Whilst much of life slowed down in 2020, one thing that seemed to speed up was the acceptance of technology. How fast many of us adapted to ‘on screen’ meetings, ‘click and collect’ shopping and ‘track and trace’ for example. Video games certainly had time to hone their skills (or was that just my kids?).
So, whilst the pandemic shut down much of normal life, many technology companies prospered. On the back of what can only have been a great year for them . . we wonder what 2021 has in store?
We have done some research and here are some of the interesting tech things we have found that the people who know, expect to see more of in 2021
- More folding phones in 2021 and the move to 5G networks which promised to connect everybody and everything to the net should gather pace.
- The boom in online shopping has made Amazon even richer but has also accelerated the pace of automation both in warehouses where robots are getting better at picking and packing and in the delivery process, so you can expect to see more of these on the streets.
- The pandemic may accelerate demand for robot carers an idea which is popular in Japan but we aren’t too sure how quickly that will take off here in Lincoln in 2021 – but you never know!
- We’ve been promised self-driving cars for a while, concerns about how safe they are and how they will be regulated have slowed progress, but electric motoring is likely to surge ahead as battery performance improves and countries set deadlines for the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
- With people spending more time at home the video games industry has boomed (phew, not just my kids then!) the new Xbox and PlayStation games consoles will get plenty of use in 2021.
- Streaming video platforms may gain more customers even when cinemas reopen as many of us have enjoyed the convenience of this (but let’s hope they are going to keep adding new content if this lock down continues much longer!).
- Our homes are ‘connected’, from voice-controlled lights to smart speakers and door bells our homes are becoming more automated but with the technology come concerns about privacy and security and those are just two of the issues which may make 2021 the year when the tech Giants face tougher regulation.
- Collaboration software likely to get even better as people use it more and more. It is expected that working practices will never go back to how they were. It will be important that your IT infrastructure is up to it. (you know where we are if you need us).
- Online health and ‘telemedicine’ are likely to flourish.
- Online education and e-learning will continue to develop. Snow-days have become a thing of the past. (sorry kids).
- There is likely to be an increasing demand and growth of AI. This could be driven by manpower shortages as things begin to return to normal after the pandemic, so automation, AI, robotics and the internet of things will be key solutions, particularly in the manufacturing space.
- Immersive technology – Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality continued to grow during 2020 and these trends are only going to accelerate. Microsoft are one of the companies involved in shaping the future of this technology.
- More e-bikes and e-scooters. Once we get to the other side of the pandemic and back outside – the use of electric bikes and scooters is expected to surge.
- Autonomous driving – development in this is likely to continue. Tesla for example can already change lanes, with many other marques hot on their heels.
Wow! Technology is changing and innovating so fast it is almost breath-taking. Hold onto your seats folks, it’s going to be quite a year.
Sources: BBC & Inc.com