The start of a new year is upon us, so naturally, it’s time to look forward and imagine what technologies will impact our lives over the next 12 months.
We’ve often looked to CES as the show that kicks off the year and sets the tone, with many products announced in January, eventually shipping 6-8 months later.
While nobody has a crystal ball, it is worth documenting our thoughts and hopes now to look back on a year from now and evaluate what progress was made and what we fell short on.
So here are my guesses for what we’ll see in technology in 2021:
8K TVs become affordable
I seen an 8K TV around 4 years ago at CES and it was easily the best display I’ve ever laid eyes on. From that moment, I knew 8K was really something that would arrive in our homes, but there’s been just one small problem, the price.
8K TVs are priced at a premium, despite having a fairly small amount of 8K content sources for owners to leverage. This means 8K TVs often rely on their upscalers to take 4K content (or lower) to a near 8K quality.
In 2021, I predict the price of a name brand (Samsung, LG etc) 75″+ 8K TV will be under the magic A$5,000. Currently the best from Samsung has an RRP of between A$8,699 and A$13,499 for an 8K 75″ TV.
More automakers offer direct sales
Buying a vehicle sight unseen, often through a mobile app, is a crazy concept to most, however hundreds of thousands of Tesla owners did exactly that.
We see retail franchises struggle to compete with purely online businesses and shortly we’ll see legacy auto brands resolve the fact that a traditional dealership and service model won’t deliver price competitive EVs.
Expect many automakers to at least offer a purely online purchase of a vehicle in 2021.
Mesh routers outsell single devices
While some people live in small apartments, easily serviced by a single router with a few antennas, many Australians live in houses. These houses definitely vary in size, but most are large enough to encounter WiFi performance issues.
With new WiFi Mesh solutions like Amazon’s Eero, it makes solving that problem easy enough that anyone can do it. In 2021, I predict we’ll start to see ISPs even start to offer Mesh WiFi solutions in place of their single-product solutions.
I’d even feel confident predicting that in the residential space, Australia will see Mesh WiFi solutions outsell single router/WiFi devices in 2021.
IoT products will actually create a smart home
We’ve been sold the dream for many, many years now that internet connected devices will all talk to each other and make our lives better. The reality is, many don’t and there’s serious brand lock in.
Unless you’re willing to fork out big dollars on a system like Control 4, and stick to compatible devices, then you’ve likely had issues.
Personally I have a Ring Video Doorbell, which I’d love to have displayed on my Samsung TV, or Google Nest Hub Max, but that’s not possible. Sadly the best IoT service, IFTTT went to a paid model in 2020, so that ruined a lot of automations we relied on and while fun, don’t provide enough value to actually pay another monthly subscription.
A couple of TV services disappear
There is a seriously ridiculous list of video subscription services available now. Netflix is the 1,000-pound gorilla, then there’s Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max/NOW, YouTube Premium, AppleTV+ and Foxtel, Stan and Kayo.
I have no doubt there is someone in the world that has every single service, just so they don’t miss a show, but the majority of us, chose a couple so our monthly isn’t outrageous.
In 2021, I think we go through a rationalisation of TV and Movie streaming services. Whether its through mergers and acquisitions, or just some simply don’t make it and close, this number does not seem sustainable.
Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments and let me know if there’s any you want to add to the list.