58: 2021 Tech PredictionsPublished December 29, 2020
Run time: 00:36:50
Every week, millions of people come online for the first time, and how they use technology plays into the future of tech. Heading into 2021, we’re looking at how we can use tech to work together to continue to make everyone’s lives better. In this episode, Rob and Tim come together for their annual chat about technology trends for the coming year, from the breakup of tech giants, the next stage of autonomous vehicles, and machine learning in healthcare, to ultimately where companies will be investing when it comes to tech in 2021.
In this episode, you will learn our thoughts on the near future of:
- Bendable phones and screens that stretch
- Antitrust breakups in tech
- Better usability by those who have never used the Internet
- Virtual gathering spaces
- Level 3 autonomous vehicles
- Legacy technologies
- COVID contact tracing
- Apple’s U1 chip
- Machine learning in healthcare
- Companies supporting remote work
This episode is brought to you by The Jed Mahonis Group, where we make sense of mobile app development with our non-technical approach to building custom mobile software solutions. Learn more at https://jmg.mn.
Recorded December 10, 2020 | Edited by Jordan Daoust | Produced by Jenny Karkowski
Tim Bornholdt 0:00
Welcome to Constant Variables, a podcast where we take a non technical look at all things technical. I'm Tim Bornholdt.
Rob Bentley 0:06
And I'm Rob Bentley. I'm here again, let's get nerdy.
Tim Bornholdt 0:22
Before we get into this week's episode, we have a quick favor to ask. We just released a listener survey that lets us get your thoughts on the show in order to help us plan content and interview guests that matter to you. We also want to know what some of your favorite podcasts are that you listen to. So if you have a minute, please head to constantvariables.co/survey. You could even fill it out while you're listening to this episode. That's constantvariables.co/survey. Rob, don't you fill it out during this episode, though.
Rob Bentley 0:52
I was just about to. Thank you for telling me.
Tim Bornholdt 0:55
That's why I had to clarify. We need you to focus.
Rob Bentley 1:01
I can't live up to that pressure.
Tim Bornholdt 1:04
Onto the show. Today, we're going to talk about where we see mobile technology heading into the new year and where we think companies will be investing when it comes to their tech. So what should we talk about first, Rob?
Rob Bentley 1:15
Have you seen those commercials during football or something for those phones that bend in the middle?
Tim Bornholdt 1:21
Boy have I! Yeah, I think bendable phones are, you know, have you ever ever actually seen one in person or read any of the reviews? Or like seen where they're at right now as of 2020?
Rob Bentley 1:35
I haven't held one, no.
Tim Bornholdt 1:37
I haven't held one either. And maybe that's because nobody's going into stores and playing with things these days. But when I read a bunch of reviews on them, I think that there's still some structural integrity issues that need to be found and solved. You know, at least for the ones that are out right now. But I know there's a lot of rumors that Apple's currently in the middle of getting those in their iPhone lineup. So I don't know, do you think people are gonna be using bendable phones all that much?
Rob Bentley 2:08
I think people will use whatever they put out. Like if they put it out, you know people do it. I don't know if they'll like it. That is a whole different question. Like I kind of personally look at it, and I don't really see the point. But it also does allow for more creativity with applications, things like that. So I'm like, I can't tell you I'm not a little bit curious to see what things developers do with them and kind of what capabilities it provides.
Tim Bornholdt 2:36
Yeah, same. I think it'll be interesting to see where it goes. I'm not currently interested in it. But I mean, if you would have asked me back in 2006, if I was interested in a touchscreen phone, I would have said no. And then, you know, the iPhone was announced. So it's anybody's game. And we're just going to kind of go along for the ride, I suppose. There's also some reports of new technology that's not only allowing screens to bend, but also stretch. So you could like grab it from either corner and pull it like a blanket and just have it kind of stretch out that way. Which again, like, what would the application of that be in a phone? I don't even know.
Rob Bentley 3:15
If you need a larger screen for something I guess? You wanted, I don't know.
Tim Bornholdt 3:22
Yeah, like, I mean, it's either that or it's having it be something that can wrap around your skin, or it'd be like not necessarily a form factor, like a phone form factor, but maybe some other kind of form factor that like we're not even considering at this point.
