To say it lightly, 2020 was rough. More than ever, we turned to our personal technology this year, which relieved us, kept us healthy and connected with the people we care about.
Video chat apps like Vibex and Google Meet became important work tools. After the gym closes, a virtual workout app such as Peloton should be turned into its products. Electric bikes and scooters once became a source of frustration, when people demanded alternatives for public transport and riding.
Nevertheless, there were a lot of techniques that disappointed us.
Some of Amazon’s gadgets, such as its ring surveillance cameras, proved more intimidating than useful. Delivery apps with hidden markups continued to takeout order prices. A new type of smartphone with a folding screen was a gimmick. And, at least for now, so was 5G, the next generation of cellular technology that does not live up to its hype of delivering incredibly fast speeds.
Over the years, I have reviewed the technique that has improved a lot and the technique that still needs fixing. Here in 2020 there were highs and lows.
Take that was fixed
“Can you hear me now?”
Before the epidemic, many of us hated taking meetings over video calls. Video and audio quality was often grainy and delayed, and many people did not know to mute their microphones when they were not speaking.
Then in the early stages of the epidemic, Zoom made headlines, For good and bad reasons. Desperate to keep in touch with our millions, friends and colleagues, signed up for a videoconferencing service to virtualize our office meetings, classes, happy hours and yoga sessions. But as Zoom increased in popularity, we saw many cracks in security that “Zoombomb, “Or gain unauthorized access to people’s video sessions, among other defects.
There was a silver lining to Zoom’s failures: it created the need for stronger alternatives.
In the past year, many videoconferencing apps have improved significantly. Google made a big upgrade to Meat, Enabling video chat with hundreds of participants; Microsoft and Cisco are also overhauling their video chat products, Teams and Vibex. Zoom, which is still under investigation, has fixed some of its security issues.
At this rate, many of us will continue to use videoconferencing for many of our tasks even after life is somewhat normal.
Although wearable gadgets such as Fitbits and Apple Watch have been popular for years, many of their applications are still nascent. The count notches get tedious. Sleep tracking Wrong with wear, and data can add to your concerns and keep you up at night. It is not even clear whether Blood-oxygen-monitoring facility on new Apple Watch will be useful.
But as our gym closed, we were forced to find ways to stay in shape at home.
peloton, Known for selling expensive exercise bicycles and treadmills, received mainstream attention. Its guided workout videos, which do not require peloton hardware, are so well produced that they are a strong choice for a real-life trainer. Apple released a copycat this month: Fitness +, a subscription service exclusive to Apple Watch owners, With high quality video in the form of peloton.
This year marked a turning point for health technology: we are accessing products that can actually make us healthier. It is not artificial.
Before 2020, electric scooters often provoked enmity. Along with e-scooters, there are tech companies on Bird’s city streets that people can rent through apps. But the cities were not ready with rules for two-wheelers. As a result, many people rode and parked them illegally on sidewalks, pedestrians and people with disabilities.
This year, things changed. Some states, such as California and New York, now have regulations to make scooters safer to ride. And later government officials discouraged passengers from taking public transportation to work earlier in the epidemic, Electric bicycles and scooters get their moment. Many of us have found that electric two-wheelers are a joy to ride and environmentally friendly. Most important, they keep people out of cars.
The only downside is that high-quality e-bikes are in such high demand that you were lucky if you were able to find one in stock.
Business and economy
Need fixing tech
Creepy amazon gadgets
You might think that an artificially intelligent drone flying around your house to record video is out of an Orwellian sci-fi movie. but Amazon introduced it as a genuine product, Which says a lot about its product philosophy. The technique is not necessarily bad, but it lacks empathy.
The drone is not expected to be released until 2021, but we can see the creepy factor in some of Amazon’s gadgets this year. Most famously, Ring, an Amazon-owned company that makes surveillance cameras, including Internet-connected doorbells, came under fire for several scams, including one involving four employees who viewed videos of customers improperly.
more recently, Amazon released Halo, Its fitness-tracking bracelet, which was scary to a new level. It has a small microphone that listens to your conversation so that you know how your mood is perceived by other people. (For me, Halo mentioned that I was disgusted and irritated when I talked to my wife about what the product is?) I found a very negative motivational tool to be more fit.
Amazon has done better before. its Kindle is the most delightful product ever To read digital books. Let’s hope that its new gadgets are part of a temporary experiment, not a permanent trend.
On the one hand, delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates are convenient to use, and we prevailed on them this year. On the other hand, many apps surprise us with hidden service charges.
In an analysis this year, I found out that most Delivery app tried to hide markup Consolidate your service fees and taxes into a single line item. The prices of many menu items had also increased inside the app compared to restaurant prices. In the most egregious example, I found that the price of ordering two Subway sandwiches from Uber Eats was $ 25.25, which was 91 percent more than you would pay at a restaurant.
Finally, you better understand ordering in keeping with the old-fashioned way: pick up the phone and call the restaurant directly.
This year, phone makers like Samsung, Motorola and Huawei promoted the so-called Folding smartphone Can be folded or unfolded to reduce or increase their screen size.
For that benefit, you get these trade-offs: The equipment costs more than $ 1,300, the screen technology is fragile, and the hinges used for folding will eventually break. Over time, using a foldable phone becomes tedious: before you can use the phone, you have to open it and scan your fingerprint or face.
Foldables are a reinvestigation of an old idea. They function like clamshell phones from the 1990s and early Augets. But has anyone asked for a comeback for the Clamshell cellphone? I’d be hard to think of anyone.
Have you heard that 5G is superfast? Probably, because the phone carrier has spent millions of dollars marketing the next generation of wireless technology.
Unfortunately, The reality of 5G is more complex. The technology may be faster than its predecessor, 4G, but with a lot of Kvette.
There are two main flavors of 5G: a version that is fast enough – zippy enough to download a movie in a few seconds – and another that is growing faster than just 4G.
For the past two years, phone carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have boasted about ultrafast speeds. But they have been less transparent about technical limitations. The faster version of 5G covers shorter distances and makes it harder to penetrate walls. So for the foreseeable future, we will find such connections only in outdoor areas such as parks, not inside our offices or homes.
For now, the less exciting taste of 5G is what we’ll find in most parts of the country, and is inconsistent. In my tests, 5G was twice as fast as 4G at best. More often, 5G was as fast as 4G – and sometimes it was slower.
New cellular technologies always take time to mature, but carriers have pinpointed what the technology will deliver today. Hopefully it will improve in 2021.