It’s not at all unreasonable to say that 2018 was a big year for innovation in technology on a global scale, a trend that is expected to continue well into 2019 and beyond.
At the start of the year, members of the Forbes Technology Council shared their predictions for upcoming trends, including increased automation and connected devices, a comeback for blockchain, better human/AI collaboration, upgrades to cybersecurity, more technological convergence and a solution to the recent backlash against tech caused by negative headlines about its effect on democracy and interpersonal relationships.
Here are some of the new advancements in tech that we have already seen this year and can hopefully look forward to in the coming months. Judge for yourself whether they meet the optimistic expectations of the experts at Forbes…
LG Signature OLED TV R9
This roll-up television takes compact to a whole new level with a 65 inch screen that retracts into a small, compact box. Neither the price (which is sure to be high) nor the full specs have been released yet but what we do know looks promising. You’ll get a 4K HDR Smart TV-watching experience like no other with both Google Assistant and Alexa, and it takes up next to no room in your living space.
The Impossible Burger 2.0
While this isn’t strictly a tech product, Impossible Foods launched the next evolution of its soy-based meat replacement at CES 2019, the Consumer Technology Association’s world-renowned annual tech trade show. Winner of CES’s “best of the best award”, the plant-based Impossible Burger claims to perfectly simulate meat-based burgers, making it a must for vegetarians and vegans who still enjoy the taste of meat. According to Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown, the original recipe “was great” but the new one “will blow people’s minds”. This isn’t Quorn, people.
Mophie Juice Pack Access
At US$119.95, this portable charging case for your Apple iPhone isn’t exactly cheap but it’s worth every cent for one simple reason: it doesn’t use or cover up your lightening port. That means you can finally charge your phone on the go while listening to headphones. No more interrupting your podcast or audiobook when you start to run out of juice. One of the most practical pieces of tech announced at CES, Mophie’s Juice Pack Access will give you up to 31 hours of battery life – and it’s strong enough to protect your phone.
Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones
Consistently ranked as the best noise-cancelling and wireless headphones on the market right now, Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones represent some of the renowned audio company’s best work yet. As always, they win on sound quality and design, exemplified by easy-to-use touch controls on the right ear and a battery life that lasts for up to 30 hours. And they come with USB-C rapid charging instead of the now-old fashioned (and relatively slow) microUSB connection that the previous model used. They’re not cheap but they are worth it…
Sony Glass Sound Speaker
In another win for Sony, this wireless speaker toes the line between mainstream and quirky with a unique design and attractively delicate tone. Basically, it’s made out of glass set into a base and looks like some kind of tall, skinny lamp. The glass vibrates and its resonance creates its signature sonorous sound, while an internal light can be set to flicker like a candle or to serve old-school oil lamp vibes. Effortlessly Pinterest-worthy and perfect for a romantic dinner.
Technics SL-1210 turntable
This updated version of Technics’ classic turntable for DJs harks back to the excellent build-quality and reliability of its much-loved seventies ancestor. The new model features a cool, matte-black finish alongside neat features such as the ability to spin the disk in the opposite direction and a long-life white LED positioned to make it easier to see the tip of the stylus in dim or no light. It also looks super cool with a retro design that reflects the styling of the original, described by some as one of the most renowned products in the history of music.
Add this to the list of things you didn’t know you needed but definitely do. The Volta Mookie is a pet feeder with a twist: it has AI-based facial recognition so your cats can’t steal each other’s dinner anymore. It’s also useful if you have two pets of the same species with specific – but different – dietary needs and prevents strays (or wild animals) from eating your pet’s food if you leave it outside. It has two separate feeding bowls and a front-facing camera, and should go on sale this fall.