Rob Bentley 3:37
Yeah. So it'll be interesting to see where that goes for sure. Again, I don't really know what the uses will be. But we know it's the thing that's going to happen. And I'm kind of excited to see what people do with it.
Tim Bornholdt 3:50
Yeah, we haven't had a big shake up of phone design, basically, since, what, the iPhone came out. So I mean, there's very rarely that kind of an industry shake, like something that like rocks it to its foundation like that. So maybe bendable phones will be the next big thing, but who knows. It's just a phone.
Rob Bentley 4:12
Yeah, I mean, honestly, I just got an iPhone 12. And it feels like the old one I had, which was an XR, an XS. I don't even remember.
Tim Bornholdt 4:19
Right. It's just kind of incremental progress at this point. Like it's not radical changes every year, which it's good and bad. But I think it's just probably another year of steady incremental change.
Rob Bentley 4:31
Yeah, exactly. Another one that we're seeing is antitrust breakups, which I'll let you talk about because I feel like you would just know more about this than me.
Tim Bornholdt 4:41
Yeah. I was really curious to hear how you were going to summarize it.
Rob Bentley 4:44
I didn't even try to be clever this time. I was like, yeah, you got this one. Thanks, bro.
Tim Bornholdt 4:51
So I think it's interesting to look at the last time we had a lot of antitrust regulation in the tech industry was back with Microsoft with the Internet Explorer web browser and everything like that, and there was a lot of contention around that. Most of the antitrust and those kinds of monopoly breakups have been taking place in the European Union under like the EU's jurisdiction. So there hasn't been a whole lot of activity in the US of breaking up large companies, particularly Facebook, other social platforms like that. And Google is another prime target. There's been a lot of rumors and a lot of reports that have come out that under the new Biden administration, there's going to be more accountability and feet held to the fire for some of these very large tech companies. There was a report yesterday, I don't know if you saw that 46 states of the 50 in the Union sued Facebook for antitrust behaviors. So it's already beginning. And it's gonna be really interesting to see how some of these huge tech companies that are kind of the cornerstone of our stock market these days, how they're going to fare when regulation and regulators, you know, break them up into, no longer it's Facebook, and WhatsApp and Instagram all in one. But it's back to three separate companies that can actually compete with each other on fair terms, you know, to get people to actually use their services.
Rob Bentley 6:19
Yeah, just think of starting something that got so big that the United States would be suing you.
Tim Bornholdt 6:26
And not only the United States, but like 46 of the 50 states, plus I think it was like Guam and the District of Columbia as well.
Rob Bentley 6:36
I don't feel bad for them. But I almost do it, just like, no one wants to deal with that. But again, you know, there's a reason for it. No one wants this kind of activity happening where one person just owns everything.
Tim Bornholdt 6:49
Right. And we want competition. That's what this is all about. And you really can't argue that Facebook has done anti competitive things by buying up their competitors. It's like a tale as old as time. If you look back to like the railroads, or you look back to like any other major industry in the United States that's been regulated and broken up. Like the phone companies used to be, like, super broken up. And now lately, it's like, we used to have four solid cell phone carriers. And now we're down to three since Sprint and T-Mobile have merged. So it's like, what kind of competition do you get just getting a cell phone? You know?
Rob Bentley 7:27
Yeah, it's definitely narrowing. And, you know, I guess we'll see if there are repercussions for that over time. But, you know, again, it's all for a good reason that we would want competition for sure.
Tim Bornholdt 7:42
Yeah. And like you said, nobody wants to like, stifle innovation in businesses, like we live in a capitalistic society in the United States. And we want businesses to succeed. But there comes a point where you don't necessarily feel bad for like Mark Zuckerberg, or Jeff Bezos, or like anyone else that has more money than, like, some countries have, like whole countries. You know, it's like, maybe enough is enough at some point. I don't know what that point is. But the time is here, I think, at least for us to actually review what we want out of our companies and out of our country and make sure that upstart companies can compete with Facebook and Google.
Rob Bentley 8:29
Yeah, exactly. Speaking of Google, I know this probably won't come as a surprise to anyone. But Google, especially, and I'm sure others too are making a huge push to just getting more people online. I don't know if everyone listening has heard of the Next Billion Users Initiative. But the purpose of it, like I just said, is to give internet access to people who previously didn't have it. Like there are still a lot of people on the earth that just don't have access to the internet, which, you know, thinking from my perspective, I can't imagine life without it. And to still have all these people that have never used the internet is a little bit mind boggling to me. So this is an important thing to get the whole world connected to each other.
