Technology evolves at an unstoppable pace, sometimes motivated by its own momentum, and sometimes by other people’s issues, such as marketing. New technological advances that revolutionize our lives are presented every year. Some bring great improvements. Others try to create new needs that we are not sure if we need them. But we must know and understand them, so that we can keep up with the technological evolution. Let’s see what the biggest technological milestones of 2019 have been, and how they can change our lives. Some of these developments, such as the 5G connection or Google Stadia, we can already enjoy in our day to day. Others, by their very nature, will take years to become mainstream, as is the case with quantum computing. Or maybe they will be forgotten before they become popular. We will discover the 9 biggest technological milestones of the year. All of them promise to make life easier for us, or lead us towards a better future. Hopefully it will be like that.
It is possible that some of these technologies have not been released this year. But if we have included them in our technological compilation it is because it was in 2019 when they have taken off, or have reached daily devices.
All of them have made great headlines, and have barely demonstrated what they will be able to achieve in the future.
It is possible that some of these technologies have not been released this year. But if we have included them in our technological compilation it is because it was in 2019 when they have taken off, or have reached daily devices. All of them have made great headlines, and have barely demonstrated what they will be able to achieve in the future.
Technologies we can already touch
They are new, they are revolutionary, but they are on our mobiles or on our home, or work devices. Have you tried them? 5G connection: beyond mobile phones
Undoubtedly, the 5G connection is one of the greatest technological advances of recent years, which will not only revolutionize technology, but also anything that requires a connection.
And it is not a chimera. The 5G connection is now available in Spain, as it was released last June, by Vodafone. Although, for now, only in 15 Spanish cities, and in restricted areas. And although its implementation will be slow outside the big cities and it will take several years to expand and reach its true potential, its extraordinary speed, lower latency, and the possibility of connecting more devices at the same time, it opens the doors to new applications that even Now they seemed like science fiction.
The 5G connection divides the connection area into small geographical areas called cells. Each cell has a series of local antennas to which mobile phones and other devices are connected. These antennas are connected to the general network by fiber optic, or by satellite.
The key is in the transceiver that is responsible for assigning free frequencies to each device that is connected, much more efficiently than the 4G connection.
The 5G networks that are already running work on the current 4G networks and reach a download speed of 1 Gbps, and low latency. That is already much more than the fastest optical fiber. When 5G networks have their own infrastructure, using their own frequencies between 1.5 and 3.6 GHz, by the end of 2020, they will reach 4 or 5 Gbps and a latency of 1 ms. From 2021 or 2022, when they start using the frequencies of 26 GHz, speeds between 10 and 20 Gbps will be reached. But only in specific areas of the big cities. Most users will have speeds between 3 and 5 Gbps, which is still 15 times more than the current 4G.
The 5G connection offers much more transmission and response speed, but also more simultaneous connections (up to 100 per square meter), and less interference. In addition, the billions of devices on the Internet of Things that until now were only connected by WiFi or Bluetooth, can now do so by 5G.
All these features open the door to significant improvements in current wireless services, but also to many new ones that were impossible, because there was not enough connection speed: video conferencing without delays with dozens of people at the same time, streaming at 8K, holograms on real time, artificial intelligence in the cloud, cars connected with traffic lights and signals, remote surgical operations, and much more.
According to the president of Huawei the 5G connection combined with artificial intelligence and Big Data, is the new electricity. And he does not lack reason: he will energize all markets, disciplines, and technologies that require a data connection. Although for now it is also a nightmare for meteorologists ..
Since the televisions were invented, almost a century ago, we have used flat screens on all types of devices, from mobile phones to monitors, or the cinema. We’ve had curved screens for a long time, but they’re still rigid panels.
The revolution of 2019 is the folding and rolling screens. Panels that can be folded to reduce their size, or offer new features.
For a few months now the first smartphones with folding screens, such as the Mate X from Huawei, or the Samsung Galaxy Fold are on sale:
They have gone unnoticed because they are very expensive, and have had some design problems. But we are already proposing new ideas, such as turning your phone into a tablet, by displaying the screen.
