Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

The Wrap – The Tech Trends of 2020

The Wrap takes a look at the tech trends of 2020. From smart cars to the smart home, we’re joined by Geoff Quattromani and Fergus Halliday to glance at the year ahead, all in five minutes.

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It’s the beginning of 2020, and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with a new year underway, we’re peering into what you can expect for 2020.

Each and every year is different, and while last year didn’t quite turn out the way everyone expected, many of the trends we did predict were fairly close.

8K arrived, more banks supported mobile payment standards, cars became a little more connected, 5G launched, and the home became smarter thanks to all those smart devices.

So what’s next? Well mostly continuations, as the world becomes more connected and switched on. 2020 may well be the “hindsight year” where we look back at what we’ve done, but it’s also the year where we look to where we’re going.

And we’re heading to a very connected future, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. You probably saw quite a few smart speakers and smart displays in the past year, and these can give your home voice control.

Now we just need more devices that play together. Things like smart whitegoods and appliances are on the cards, as your fridge, oven, and more find ways to connect to the web.

Geoff Quattromani (2GB, Technology Uncorked)

I fully expect the smart home will take a lift in its game. I’m not talking about us just talking to a speaker and getting a recipe read out to us. I’m saying that when we talk to a smart speaker, it’s going to preheat our oven. Our oven is going to tell our dishwasher what kind of load to expect in the evening. And when we’re finished cooking, the vacuum goes and starts to clean up.

That’s 2GB technology commentator Geoff Quattromani, who suggested that the smart home will get just that little bit smarter in 2020, as the whole smart home concept became a bundled package, and not just a way to control what music is playing at home.

Geoff also thinks cars will be impacted in a smart way, as the car brands looking to make an impact play catchup with one of the leading auto manufacturers.

Geoff Quattromani (2GB, Technology Uncorked)

I also think we’ll see some big changes in self driving cars not just from Tesla, but the other manufacturers which all playing catch up at this point.

Given the lead Tesla seems to have right now, existing car manufacturers are going to have to make 2020 the year they fight back, and since it sounds like the future, it might just work to their advantage.

The worlds of augmented reality and virtual reality look set to make some changes, too, with brands outside of Oculus and HTC looking to break into the virtual world these gadgets are a bridge to.

In fact, if you love your iPhone but want to see how Apple would do this sort of entertainment, PC World Australia’s Fergus Halliday told us that we can probably expect Apple to make an appearance.

Fergus Halliday (PC World Australia)

With the Oculus Quest acting is the apex for consumer VR experiences I’m really interested and excited to see what 2020 brings when it comes to AR tech. There were plenty of rumors suggesting that Apple might be looking to make a play and I want to see what that looks like and what it inspires.

But while augmented reality glasses might be something coming from the makers of the iPhone, Fergus mentioned a style of tech savvy eyewear he was more keen to see in 2020.

Fergus Halliday (PC World Australia)

Along those same lines another thing I’m personally really excited to see more of in 2020 is smart glasses not in the Google Glass sense of the term but stuff closer to the Bose Frames and Focal’s smart glasses both which came in 2019. I’ve worn glasses my whole life and the idea of turning my existing frames into a set of bone conducting headphones still sounds pretty good to me. And I doubt I’m the only one. The execution just needs to be a little bit better than it was this year and I reckon 2020 is going to be good for that.

The other trends you can expect this year have to do with mobility, and they are foldables and 5G. Simply put, we’re going to see more of those this year, because we started to see them just last year.

In the foldable world, you’ll want to expect not just foldable phones, but foldable computers. Both Microsoft and Lenovo have already talked up concepts, so now it’s just a matter of time until they eventuate and make an appearance, unfolding to let anyone have a go.

Meanwhile, 5G is something else that will make more of a mark this year. Both Telstra and Optus have it, and Vodafone looks set to join the world of 5G by the middle of the year, giving Australia’s biggest three telcos access to the high-speed 5G networks. There will, of course, be more 5G phones to speak of, and some of these will probably be foldable, but you can expect 5G in more than just phones.

5G will make its way to tablets and computers, and likely some cameras, too.

But what we really need for 5G is a killer app, a concept that screams “yes, you’re making use of these super fast connections for a reason”. With 5G supported in more places this year, it might just open up opportunities for that killer app.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. You can more episodes like this at Podcast One, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts every Friday, but next week, there will probably be more, because The Wrap will be live from the world’s biggest technology show next week, CES, reporting on the tech trends and more as we see them.

That’s next week, so stay tuned. Until then, have a great weekend. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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