Tim Bornholdt 9:16
If you haven't looked up the Next Billion Users Initiative, it's really, really fascinating stuff that Google is putting out. For example, they've been doing a lot of studies in India of how people use their phones. And it's like, people will get these phones, you know, back with like when the first iPhone came out where there was like eight gigabytes of storage on your device. And that's it. They're seeing like all these UX, like user experience trends of people don't take cell phone pictures like we do in the United States, where it's like, I literally will take six pictures of the same thing of my kid doing something, and then I never go back and look at which of the six are the best. It's just like, some algorithm will figure that out and whatever. But like people in India will actually still like, sit down and take a actual, like nice portrait, like they get dressed up and take nice pictures with their phones. And like, that's it. That's their picture that they took, you know. And it's like getting users that aren't familiar with being able to take millions of pictures whenever you want, it's fascinating that those are some cultural shifts that we're going to be seeing. Obviously, it'll impact the cultures in other countries, but it will impact us as well. Because when you get people that have never used technology using technology for the first time, their insights as to what's weird about technology and what's not is going to directly impact, like, make our experiences better, because when it's simpler and easier for someone else to use, it's going to be simpler and easier for us.
Rob Bentley 10:50
It's funny how used to the way we use our phones is and then seeing someone who uses it differently. Even if it's a generational gap here in the United States, let alone a different, you know, different country, it's really fascinating to see just the different use cases and how things are progressing in third world countries and just all over the world.
Tim Bornholdt 11:14
The other cool thing about bringing in other countries and other customs, it really forces you to take a look at why things evolve the way they do. Like, for example, do you know why keyboards are laid out the way they are on your phone?
Rob Bentley 11:29
So you're not talking about the QWERTY layout?
Tim Bornholdt 11:32
No, I am. Do you know why we have a QWERTY layout?
Rob Bentley 11:36
It was someone who invented a typewriter in the 1800s, I think. I know I watched a YouTube video about it at some point, I just can't remember exactly. It was like someone patented it and then they had the money to distribute it. And that's what it was from then on. It was something like that. You can correct me I'm sure.
Tim Bornholdt 11:53
No, you're basically right. The layout used to be better, where all of the vowels and common letters were clumped together so that you could type really fast. And that's like, if you look up the Dvorak layout, that's kind of what it used to be. But the reason that it moved to this layout was because typewriters would get jammed. So they wanted to purposefully slow people down on typing, so they couldn't type as fast. And so that's why the QWERTY keyboard existed with typewriters, like it made perfect sense. But we moved into computers where we don't have that limitation. But we're all still typing way slower than we necessarily need to. We could all move over. But because of this cultural legacy problem, we kind of have to deal with, like just this inefficient layout of keys. So it's things like that that this Next Billion Users Initiative, and that other companies are doing as well. I don't want to just make this an ad for Google. But I just think that's going to be a trend in this year of just kind of, let's take a look at why we're doing the things we're doing. And if there's a way that we can change it so that it's makes more sense for 2021. Why don't we just try it?
Rob Bentley 13:05
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I feel like it would be a hard thing for me to adjust to. But once I did, I'm sure it would pay off. I just think it would be hard at first and it'd be hard for a lot of people. Like how many years have you been typing on the QWERTY keyboard? Your fingers just do it automatically.
Tim Bornholdt 13:22
Oh, yeah. I mean, it would take time to adjust to a new keyboard layout. But you would also be doing it with the understanding that ultimately you're going to get used to it and be a lot faster at it. Like, you remember getting used to typing in T9, like how fast can we type before the cell phones had keyboards? We would just have to punch the number two, like two times to get the letter B. And remember having to do that crap? Like that sucked. But you got super fast at it. Because that's the way that it was. Just imagine if we still had to do that these days, like have to type T9, it'd be ridiculous.
Rob Bentley 13:56
Yeah, I was blazing fast. And I didn't mind, you know, I could do it in my pocket.
Tim Bornholdt 14:00
But if you can actually sit down and think about why you're doing it, it makes more sense to have like a full keyboard with the letters laid out in an efficient way. I don't know. We don't have to keep spinning our wheels on this topic. But I think we're gonna get better usability for everything just based off of feedback from folks that aren't used to weird things that we do right now.
