retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times were just two of the publications this week that did stories detailing some of the technology changes that consumers and businesses are likely to encounter in the coming year … and most their predictions match up.

From the Journal, there is a prediction that we're likely to see broader adoption of 5G technology, especially as "some of the 5G kinks will get worked out, plus the marketing blitz will hit even harder." There's also the suggestion that wearable technology will continue to expand, especially "advanced wireless earbuds (that) have built-in sensors and voice-assistant capabilities: They’re becoming more like their own hardware platforms, letting you do everything from hearing your messages read aloud to ordering a car. By the end of 2020, more than one-third of the U.S. population will use a hearable, according to a recent eMarketer report."

There's also a suggestion from the Journal that we're likely to see a new iPhone that potentially could rock the marketplace … and continued growth of the streaming culture that has so many content companies competing against each other for product and eyeballs. And, there is the suspicion that 2020 could be the year that Amazon faces real legislative and regulatory resistance, especially since it has foes on both ends of the political spectrum willing to challenge its ubiquity and influence.

The Times argues that the integration and expansion of smart home technologies are likely to hit the fast track in the coming year … especially since one of the stories of late 2019 concerned how "Amazon, Apple and Google came to what appeared to be a truce: They announced that they were working together on a standard to help make smart home products compatible with one another. In other words, when you buy an internet-connected light bulb down the line that works with Alexa, it should also work with Siri and Google Assistant. This should help reduce confusion when shopping for home products and improve the ease with which connected gadgets work with one another."

But when it comes to 5G expansion … more streaming wars … and more wearables, the Times seems to be pretty much in agreement with the Journal predictions.
KC's View:
I'm not a professional prognosticator, or a futurist, nor any sort of a guru .. so my ability to read tea leaves is a little limited. I will leave that to people far smarter than I am.

I would stick with some of the observations that Tom Furphy and I made in our last Innovation Conversation of 2019 … that it seems likely that 2020 could be a year in which we could see some sort of healthcare/self-care-driven technology innovation that will address to some degree the issue that is a front and center concern for a lot of people.

But other than that … seems to me that the Times and Journal pretty much have it covered.