With the doors barely closed on CES, businesses rush to read analysts’ reports identifying emerging trends and predictions for 2019, as if the New Year somehow suddenly rings in a wave of new technologies. In reality, of course, very few revolutions happen this way. Accordingly, in sharing our selection, we have explained our choices using examples of the applications and implications of these innovations.
What are this year’s standout new technologies?
After attending CES 2019, Philippe and Marine (respectively AMA’s Product Manager and Purchasing Manager) agreed that one product stole the limelight: flexible phone screens.
Top 1:Folding screens
These screens are designed to fold in two and open up like a tablet PC.
All the smartphone manufacturers are in the race, of course, but the most mature product presented at the CES was the “FlexPai”, developed by the Chinese company Rouyu Technology.
When unfolded, this device features a 7.8” AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1440 pixels. When the FlexPai is folded flat, it operates with two screens: one having a 16:9 display ratio, the other an 18:9 ratio.
Other manufacturers have also filed patents.
Samsung released some teasing information about its upcoming “Infinity Flex Display”. This product may feature up to three screens. Motorola and LG are also developing folding screens.
Google confirmed that Android will shortly implement support for folding screens, meaning that the software will be ready before the hardware.
As always with major innovations, the acid test that enables a product to move beyond the gadget stage and achieve mass adoption lies in the question:
“What benefits does it deliver for users?”
In camera mode, the second screen, which faces the person being photographed, lets the subject assess the chosen angle.
Another important point is that, once connected, the second screen can be switched off. Going one step further, the FlexPai detects whether this screen is useful or not, and when appropriate, disables it automatically.
The real benefits relate to mobility and the tablet’s screen size.
For business users, the bigger screen makes it easier to sign contracts, for example, or to consult and annotate plans on a tablet screen rather than a smartphone.
This technology is set to blur the boundaries between telephone, tablet and computer. The aim is to combine the strengths of the three devices in a single terminal. Simplicity, user-friendliness and mobility are the watchwords.
The market had previously seen tablet sales decline in favor of large smartphones known as phablets, and the arrival of this two-in-one product should boost consumption. Two factors are likely to delay mass adoption, however: firstly, the cost, with prices initially ranging between $1,300 and $2,000, and secondly, the issue of 5G compatibility.
Apple wisely preferred to delay the release of its own “foldable screen” version. Apple has already filed a patent, but is likely to roll out the technology in 2020 after building in 5G compatibility.
What are our other favorites in this Top 4 list?
In our view, three other existing trends will gather momentum this year:
- “Next-generation” 5G networks,
- Increased prevalence of voice-driven applications,
- Artificial intelligence, which is ubiquitous this year.