Rob Bentley 14:20
Yeah, so the next one's not going to be a surprise either. But we are going to see an improvement in virtual gathering spaces. So for things like conferences or just families talking over Thanksgiving that can't be with each other in person, there's been all sorts of use cases for this with the global pandemic.
Tim Bornholdt 14:40
Yeah, exactly. It's all spurned by the pandemic. And I think that we'll see some, I've seen a lot of different tech conferences try a lot of different things. And that's what's really exciting to me because I think I attended three or four virtual conferences and all four had different platforms that had different ways of approaching the virtual space. Like some tried to make little like, actual 3d renderings of a real world environment. And you could kind of click around and hop from like the ping pong table over to the couch over to, you know, whatever else. So like, that's one way to do it. And then there's other ones where it's like, you can click here for the mainstage. And you can click here for some breakout sessions. And here's a networking room. And it's just interesting to see how people are tackling this problem from a conference standpoint. And then from a family standpoint, like trying to figure out like how to teach your, like, 70 year old dad how to use Zoom. I mean, my dad actually didn't do too bad, hasn't been doing too bad with the new technology, but I think it's finding ways to make that experience easier and seamless and just more enjoyable to use.
Rob Bentley 15:49
Yeah I know Zoom itself, and, you know, I'm sure the pandemic again had a big play in this, but the Zoom iPad app was one of Apple's apps of the year. And they do actually do a really good job, like my parents actually asked me if we could switch to that from FaceTime, because it was a little bit easier for them to be on separate lines together or something like that. But they were able to actually, you know, kind of just pick it up and use it, which is a testament to their user experience.
Tim Bornholdt 16:16
Yeah, there's a lot you can say about Zoom's track record with privacy and issues like that. But overall, they've certainly stepped up to the plate, because they were just kind of a fledgling service that we would use occasionally back in 2019. And then 2020 hit and it was just a case of right place, right time for them.
Our next topic is 5G, which is one more G than we are currently in right now. There's a lot of 5G towers activated right now. And now that the new iPhones all have 5G, the adoption and the demand for it is going to increase and increase. But yeah, I mean, 5G just basically is going to be like 4G, but faster and more reliable. So, you know, not a whole lot more to say about that. What do you think, Rob?
Rob Bentley 17:09
Yeah, I mean, you know, they're gonna be putting up more towers, and you know, just things will be faster and more reliable, which, again, not that I want to sound bratty, but I feel like it's kind of an expectation that things are going to move that, way faster, more reliable, better. But again, you know, that's what we can expect to see in the next coming year.
Tim Bornholdt 17:29
Yeah. And I just hope that they have more coverage out in like, more rural areas, because you kind of expect if I'm in downtown Minneapolis, that, yeah, I'm gonna get blazing fast connections. But if I'm out visiting my in laws, you know, actually since I've been like, with my wife, over the last 10 years, I've noticed when we first would go out there, it was like 3G era. And whenever I'd go out there, I'd get sucked into like an edge network on roaming, you know, and it was just awful service. And now when we go out there, they have 4G, so you can tell over the last 10 years that a lot of these telecoms have been, whether they want to or not, kind of improving their rural expanse. And I just hope that they keep that up. Because it's super important that everybody in this country gets access to the internet. And, you know, they obviously pay for it. But I think it's just something that we're going to need if we want to continue to grow our society, and especially during a pandemic, it's like, connectivity is crucial to get through that together.
Rob Bentley 18:33
Yeah, totally. Another thing this widespread 5G coverage will help with is the autonomous vehicles. We're gonna start seeing a lot more level three autonomy driving around in the next year, is what's being predicted as far as I understand.
Tim Bornholdt 18:48
Yeah, so there's five levels, if you look at like, there's a standard's body that has come out with five levels of automation for vehicles, and it ranges from everything from like the parking assist, which would be kind of your basic, automated automation. And then level five would be what they call a steering wheel optional, where you just basically sit down in your car and tell it where to go, and it does everything for you. I think right now we're seeing more level three, which is where for long stretches, the car can pilot itself without any human intervention, but you still have to be ready to take control of the vehicle, you know, at a quick pace, so you couldn't like unbuckle yourself and go take a nap in the backseat. That would be level five. But we're seeing a lot more car manufacturers promising level three automation this year, in 2021. So I'm really looking forward to that because I think the more we can get vehicles automated and cities connected in that regard, it's going to help alleviate a lot of mobility issues that we were kind of seeing pre pandemic. Obviously no one's driving really. I mean, people driving, but a lot less people are driving these days than before the pandemic, but once people are feeling safe and able to go out and navigate the roads themselves, it's going to be cool to have cars just that can take you there. And you don't have to think about it. It's just one less thing, one less area for, you know, crashes and things like that to happen.
