The Best of the Tech Helpline: 3 Big Tech Trends: What's ahead for 2020 and beyond


 January 13, 2020
TechHelpline

Both science and technology are making breakthroughs at record pace, resulting in new technology designed to improve how we live and work. On the horizon are technologies that promise to improve the real estate business for agents and consumers alike. Here is a sampling of remarkable technologies we will see in 2020 and beyond that will impact us all at work and home.

If you own a new car, a new cell phone or Windows 10, artificial intelligence (AI) is improving your experience. Improvements in AI are driving the popularity of digital assistants (DA) in the home — like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant — and now can be found in appliances, clocks, mirrors and more.

In real estate, OJO Labs in Austin is piloting a DA for real estate, called OJO. OJO can instantly answer a home shopper’s questions about a home before the shopper chooses to work with an agent. When the shopper is ready to buy, OJO immediately connects the shopper with a real agent.

Expect more personalization from the next generation of DAs as these assistants use AI to learn your voice, your habits and your preferences. Also expect DAs to be built into more devices, increasing the reach of the internet of things into our homes. The next big trend: expect DAs to be more pervasive than ever in the workplace this year.

The emergence of Wi-Fi 6

Augmented reality (AR) will require much higher bandwidth to become a mainstay in businesses like real estate, experts say, and high bandwidth is on the way. Wi-Fi 6 is the first significant overhaul of Wi-Fi in 20 years. The promised new standard will ramp up internet speed for everyone, up to 10 times faster than the current fastest speed.

Think of the new Wi-Fi 6 like a highway improvement: the speed limit just went from 10 miles per hour to 100, and more lanes were added to handle more vehicles at the same time. The best news about Wi-Fi 6 is its ability to be “backward-compatible” with current Wi-Fi devices. Expect to see new Wi-Fi 6-capable modems to emerge broadly in 2020.

Self-driving cars and trucks

Many transportation experts believe it won’t be long until real estate agents can send clients on an open house tour without a driver. Sound futuristic? Think again. Autonomous vehicles (AV) are more than a trend — they are the future.

Uber and Volvo have partnered in an effort to design a self-driving car; the companies have raised $1 billion and are now on their 3rd version of a self-driving car. Additionally, Uber is testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported last summer that more than 80 companies are testing 1,400 self-driving vehicles in 36 states. Tesla’s Elon Musk promised his company would have self-driving electric cars ready in 2020.

While we don’t know which of these emerging technologies will be successfully adopted or not, we do know the science is real. The biggest factor of all may be which technologies provide us the most benefits in our work and daily lives.

This contributing article is from the Tech Helpline, a service of the WRA.

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