They are also ideal for using several apps at the same time, watching movies or reading magazines or digital books, and much more.
We have also seen the first roll-up televisions in stores:
For now they are little more than a curiosity, but they anticipate a future in which we can carry televisions and large screens folded in the pocket or backpack, as well as panels that adapt to any type of shape and surface. The flat concept will no longer be associated with the screens.
Robots that use sight and hands
The main difference that existed between a human and a robot, on a physical level, is that the robots were extremely clumsy using their hands, and could not see. But those differences in 2019 have almost disappeared. With the help of artificial intelligence, today’s robots are able to see, that is, interpret what is in an image. Until now they used cameras that the only thing they captured were digital images: a mass of bits, ones and zeros. But a robot, or a computer, didn’t know what was in that bit collection … until now. Thanks to AI applications such as Google Photos are able to find people within our albums to create collections, or distinguish a dog from a human or a lamppost. That is, they are able to see. Robots already use this technology to interpret what they observe. AI has also helped improve hand mobility, to unsuspected limits. Using openIA, Google has managed to get a robot to solve the rubik’s cube with just one hand. What are we missing? Who knows how to move like us? Well, there are even gymnast robots.
Technologies that anticipate the future
They have been released in 2019, but they will still take some time to implement. Revolutions are not carried out overnight …
We are seeing before our own eyes how the 5G connection or Artificial Intelligence begin to change the world. But that is nothing compared to what quantum computing will achieve. From deciphering any password of any security system in thousandths of a second, to cure diseases, or to manufacture new medications. Solutions to climate change or a cure against cancer could come from quantum computing.
You may have heard of her, but you don’t know what she is. Quantum computing uses the working model of atoms. In traditional computing, information is processed in the form of bits, which can have two states: 0 or 1. In quantum computing, the cubit is used, which, like atoms, can be displayed in two states at the same time. That is, a cubit can be a 1 or a 0 … and also both at the same time. If we put together two cubits, they can register four states at the same time: 00, 11, 10, 11, while a conventional computer can only process one of those states at a time. As we add cubits, the amount of simultaneous information that a quantum computer can process increases exponentially. In simple words, it works millions of times faster than a PC. The great technological milestone of 2019 is that Google says it has demonstrated quantum supremacy. That is, it has built a quantum computer that performs mathematical operations so fast, that it is unattainable for classic computers. Specifically, it takes 200 seconds to complete some calculations that a conventional computer would take almost 20,000 years.
The statement is questioned by its great rival in this field, IBM, which ensures that Google has fattened the data and those calculations could be carried out by a supercomputer in two and a half days. But the important thing here is that Google has shown that quantum computing works, and is much faster than binary. And this is just the beginning. The American and Chinese governments are investing billions of euros in this technology because it makes all security systems obsolete. As we have commented on its enormous calculation capacity, you can guess any password in seconds, but it will also serve to create new medicines by processing DNA sequences, creating global climate and pollution simulations that will help fight climate change, and many more. .
The Internet connection via satellite has been in operation for decades, but at a very restricted level in very specific areas, and with a very limited number of users.
A technological milestone of 2019 is the Internet mini-satellites that several companies are going to put into orbit. They are small satellites that operate autonomously, in groups, and specialize in offering Internet connection. They are cheap and tiny, so thousands of them will be deployed to cover the entire planet.
Genetically altered humans
Science fiction has been anticipating it for decades. We knew it was going to happen, but we didn’t think it would be so soon.
At the end of 2018, a Chinese scientist announced that he had genetically modified two girls so that they did not suffer from AIDS inherited from their father, using the CRISPR technique.
SpaceX, within its Starlink project, has already deployed several hundred of them. He wants to put 4,000 into orbit before the end of the year, 12,000 in 2020, more than 20,000 satellites in 2024 … and has asked permission to reach 42,000 satellites in the Earth’s lower orbit.