Technology Other News 02 Jan 2019 Tech cos need to wea ...

Tech cos need to weather controversies from 2018

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ARCHAK SENGUPTA
Published Jan 2, 2019, 8:44 am IST
Updated Jan 2, 2019, 8:44 am IST
Trust needs to be rebuilt, privacy needs to be addressed.
Consumers, in 2019, will be more conscious about their user data as privacy concerns finally hit mainstream in 2018.
 Consumers, in 2019, will be more conscious about their user data as privacy concerns finally hit mainstream in 2018.

Tech firms, in the year gone by, remained witness to multiple controversies as they were pulled up by US Congress to explain their roles. However, consumers, in 2019, will be more conscious about their user data as privacy concerns finally hit mainstream in 2018. So as we look ahead, we tried to identify the trends that are likely to play a major role in 2019.

User Trust

 

While the controversy-hit 2018 is behind us, tech companies saw a huge dent in their trustworthiness among users. To regain the users’ trust, the companies will have to take proactive steps, or else see the users migrate to different platforms.

Facebook, which was at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to a Washington Post prediction, may see a major rejig among the top officials. While Mark Zuckerberg is likely to keep his role, Facebook may part with chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg as the social media giant continues to move from one controversy to another.

Tech giant Google too was at the centre of multiple controversies this year with collection of location data being the biggest of them. With the US Congress managed to botch up the congressional hearing of Sundar Pichai, it would worth keeping an eye on the diversified search giant which has become so crucial part of our lives.

Machine Learning and Big Data

In the year gone by, Machine Learning and Big Data have, finally, become the major talking points but with growing consciousness about user data and its collections, the companies will need to be careful. However, 2018 was also the year when machines speeds were able to comprehend such vast amount data and in process become smart.

In 2019, the machines will become smarter thanks to machines comprehending data from more than a million users for a year. Expect Internet of Technology (IoT) devices and AI to evolve into smarter devices.

The companies, however, will need to employ reverse engineering to use such technology for more efficiently instead of shoehorning the investment.

Autonomous and Electric Vehicles

Both autonomous and electric vehicles saw major progress in 2018. For 2019, we expect something similar as more companies take the plunge to build EVs, thus challenging Tesla’s hegemony at the luxury EV segment.

It was the year when Elon Musk’s Tesla made major progress and even made profit. However, erratic behaviour from Mr Musk continued to be a major problem. It even lead to a fight with the US SEC which led to Mr Musk and Tesla being penalised.

However, we can continue to expect a similar trend from Mr Musk floating his ambitious plans on Twitter. But, Telsa will have a major challenge from Volkswagen in the years ahead as it’s unlikely to have the same production problems that have haunted Tesla.

As for the autonomous vehicles segment, which were in the news majorly for the wrong reasons i.e. accidents, also saw traditional rivals come together and form grand alliance as it looks to whether the challenge of tech firms in the automotive industry.

Smartphones

Flagship smartphones, in 2018, continues to be costlier and the trend is likely to continue in 2019. Analysts expect that the prices of smartphones, which can rival laptops in terms of specifications, over the next few years, will come to equal them. Like everything in smartphone, Apple, in 2017, started the trend of rising prices and breaching the various mental barriers, other companies are likely to follow the trend.

Samsung, on the other hand, is likely to introduce the foldable screen technology in early 2019. This would follow the pricing trend of Apple and is likely to insanely expensive.  However, in the latter half of 2019, one can expect Chinese tech firms to provide alternative at a cheaper cost.

Another trend that we are likely to see is companies targeting casual gamers with more gaming phones set to be launched in the new year. Asus and Razer had both launched their gaming phones in 2018 and will likely refresh with a 2019 variant

5G

While there has been much talk about the 5G network being rolled out in 2019, it would be too early for most companies to roll out their services. There are also lots of rumours regarding 5G helping reducing call drops and higher download speed but the major role of 5G networks would be completely different as they will enable seamless experience of 8K videos. Higher download speed and fewer call drops was technically addressed in 4G that is yet to be rolled out completely in India.

8K TVs

Till recently, 4K television sets were the rage and many spent a fortune to make them the centrepieces of their home theatre systems. And now companies want to sell 8K sets as way to boost their profit margins. So, the technology helps incorporate four times the pixels for a even larger TV. (Yes, Samsung we are talking about the Wall).

While television makers have been exhibiting the it for some time now, 2018 finally saw companies launch 8K television sets  for sale. It’s insanely expensive and the price is unlikely to come down in 2019.

Gaming Consoles

While Sony has already announced that the PS4 has entered the end of its lifecycle, it remains tightlipped about the next generation console. So has been its rival, Microsoft, about its successor to Xbox One. We can expect more information about these next-gen consoles in mid 2019 and their sale in latter half of the year. So, get ready to see the PS v Xbox battle once again in 2019.

Cloud

2019 will be an interesting year for cloud computing as companies finally will deliberate on ditching in-house servers for cheaper cloud computing. However, the companies will also have to be careful about data breaches and how it can be prevented especially with GDPR and other privacy rules coming into effect.

SSDs

One of the major things that consumer can look forward to in 2019 would be cheaper SSDs or Solid State Drives. SSDs are the next generation hard disk for computer only faster and more reliable. While this has been around for a few years now, 2019 might finally be the year when it becomes cheaper and can be used widely.

Conclusion

While 2018 has been riddled with controversies, 2019 may see quite a few new technologies. But the aftereffects of the controversies from last year are likely to pan out in the New Year.

As for the newer technologies, we can always be optimistic about them but it would be better if we tread with a bit of caution. 2018 taught us that the early adopters aren’t always the biggest winners and often turn out to be the biggest losers.

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