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2019 CES: Anticipating a revolution that transcends personal devices

This year, there are a lot of moving parts regarding personal technology. First, we have the foldable screens coming to smartphones, which will likely migrate to other devices. Second, we are due for a major refresh on existing AR and VR technology, bringing both closer to the mainstream. Third, we have 5G ramping up shifting performance loads from the devices to the cloud. Fourth, we have deep learning replacing machine learning as the primary way we build AI. Fifth, we have the Apple watch, which, in its ultimate configuration, is basically a wrist-mounted smartphone. And finally, we have the disruptions associated with a weakening of Apple and Intel, opening the door for more innovation and some major changes in the existing technology power structure.

Let’s take a glance at some of what we can expect this year.

The foundational element of change

If you’ve ever seen supercooled water, it is fascinating to watch. You lower the temperature very slowly and keep the water very still and it will remain liquid well below freezing temperature. Then, one tiny disturbance and you near-instantly have ice.

In 2019, smartphones still largely look like iPhones…and laptops mostly like the laptops we had at the beginning of last decade. Advertising has been reduced, people are keeping their devices longer and the power structures we once had – Intel founded by IDF, and Apple run by Steve Jobs – are long gone. At the same time, we’ve had the introduction of a number of new technologies that individually are very powerful but, together, have the potential to dramatically change what we use and how we use it.

These technologies (and the changing power structures) are all revolving around each other, finding ways to bind, to change, to create and to ferment innovation and revolution. Markets hate a vacuum and will find ways to fill it. At present, we have a vacuum of leadership in the personal technology space and these technologies – and both the new and old companies increasingly figuring out how to use them – are collectively formulating a revolution. This year we should see the result.

The new class of product and a new concept of customer experience

This new world order largely begins with the cloud and the near-unlimited amount of power available there. This power isn’t yet fully used to its full potential – largely because we are mostly mobile now and the existing 4G technology isn’t up to the level of performance we need. 5G will open this up and allow us to get the performance we need anyplace we need it.

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