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Report from the Future: What Will Happen in the Tech World in 2020?
23 December 2019 12:20, UTC
By Aleksandre B
By mid-2020, SpaceX will finally offer a space communications service to consumers if it manages to do another four to six missile launches with Starlink satellites. They are loaded onto launch vehicles in batches, and then, in orbit, they separate and fly apart, providing our planet with high-speed communications. In May of this year, the first group of Starlink devices took their positions above the Earth, which allowed Elon Musk to make a famous tweet transmitted in October through this satellite system: “Whoa, it worked!!”. Later in November, another 60 satellites were successfully delivered into orbit.
To provide full communication coverage, SpaceX intends to carry out 24 launches before the end of next year. Thus, 720 Starlink satellites will be in orbit. However, some experts suggest that this is way too much, but the company insists that the system needs this particular number of satellites to provide high standards of their services.
Meanwhile, Britain's OneWeb plans to launch more than 300 communication satellites out of almost 2000 planned to give life to its own commercial orbital communications system by the end of 2020. If everything goes well, then in 2021, the company will enter into competition with Starlink.
It is impossible not to mention Elon Musk in this case either. Toward the end of next year, Tesla has planned to start mass sales of two new car models: Model Y and Roadster. It is already known that the first car is a crossover with a maximum speed of up to 150 miles per hour and a power reserve of up to 300 miles. The second is — well, no surprise — a roadster, a sports car with incredible characteristics of speed, acceleration and power reserve (above 300 mph, less than two seconds to 60 mph and about 600 miles); designed by a former Mazda employee, equipped with a removable glass roof. The lucky ones have already made their pre-orders and are looking forward to deliveries.
Ford is reviving its legendary model of the small Bronco SUV next spring. According to rumors, this car will be built on the platform of the long-produced Ranger pickup truck, which promises a wide selection of engines and transmissions.
According to unconfirmed reports, customers will also be able to get the Bronco version with a seven-speed manual and even a ten-speed automatic transmission. As part of the rivalry with its main competitor — Jeep Wrangler, perhaps the new old Ford SUV will also have removable doors and a roof. Will the new Bronco have a fully autonomous driving mode? Unfortunately no. According to the plans of Ford itself, Level 4 autonomous cars should appear only in 2021. Level 4 vehicles can move completely independently, without a driver, but exclusively in the territories that are known for the on-board navigation system.
Is Ford the only carmaker to actively develop its intelligent systems for self-driving cars? Of course not. According to Elon Musk, his company’s electric cars can safely drive from Los Angeles to New York without ever having to force the driver to touch the controls, but this is obviously not the same as autonomous cars of the fourth level.
Toyota also plans to bring self-driving cars to intercity roads next year. These cars will be able to move in one lane and change it if necessary. Volvo expects that in 2021 a separate autopilot option will appear in its premium models, which will cost the buyer at least ten thousand dollars. This intelligent control system will independently drive cars on highways. Meanwhile, BMW and Daimler promise that their developments will approach Level 3 in 2021, and only by the year 2025, cars of the fourth and fifth levels will be introduced.
It seems that in 2020 we still will not see many smart vehicles on city streets and highways. The main reason is that autonomous driving systems have not yet developed to the point where they can be fully trusted. Besides, they have not yet gathered a database of all kinds of traffic situations and have not trained their neural networks to respond to them instantly. However, there is another reason - the laws and regulations of many states are not yet ready for excessively independent cars.
Devices and Gadgets
Next year, two monsters of gaming equipment will clash in a duel on the Christmas holidays: Microsoft with its Xbox console code-named “Scarlett project” and Sony with Playstation 5. Companies promise many advantages and their exclusive technologies to win the hearts of gamers. The Playstation 5 will have an advanced game controller with new tactile controls and feedback, a high-performance SSD, a USB-C port, and 8K video mode support. Xbox is not far behind and offers support for ray tracing of the same 8K, the latest generation of solid-state drives and up to 120 frames per second. Also promised more affordable versions of consoles from Microsoft - without a disk drive, but with a cloud service.
Simpler rivals will also enter the game console market: Intellivision Amico and Atari VCS. The latter comes from a company that has a reputation as one of the forerunners of video game technology, a former leader who has lost his superiority in the new era. Under the hood of the Atari console, an AMD processor, a Radeon graphics accelerator, an SD card slot, USB, and HDMI ports are expected. A curious feature of VCS is the Linux OS that supports not only games specially developed for the console but also any compatible applications, including non-gaming ones. The VCS console was announced a long time ago, pre-orders have already been made, but the dates for the start of sales have been postponed several times. The last known release date is March 2020.
A lot of high-tech smartphones will appear next year. While the fashion of the past year was folding screens, in the future, manufacturers will rely on 5G. Qualcomm, a manufacturer of popular processors and chipsets for phones, has already integrated support for this technology in its snapdragons: Sony, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, Xiaomi, and many other manufacturers have planned the release of new models on the Snapdragon 765 and Snapdragon 865 chipsets.
Presumably, the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, which are expected to be traditionally presented in September, will also support the latest type of wireless communications. In addition to 5G, most likely, all models of the new Apple smartphones will be equipped with OLED screens, triple 3D lenses with lasers and screens sized from 5.4 'to 6.1'.
It is impossible to describe even the most important events that are awaiting us next year in just one article. However, the wait will be short: the new year comes very soon, and we will see everything with our own eyes.
Image courtesy of: Business Engligne
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