This means the following: say your family has smartphones, several computers, and a game console. When all of them are used to consume large amounts of data – for example, streaming video – Wi-Fi 6 is a better way of providing bandwidth to all devices at the same time than letting one device consume most of it.

Efficiency is especially important as more of our products are connected to the internet, from clocks to televisions, bathroom scales to thermostats. On average, the number of internet-connected devices per person is projected to increase to around four by 2023, up from two in 2018 Research from Cisco.

The past year was a turning point for mobile payments. For security reasons, even die-hard cash traders like farmers market vendors and food trucks accepted mobile payments.

Overall, 67 percent of American retailers accept touchless payments, up from 40 percent in 2019, according to a survey by ranger. Of those surveyed, 19 percent said they made a digital payment in a store for the first time last May.

Hands-off technology doesn’t end with mobile wallets. The so-called ultra-wide band, a relatively new radio technology, could also find its moment this year. The technology that uses radio waves to detect objects with extreme precision hasn’t been used much since it debuted on smartphones about two years ago. However, the need for contactless experiences could change that, said Ms. Milanesi of Creative Strategies.

How could ultra-wide band be used? Let’s say you have a smartphone and a coffee shop has a tablet. Both are equipped with the radio technology. When you stand in front of the tablet, it can recognize your phone and accept a payment from you (and not from the person in line behind you). The technology could also be used to allow employees to enter buildings and start cars without physical keys.

The pandemic has made it clear that virtualized experiences like video meetings and zoom yoga are viable substitutes for reality, whether you embrace or endure them. Expect more products in 2021 to digitize the way we work and stay healthy.



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