Saturday, January 23, 2021

Our technology forecasts for 2021

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MC: I think the predictions are in order.

LG: Alright, let’s try.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music]

LG: Hey, everyone, it’s time for Gadget Lab. It is the last of the year. I am Lauren Goode. I am a senior writer at WIRED. I’m joined remotely by my co-host, WIRED editor-in-chief, Michael Calore. Hey, Snackfight.

MC: Aloha.

LGWe are also joined by the Associate Editor of WIRED and essentially our third unofficial co-host, Julian Chokkattu. Julian joins us from a very snowy New York City. It’s a shame the snow kept you from going to the bars and indoor restaurants, ha, Julian.

Julian Chokkattu: Hey. No, actually, I love snow. I’m gonna shovel any yard, anyone’s driveway, so give me a shout, and I’ll come.

LG: Yes, and of course, it was probably COVID that kept you from accessing indoor bars and restaurants, but-

JC: Unfortunately yes.

LG: Blame the snow. Alright, so this is our last show of 2020. We’re going to be taking the next two weeks to celebrate our respective socially distant vacations and prepare for what hopefully will be an exciting year for WIRED in 2021. It’s is going to be kind of a year-end retrospective episode. We all know what a tumultuous 2020 year has been, so we’re going to try not to dwell too much and focus on what’s to come. Then, later on the show, we’ll have a not-so-sober discussion of how last year’s predictions turned out.

Spoiler alert, it was 2020, so there were a few things we got wrong. Spoiler alert, we may have already started drinking at the start of this episode, but let’s start by looking ahead. We asked some of our colleagues at WIRED to predict what they think will be the big technological changes in 2021. We have ideas ourselves. I’ll throw it to our guest, Julian first. Julian, what do you plan for 2021?

JC: Well, I just finished reviewing the LG wing. It’s a phone with the swivel screen, so you push it to the side, and the top layer screen will go to landscape orientation, then you have a little mini screen at the bottom. He was surprisingly polite and it gave me that dual screen multitasking experience. It was just a lot of fun to use. I think that’s what we’re going to see with phones since it’s my main beat. With phones, we’re going to see a lot more fun and experimentation for manufacturers next year.

We’ve seen a bit of that this year already with Samsung’s Galaxy Folds and the Surface duo, but I think because smartphone sales are dropping year on year these days we’re going to see manufacturers trying to give people have different options on how they can use them. their phone. You don’t have to stick to that traditional single screen slab because it’s just the phone factor we’ve stuck with for some reason, and now we have the technology to change that and just we to have fun.

I think this is something that is going to be really exciting. Especially since you have this phone I just tested, the LG Wing costs $ 1000 which is pricey, but when you talk about it in terms of foldable and swivel phones I guess it doesn’t seem like it’s that much. compared to single screen phones which you can also buy for $ 1000. I think this stuff will go down in price. We’re going to see a lot more experimentation, roll up phones, fold up phones. I don’t know what other adjective I can use, but a different kind of phone.

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