Rob Bentley 20:19
Yeah, I've personally feel like level three is where it starts to get exciting. Level one and level two are definitely cool. But three is kind of like, Okay, this is something else, you know.
Tim Bornholdt 20:30
Yeah, level three, and then the big jump will be three to four. I think four to five won't be as impressive, but it's still cool to see a fully automated vehicle. But yeah, like the rubber is really hitting the road, to use a bad pun, when you go from level two to level three. So I think level three is kind of like, I think that's like Tesla level of automation. And I think Tesla is working on stuff to push their cars into level four. But I don't know if that's coming out in 2021 or not. It might be a little too early for that. But it's so exciting to be part of that space through our work with VSI labs. It's really, really cool to see these cars just get smarter and smarter and more capable. And it's just exciting all around.
Rob Bentley 21:19
Yeah, to kind of really switch gearsm another bad car pun, but another trend we'll see in the next coming years that we're going to continue just seeing a lot of legacy technologies that have been battle tested. And they're still in use by a lot of the internet.
Tim Bornholdt 21:38
Yeah, it's kind of like we were talking about with the phones earlier how we're kind of at this maturity point with technology with, especially with mobile phones, where the bendable technology is where it kind of is getting exciting. And it's cool to see that space and experiment. But what we've got now is pretty cool. And we don't always need to be looking at the shiny new thing when we're trying to build systems and technologies that will help automate business practices and other things like that. I really think, if you look at some of the stats out there, it's like 80% of websites use PHP, which was a language introduced in 1994. And 77% of websites use jQuery, which was introduced in 2006. So we were talking about like 15-20 year old technologies. And you know, WordPress, which pretty much everyone's heard of WordPress, even if you're not a web developer, you know, if you're talking about a blogging platform, like 63% of websites are using WordPress. So it's all these legacy systems that we're still going to be working with for the long term here. And so I think it's important to look at the shiny stuff that's coming down the road. But I think it's also cool to think that we've got really stable technologies that we're building on top of so it's not just buggy and crashing for, you know, kind of weird reasons.
Rob Bentley 22:53
Exactly. And I don't know, just as a developer, you always have to have this balance between knowing and understanding the new hot technology. But also, when it's time to actually get something built, it's nice to have something reliable that you know is just going to work because it's not so fresh and so new that not all the bugs have been worked out on it yet. And so I feel like that's where a lot of that comes from is people want to use what they just know works.
Tim Bornholdt 23:20
Yeah, exactly. Well, now we're talking about another radical new technology that we wouldn't have dreamed up in 2019, which is COVID contact tracing. Have you looked into that, Rob? Like, do you know much about how that all works?
Rob Bentley 23:37
Not a lot other than trying to look up an article before I did this podcast episode. But it seemed like it was really tying into cyber security, because seems like there's a lot of attacks trying to get people's data and location, people putting out fake apps that are promising to do this, but really have ulterior motives. So I do want to hear what you have to say about it.
