Here’s what’s new in tech this year

Consumer tech brands have a lot on offer but most of it you probably don’t need. Here’s a primer to help you make well-informed purchases in 2019.

We all know that the consumer electronics market is fast paced and ever changing. Major brands are constantly churning out more products for us to buy with the promise of well-marketed lifestyle enhancements, but truthfully, we don’t need most of it. 

The vast array of options can make it difficult to know which items you should spend your money on. But don’t worry, we’ve spotted the biggest technological breakthroughs on the horizon and here are the products that are likely to give you the most bang for your buck in 2019.

Televisions 

In terms of growth, TV technology is rather slow and steady compared to other sectors. But if this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) is any indicator, things are about to change drastically. 

TVs have gradually become an element of interior design. Now, instead of working around a big, black, rectangular box on the wall, you can make it disappear. Rollable displays are now a thing with the introduction of the LG SIGNATURE 4K OLED TV R. With the push of a button, you can roll the screen partially or completely into its base, leaving you to enjoy your décor without the eyesore. 

Smartphones 

Smartphones are essential so make sure your next upgrade supports 5G wireless connections; 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband and it’s exponentially faster than 4G LTE, which means you’ll have faster download and upload speeds on any 5G enabled device. 

According to the Consumer Technology Association, 76 percent of all smartphones sold will be 5G-enabled by 2022. Huawei launched the 5G CPE Pro earlier this year and other brands have followed suit. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S10 5G at Mobile World Congress 2019 while Chinese manufacturer Oppo announced plans to release a 5G-enabled smartphone later this year. 

Having launched the region’s first 5G wireless network, Etisalat is also prepared for the future of mobile: “We foresee 5G as a game changer with rich potential, an evolution that would elevate services, performance and enablement,” Etisalat International CEO Hatem Dowidar said at the 11th edition of the Leaders Summit in Dubai. “It’s going to change the way we work, play and interact.”

Vehicles

Speaking of 5G, the new technology isn’t just for smartphones; it’s also the foundation for the next wave of vehicles. Because 5G is lightning fast, it has decreased latency – in other words, it takes less time for devices to communicate with each other over wireless networks and communication between the car, passenger and surrounding traffic is extremely important when it comes to autonomous driving. 

Bosch levelled up at CES 2019, showing off a range of innovations across private and public transportation. The company introduced a driverless electric shuttle concept with a fully automated driverless system. Bosch also partnered with Daimler to integrate on-demand ride-hailing apps with fully automated Mercedes-Benz S class vehicles. The intent is to give you the option to not only own a self-driving vehicle, but to one day hire one anytime you like using your favourite app. If your next car doesn’t stream 4K movies, provide data in the dashboard and drive itself, you’re behind the times.

WORDS Tamara Clarke

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