Here are the Boundary team’s 6 predictions for tech in 2020.
1. Hands-free home security
Making use of artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition, hands free home security is the next frontier.
Soon you’ll be able to buy home security cameras which recognise you and react. As you approach the front-door the camera will identify you as the householder and unset the alarm. To people the camera doesn’t recognise, it can ask for identification, or notify you. You can then check the video-feed on your smartphone to see who it is!
Cameras are also being trained to recognise dodgy behaviour too! If anyone approaches your home with an obscured face or threatening tool, the camera can react by notifying a monitoring centre, who can dispatch the police.
There are obvious privacy concerns, and these will only grow as computers become more intelligent. It’s important to choose tech companies with a good record of privacy. One which gives you total control over the video recordings.
Apart from the AI camera, there are other possibilities. Motion sensors, normally used only for security, can automate your home by turning on lights, radiators and other appliances as you enter the room. Window sensors may be able to alert you if the window is open, and you’re about to go on holiday.
In the UK, it’s still early stages for facial recognition cameras. While the Government is considering them for public security, they’re not widely available for home use. At Boundary, we want to speed things up. We’re planning to launch AI camera in the next couple of years.
2. To have and to hold, we’re keeping our tech for longer
Over the past 3 years, Apple and other smartphone makers have seen a slowdown in revenue growth. The reason: people are holding onto their smartphones for longer.
With rising prices and more frivolous features, people are being turned off phone upgrades.
Also, climate change is becoming a bigger concern, and we’re looking at more ways to fight waste. Food waste is the most high profile but tech waste is also a huge problem.
To meet this trend, more brands are looking to build resilient devices, which will stand the test of time and rely on software upgrades to keep up technologically. The policy of planned obsolescence is fading – made famous by Apple and Samsung – of designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so that it becomes obsolete.
At Boundary we plan update the firmware to keep our customers’ smart alarms up-to-date, rather than pushing them to replace their systems.
3. The paranormal becomes the normal – CGI and Hologram performances
You may remember the Gorillaz holographic UK tour a few years ago. Both impressive and quirky, the fictional band was beamed onto stages throughout the UK.
Since then holographic technology has come a long way. Next year sees the launch of “An evening with Whitney”, a tour of a holographic Whitney Houston, from the same company behind the Roy Orbison/Buddy Holly hologram tour.
The film industry is also looking to cash-in on deceased icons. An up-and-coming movie, starring a CGI James Dean, is being released in 2020.
With CGI getting better and better, expect 2020 to have a watershed moment in holographic concerts – perhaps at Glastonbury! We may also see this technology being used to bring real-time events to your home. Take Apple’s annual keynote event; you could have a CGI Tim Cook beamed into your living room! Who wouldn’t want that?!
4. Delivery by drone – the sky’s the limit!
Drones burst onto the scene not long ago because of their use by the US military. But now, this technology is being used for more peaceful means.
Google has already launched its Wing drone delivery service in Australia. You can order anything from food and drinks to hardware and clothing. All delivered by a slightly sinister-looking drone hovering over to your home. Amazon is hot on Google’s heels, currently trailing its own drone deliveries in Australia.
If drone deliveries are a success, it’s likely we’ll see them being trialed in the rural homes of the UK in 2020. After that, they’ll take on the cities. We’re tipping drone landing pads to be a top Christmas gift for next year!
5. Driverless cars in the UK get the OK
Driverless cars are currently being tested in London’s former Olympic park. Led by the UK-based tech firm, Oxbotica, the project is progressing fast and testing has exceeded expectations.
For now, the cars have a safety driver in the front seat who will intervene if things get dicey. When a Guardian journalist got a demonstration, the safety driver only intervened once, because of a taxi driving recklessly!
Driverless cars have already been deployed in several US cities, including San Francisco and Las Vegas. The grid-style layout of American roads lend themselves well to the AI of driverless cars. It will take the computers significantly longer to get to grips with UK cities, which have more uniquely complicated road systems, but we’re optimistic for 2020.
6. Going from manual to automatic
Flipping through thick instruction manuals will be a bemusing memory before long. Already, big brands like Apple, Samsung and Google are dispensing with paper manuals, instead providing apps that guide customers through a frictionless set up process.
Our prediction for the future is that soon all devices will work this way, including large appliances like ovens and fridges.
Here at Boundary, we aim to do the same. Our smart home alarm system is designed for users to install themselves and we are developing our products to make this process as seamless as possible.