Tim Bornholdt 24:00
Yeah. So Apple and Google have had a very interesting relationship over the last 15-20 years. And so you don't see a whole lot of collaboration between the two companies anymore. But contact tracing is something that, you know, COVID doesn't care if you're an iPhone user or an Android user, it's going to impact you either way. So you know, any kind of contact tracing, which I guess it'd be helpful to take a step back and talk about what that actually is. So contact tracing is where when you are close enough in range to another person that is close enough that you could, you know, be exposed to the virus, both phones can talk to each other and what you would ideally want to do is, if you say, Hey, I've got COVID, you should be able to indicate to anyone that you've been around that you might have given them the virus so they can quarantine themselves and get tested and all of that stuff. But in order for like iPhones to talk to Android phones successfully, there needs to be some collaboration and make sure that they're speaking the same language, which, I mean, Rob, you know about working with Bluetooth, especially between devices, it's not exactly something that both firms have been very great about standardizing that area. So contact tracing is really interesting, because the two of them collaborated on a standard that they both are able to send signals to each other. So that if I'm out and I walk through a mall, and I have COVID, and I come past all these people that are on different devices, your phone basically talks to the other phones with these anonymous identifiers. You can look it up, and we'll put an article in the show notes as well, so you can kind of get a better understanding of how it works. But the way they devise It is really clever and as secure as we can get without being intrusive on our kind of American ideals of privacy and safety. But it's still effective. And that's what's really cool. And I think it's going to be something that all of us are going to want to, like I have it installed on my phone, the one that Minnesota put out. And I would advise all of you to also get the official Minnesota COVID tracing app or wherever you are, look for the one that's specific to your state. They all use the same protocols that Apple and Google put out and they all talk to each other. So just get something on there that's official, and then we can all kind of use our collective technology to keep each other safe.
Rob Bentley 26:21
Yeah, I guess our next one is related to this too. Apple is going to be using their U1 chip in their devices. And I know it's not active in all of their new devices, but it is active in a lot of the more commonly used ones. Maybe you can tell everyone what this U1 chip is and why it's special and what it does.
Tim Bornholdt 26:44
Yeah, I'm not a super wizard on it. But I know basically, the U1 chip is, I don't know if it's if it's NFC, like Near Field Communication Technology, but it's essentially this technology that allows you to talk to other devices on a separate spectrum. It's kind of like if you've ever seen those, what do they call those like tag things that you can put on your different devices. It's basically like a way that you're able to help, teasy, obvious use case would be putting it on your car keys. And then if you're like, I don't know where my car keys are, you can use your phone to basically build a map of all the devices around your house, and then it will just show up and say, Oh, here it is, it's over here. So that's like one example of what you would use this U1 chip for, but it hasn't been really activated in terms of what we as developers can get at yet. I think they're waiting for is Apple's rumored Air Tags is what they're kind of talking about with us. And it'll just be another kind of exciting thing like when beacons came out, for example, Rob, like you remember, Bluetooth beacons. It's kind of like a similar technology where it's very specific use case, you know, you don't need it for every single app, but the apps that could use this kind of who's near me, and what's in my approximate area, it's really, really great. Because what's cool about it is like, if you leave, you know, like your car keys or something at a friend's house, you could use this air tags technology to like, go across neighborhoods and find your car keys at your neighbor's house. You know, like it's cool use cases like that, that we, you know, it's kind of like living in the future, so to speak.
Rob Bentley 28:25
Yeah. And that's the kind of stuff that really excites me is those new things that kind of interact with the real world, so to speak. That's what I always get excited hearing about, but another industry that's going to be really exploding with new technologies and ways to make things better is the health industry.
Tim Bornholdt 28:45
Oh, yeah. I mean, we've kind of touched on it already, thanks to the pandemic. You know, we've accelerated our use of Zoom, which has contributed also to telemedicine. We've got COVID contact tracing, but there's also so many other cool things that are happening, you know, specifically around machine learning and artificial intelligence. The things I've seen that are really cool that are coming out are these technologies that are able to help assist doctors in diagnosing things that they might not have otherwise caught. There was one study that I saw where it was like they had like x rays. And they were basically saying, for doctors, you diagnose what the issue is just reading this x ray. And then they put it through this AI and said, you diagnose what is with this x ray. And then they did it where they both worked together. And it was like the humans were able to diagnose things like 70% of the time, the computers were able to diagnose things like 60% of, it was something like that. I don't know the numbers exactly. But then when they worked together, it was like over 90% success rate. So that's what I'm really looking forward to is some of this machine learning working with humans, not like people think machine learning and AI, it's like Skynet, and everything's gonna turn into the matrix, but it's more of like, how can we use technology to help us make better decisions and diagnoses as physicians.
Rob Bentley 30:06
Right. Especially, you know, that just having more data to work off of, which is something that wearables are really helping with, because now you can have a device on your wrist or wherever on your body that's collecting this data all the time, and can send it to the doctor in basically real time if we wanted to. So then just having more data to work with just gives you a lot more of an educated guess as to what's going on. So we're going to see, you know, increases in getting the right diagnosis done, and just all kinds of things that we weren't able to do before.
