What I'd like to see in 2020

So, I recently wrote about some cool things I liked in 2019.

I thought, I'd have a quick chat about what I think I'd like to see in 2020.  Timely as the flood of emails of CES 2020 are coming in and the flood of work emails to catch up on and the topping of a lovely seasonal cold (which I just can't afford to with a big work event tomorrow I need to be on point for) I haven't had the time to dive in to all the releases, but what is coming out I see somewhat aligns with I'm hoping for.

Okay, so first up, one thing I meant to mention about 2019 was one of the negative things I noticed a lot of.  I hope this goes away in 2020.  It's going to sound a little... elitist? but bear with me.

I would really wish the Amazon accessory companies stop trying to game reviews.  I can't tell you the number of companies that ask me to review their products.  "Oh, you would love this XYZ product, and your review on Amazon would be really helpful.  Just buy it, we'll reimburse you after you post your review on Amazon." 

It happens several times a week.  Discussing with them how something like that is against the Amazon ToS they seem to be 'meh'.

There also seems to be a huge rise of these Facebook groups promoting the same.  Lulling in hundreds and thousands of people in with the promise of free things, just draw more of your friends in and then we'll draw out of the list one lucky person to buy it, post a friendly review and then we reimburse your payment.

Oh, and then maybe again it's because I am in this realm, I see lots of ads on the platforms for "looking for free testers" or a "just pay $1 for this XYZ product for your thoughts" and it's being advertised as some top flagship product (using the flagship OEM marketing videos) but it's really a cheap knock-off.

Really chuffs me.  I got really tired of having to report these groups and ads.

On to better things.

The big thing I am going to think we'll see more of is the smart home.  It's been around for a while, but the major adoption is coming.  It was funny to see folks in our house over the holidays and others who have similar smart assistant devices and the folks who are tinfoil hat paranoid of them (out of fun, you should ask your assistant "do you invade my privacy?").

We see more automation items becoming commonplace.  Obviously, the big concern is going to be the privacy and assurances made that it's not going to be listening to you ALL THE TIME or sending the wrong feed to the wrong user.

I can understand people's concerns, but I just don't think the fear is justified.

But not just 'connected' devices, but implementing some AI into it as well.  Knowing what you normally do and anticipating it, making our life easier.

The AI doesn't just stop at knowing what you want and anticipating it, but improving things like your photos.  Google's Pixel cameras are good sensors, but they rank really high because of the AI processing they do to really put them in the level of the top end stuff.  I personally think they're the best camera out there.

Okay, this isn't a thing I'm looking forward to, but definitely "begun, the streaming wars have".  From Netflix to Disney+, Play Music to YouTube Music or even gaming like Stadia to Play Pass more and more of what we use will have a monthly subscription service (reminds me I have to cancel my SiriuXM radio).  It's annoying.

But I am looking forward to Stadia I have to admit.  I just wish Stadia and Play Pass were cross available.  I liked my Nexus Player that I could play games on that that I had purchased on my phone.  Stadia and Play being 2 different silos doesn't make me warm and fuzzy...

With more and more 'smart items', I'm hoping there could be a resurgence in the Wearables .. specifically Wear OS device.  Remember when there used to be tons of options?  Now there's hardly a phone OEM making any.   Devices have evolved beyond just step counters... Fitibit purchased by Google (which Fitibit had bought Pebble).  Maybe this tighter integration is something to look forward to?

I'm still on the fence about how these will really implement - especially given the reception I had of the hybrid LG G8X DUAL SCREEN... but given the hiccups of the first gen items, we're already seeing a maturity by the time the RAZR came out so hopefully the trend only grows and helps keep the cost down.  Who knows, maybe those little phones in "Her" will come true.

Okay, I have no basis for this piece just something I've been doing that I really hope comes more mainstream.  Similar to the concept of the "Dual Screen" with the LG, but recently I'd eschewed all my PCs in the house.  So my desktop is bare except for my Pixelbook, and then I have tablet and then I have phones.

I ditched the tower, but I kept the monitor.  So I have an adapter sitting on the monitor that I can plug in my Pixelbook for have dual monitors.  I can plug in the Tablet for Samsung DeX.  I can even plug in my Pixel ... trying to find an adapter for the iPhone ... I even have my Chromecast sitting nearby if I wanted to plug it in.  Either way I can go upstairs and play on my Pixelbook, and walk downstairs and plop it in and have more real estate.  I'm loving that style of freedom.  I didn't really 'notice it' before until this new work set up.  I'd talked about this 'one brain - multiple display' option in the past, but with things like Stadia, I can really see how beneficial this is.  I've been upstairs playing Lara Croft and if the kid's going to sleep and I want to be quiet, I can walk downstairs and pick it up there.


Outside of that... I like seeing new innovation.  I think we've hit peak "spec" out there.  Nobody's really going to notice that much of a difference between 2020's Qualcomm chips and 2019's chips.  So to get users to part with their money it has to really hit home for the advantage.  Features are usually only an app away, and I have a hard time trying to think what else we'll have for hardware ... so I think this will be the year of tighter and tighter integration across your multiple devices.  Seemless convergence.

Happy year of vision everybody!