The Exciting Future of 2019


Every year in January we try to make a retrospective of what we did in the previous year. This year we decided to do it differently by not looking back but forward. It’s a new exercise especially in a year when world population is about to reach 7,678,174,000; world sales of electric cars reaches 5,900,000; global Internet traffics will go up to 158 exabyte (wow, that’s a LOT of data going back and forth) and worldwide the Internet officially will become bigger than TV in terms of minutes spent on content consuming. These are pretty scary facts, make you wonder what happened to reading, going to cinema or riding a bicycle?

Products exposed at this year’s CES, which anyhow I consider some sort of “showing off” of electronical devices, are even more fascinating. The event from Las Vegas organized on the 8-12 January was all about stunning electronics, about OLED TVs, folded smart phones, about artificial intelligence and deep learning. Artificial intelligence is the most popular course in computer science programs at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Stanford University so no wonder that the future of AI looks very promising. In Silicon Valley newly hired AI specialists ask half a million $ salary. I guess for that kind of money it’s normal to come up with a hot product 😉

Mateusz at CES Exhibition in Las Vegas in 2018. Is that lady from behind you in the VR movie?

 

5G and Starlink

The ultra-fast cell-networks of 5G become a reality this year for handsets and devices. 5G has the potential to let vehicles “talking” to each other in real time. Along with this the 5G laptops will be launched making possible for users to access the web without wi-fi connection. Intel’s XMM 8000 series modems for Microsoft, DELL, HP, Asus and Acer will appear in the first half of 2019 so 5G won’t be a question for sure.

Besides the 5G Internet there are even bigger ambitions in terms of Internet data exchange. Elon Musk’s company, the SpaceX is planning to launch gigabit internet satellites somewhere this year. On a long term they want to have 12,000 satellites called Starlink in orbit of Earth which would triple the number of objects present in the Space currently. Who knows? Maybe they will actually succeed with this internet service provider initiative although thinking of all that flying objects in the orbit, I would remain with 2G Internet just to make sure we won’t start polluting the Space too. I think what we do right now on Earth it’s more than enough in terms of pollution. Anyhow, the production of these types of satellites is super expensive not to mention that these would last only a few years in the orbit and SpaceX would have to launch new ones regularly.

Flexible Screens and Smart Homes

This year you are going to fold not only your clothes but also your mobile devices. Luckily you won’t need Marie Kondo’s help on folding your devices as it’s super simple to get the device in your pocket. Flexible displaying? Yes, it sounds impossible but this year the technological innovations show you that screens can be flexible without losing resolution quality. No idea why we would need such devices but who am I to judge what’s fancy or not?

On the contrary with my skepticism on this I find it extremely cool that we will start having “rollable” televisions. LG has recently launched its paper-thin “Signature” OLED TV R with a 65-inch screen which can roll into a box with a press of a button. Once the screen disappears the box remains as a stylish piece of furniture or soundbar. Rolling the screen into a rectangular box can be used in multiple ways, in a slimmer stage you can listen to music or even use the built in Amazon Alexa for assistance. Price? Trust me, you don’t want to know, anyhow there is no confirmed official price yet.

LG Signature, the ultra thin rollable TV screen

Nowadays everybody is talking about smart homes, rollable TV can be one of the smart things in your house, beside talking micros, automatic door lockers, knock-knock refrigerators (again well done LG, however this was launched last year 😉 ).

At the beginning of this year the major TV manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Sony, Toshiba or Sharp are prepared to show off with 8K display. 8K means a resolution of 7.680 x 4.320px, that’s more than 33 million of pixels so this means that there is hardly any content out there to watch, neither on TV channels or on YouTube. We will have to have more patience with this.

Self-driving Cars and Electric Vehicles

2019 is a major breakthrough year in terms of self-driving cars as the European Union permits the self-driving vehicles on Europe’s roads. This is a big step even if a lot of skepticals out there are saying that permitting this type of cars on public roads is irresponsible because of the high potential of accidents. Really? And what about the 1.35 million of people who, according to the World Health Organization, die every year because of car crash?

We need to be more optimistic on this matter, we need to believe in all the technological innovation done on self-driving cars. Honda has invested £750 million into General Motors’ driverless car company, Cruise, and promised to invest another £2.75 billion on this initiative. GM intends to launch commercial self-driving ride services in 2019 which might become a serious competitor to Uber.

GM’s Cruise, the driverless revolution

In the same time Volvo will be focusing entirely on production of electric cars stopping the production of new product line of petrol cars. Porsche continues working hard to keep its promises of launched the Porsche Taycan in 2020, they plan to produce 40,000 electric vehicles per year. Taycan is built from scratch, without adapting any existing technology and still promising the same dynamic of the Porsche trademark. This car has a 800 Volt electricity supply system which makes a 20 mins charge to be enough for 250 miles range.

Porsche Taycan, prepared to be launched in 2020

Kitty Hawk Corporation is working hard on flying cars, the prototypes are in active development. The company supported by Larry Page Google founder too is 10 steps ahead all of us. Cora is an everyday air taxi, Flyer, the first personal flying vehicle is for everyday flights. What we see in science fiction movies, flying cars and air traffics seem to be closer than we think it is. It looks scary that we actually get to a stage of having flying cars. Of course, this raises a lot of practical issues of getting the sky crowded but we shouldn’t get lost in the details.

Electric motorcycles are on their way to get out too, see Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire.

Cora, the flying taxi…looks like a tiny toy 🙂

So I guess all of us should reconsider the concept of transportation in the next coming months or years. The future looks different, we will definitely need a paradigm shift on this matter.

Surprisingly the only person who does not feel the pressure of exchange to electronic vehicles is Amin H. Nasser, the CEO of Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company which is the most profitable company in the world supplying petroleum and natural gas. According to him oil and gas will continue to play a major role in the world as all energy sources will be needed for the future. Saudi Aramco in planning to release it’s first IPO (ok, they plan to do this for some time but maybe this year they are going to actually do it) later this year. They estimate to sell 5% of the company for $100 billion valuating it at more than $2 trillion. Sometimes I wonder where our country would be with the same natural resources than Saud Arabia has 🙂

Worth to Watch

This has nothing to do with digital gadgets or car manufacturing, but we are including it in our summary because we have a huge respect for David Attenborough. The 92 years old naturalist is joining Netflix (don’t worry, he is not leaving BBC) making the voice over to the upcoming natural history series “Our Planet” which is scheduled to be launched on 5 April 2019.

This documentary series is the result of 4 years of filming in 50 countries with more than 600 members of crew. So if you don’t have a Netflix subscription yet, do it now!

Hope we give you some positive vibes about 2019 through this article. We are definitely excited seeing all these great stuffs coming out while things are progressing with speed of light. A lot of genius engineers are working hard to get us to the next level. Happy to be part of this, after all we are living in this progressive world.

 

Note: on the cover photo you can see a Waymo self-driving car developed by Google

Over Zsuzsa

Zsuzsa has joined Autofactor in the beginning of 2015 and we have been benefiting from her skills ever since. She’s taking care of planning in all of it’s aspects and makes sure that project managers, developers and customers deliver as promised. Her ‘gentle reminders’ also frequently go out to Hans, by the way.

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