Tim Bornholdt 30:40
Yeah, it really is living in the future. And I'm really excited to see there's a lot of rumors around like Apple coming out with some kind of other wearable like, glasses or something else like that. And Google is also working on really cool things like that. Microsoft's working on really cool things. So it's a net win for all of us as a society. And it's going to be cool to see what drops in 2021 to help improve us on the health front.
Rob Bentley 31:07
Yep. And our last topic that we're going to briefly cover is working from home. I bet probably everyone listening to this has worked from home at least a couple days this last year.
Tim Bornholdt 31:20
Yeah, hopefully. I mean, there's probably a lot of people listening that are like essential workers that have to go into wherever they work. But I think it's undeniable that large amounts of our society have moved to working from home, at least on a temporary basis. And I think as a result, it's really forced companies to take a hard look at how they use technology, and find ways to make that not in person communication more efficient and effective.
Rob Bentley 31:50
Yep, from everything from just communicating internally and then focusing on the software being used and how it could be better, how it could make things more efficient when you don't have everyone in the same office together. You have to learn to collaborate and do things in a different way than you're used to. So it kind of spurs on innovation, which has been a really cool thing.
Tim Bornholdt 32:12
Yeah. And it's across pretty much every sector of working remotely. I mean, like you were saying, improving internal communication tools, looking at what they're using right now for software and finding ways to modernize it and improve it so that it's easier to use remotely. I think even just getting more people using apps on their phone and doing work from anywhere, as opposed to needing a laptop, even. These are all things and then also we can always say accessibility. We say that every single year. Because I do think that every year it gets more and more important. Especially we talked about the 1 billion users, the next billion users, I think accessibility is going to play a role on that. So yeah, I think just all in all, it seems like in 2021, even though we're seemingly in a recession, and seemingly, you know, we're in not great time all around as a society, but I think businesses are starting to, you know, realize technology is an area we have to invest in, because that's how we're going to be able to continue doing business.
Rob Bentley 33:18
Exactly. And you know, as this boom and spike in technology needs is growing, the need for developers is going, it's not going to, it is right now really in demand. So we're also predicting, you know, that a lot of companies are going to be augmenting their development resources with companies versus trying to hire in house for that stuff.
Tim Bornholdt 33:43
Right. Which, I mean, if only we knew of any companies that were able to do that, of offering dev services, a la a cart.
Rob Bentley 33:52
Have you no shame.
Tim Bornholdt 33:55
Hey, Jenny threw that one in there. That wasn't me.
Rob Bentley 33:57
Yeah. Good job, Jenny.
Tim Bornholdt 34:01
Yeah, way to do your job of marketing our business. So, yeah, if this stuff is kind of interesting to you, and you're thinking of how to make your business better, definitely give us a shout because this is the stuff we love doing every day.
Rob Bentley 34:12
Exactly. I'd love to hear from everyone.
Tim Bornholdt 34:16
Any final thoughts, Rob, on just where technology's going next year?
Rob Bentley 34:19
I think again, I probably say this every year, but I think the next year is going to be really cool. I think obviously the pandemic really accelerated a lot of innovation this year, which is, you know, even though it's such a horrible thing, that's a cool byproduct of it is how people are starting to use technology differently, the needs are different and just how much, you know, the future is going to change because of this. And I'm just super excited to see the results of the this, and where everything grows because we need it to.
Tim Bornholdt 34:51
I agree, I mean, we live in such an awesome time right now and awesome in the sense of just like where your jaw drops of like awe-inspiring. Because, like, think of how fast that vaccine was put out, like the normal timeframe is like five to 10 years or something like that, and they were able to put it out in like 18 months. It's just insane and for it to be safe and effective and it's so so cool like what we're able to do with all of this technology and it makes me optimistic that we'll be able to continue even though you know, with everything going on of political or anything else like that in our society, it's like technology is one area where you can really use it to work together to make everybody's lives better, and not just a select few, but really, truly everybody, especially the next billion people that are coming on the internet, but even you and me and our parents and everyone else that technology can touch.
Well that's it for today's show. Show notes for this episode can be found at constantvariables.co. You can get in touch with us by emailing Hello@constantvariables.co. I'm @TimBornholdt on Twitter and the show is @CV_podcast.
Today's episode was produced by Jenny Karkowski and edited by the daring Jordan Daoust.
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