the cobalt necessary for blockchain production [8]. It will also allow for better tracking of certain fraud cases as consumers can better track where their payments are going. Improvements like these could help to launch blockchain to the mainstream this year.
“In the next few years, we will most likely see the development of Blockchain-powered charity organizations, which will revolutionize the entire process, improving how charity distribution works … saving and improving lives,” says Forbes [9].

10. Augmented reality

2019 is also predicted to be the year augmented reality takes off. For many, this tech was made popular with the release of the incredibly popular mobile game Pokémon GO. However, AR could grow even more mainstream with the release of Google Chrome’s WebAR support, which could make AR a part of our everyday experience when surfing the web [10].
Like virtual reality headsets, AR glasses will only become lighter and simpler to use - and more affordable for the typical consumer. Plus, it’s likely that more businesses will start training their employees by using AR, so we can expect an increase in sales from the corporate side, too.

In summary

While we are far from seeing technology completely take over our daily lives, 2019 holds promise for new innovations and improvements to the devices we already have.
With an increase of data from consumers and businesses, our everyday items will see a boost in productivity, connectivity, and performance. This year will give us yet another peek into the future. Opportunities lie ahead for big changes and small.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.

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