January 23, 2019

Smart technologies to rule 2019

Smart technologies to rule 2019


…5G to spur more innovations
…OPPO to Invest $1.43bn in R&D for smart mobile tech
•…Nigeria should key-in

By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor

It is difficult to predict the future of technology. However, with increasing innovations in the tech space, it appears simple to point at the direction it is headed.

With Smart Homes, Smart Transportation, Smart Retail, and Smart Industry, driven by Artificial intelligence, AI, there is no doubt that emerging technologies would push the boundaries and drive further innovation.

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Today, smart home gadgets let you do things like turning your lights on using your smartphone, stream music to a speaker using Alexa, lock your doors remotely, clean your house, and much more.

Besides convenience, these devices can also help save energy and keep environments green; they provide instant security alerts, letting users know when someone’s trying to break in, or even in cases of other emergencies.

Incidentally, all of these would be made much easier with the coming of the 5th generation of network service known as 5G.

Governments across the world desirous of using technology to enable economic empowerment are making gradual but massive investments  in  5G deployment.

Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs are directing their research and  investments towards smart technology and future products.

Roll-up TV

Last year,  LG Electronics mooted the idea of a roll-up television which will not occupy much  space either in a living or bedroom.  A year after, the electronic manufacturer has practically brought its idea to fruition by launching one of the most remarkable pieces of technology in the 65-inch Signature OLED TV R. The television magically rolls away into the base unit, which also hides a high quality soundbar and wireless speaker which  doubles as a designer piece of furniture.

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Regardless of how expensive it might be, the convenience cannot be overemphasised.

Meanwhile, other OEMs can also enter the space and provide competition that can drive down price.


Another reason smart technologies are going to be king from this year is their ability to save homes and preserve marriages. There are numerous stories of broken marriages due to inability of wives to cook choice meals but with a Google Assistant- powered smart device known as KichenAid, the future is bright. With a 10-inch screen that can play headlines, stream from Spotify or Netflix and a cooking app called Yummly, just anyone can search a library of recipes and cook step-by-step recipes from the world’s best chefs.

Since the device is designed  for the kitchen, it’s  water-resistant and can be rinsed under the tap, unlike the conventional tablet.

OPPO makes huge R&D statement

In a similar vein, Chinese consumer electronics and mobile communications company, known for its smartphones, Blu-ray players and other electronic devices, Oppo Electronics Corporation, commonly referred to as Oppo, is also making a big investment in 5G, artificial intelligence and smart devices.

The company just recently announced its plan to spend about $1.43billion on Research and Development, R&D in 2019 alone, so as to improve the company’s technological capabilities. The Founder and CEO of Oppo, Tony Chen, emphasized the company’s commitment to leveraging Artificial Intelligence, AI, to develop a wide range of smart devices including smart watches and smart home technologies to explore and satiate the increasingly rigid demands of consumers in the age of the Internet of Things, IoT.

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5G is an innovation Oppo is already embracing and as a technology company, striving to become the first manufacturer in the world to launch 5G smartphones. He contended that his company will fully integrate 5G with applications and user insights, and continuously innovate to provide users with revolutionary, necessary, convenient and seamless experiences. Interestingly, Oppo had established a 5G team as far back as 2015 and has continued working backstage till a major breakthrough was achieved in October 2018.

To consolidate  its reputation for creating  more  personalised  experiences through technology, Chen said Oppo  has  applied  AI technologies  across a wide range of  applications  including  photography,  facial  recognition and  fingerprint  identification  while introducing many innovative features including an AI-powered beauty camera, 3D portrait lighting and  intelligent recognition scenarios.

Oppo says it is seeing a future where smartphones will become intelligent personal assistants and as such, is  already investing in R&D to make this happen before any other.

Technology enthusiasts say in the era of 5G and crazy innovations, the vision of every wise company or country should be to dare to explore, dare to make breakthroughs and dare to innovate.

Why Nigeria should key in

Secretary to the Governing Board, Association of Information and Communications Technology Local Content, ICTLOCA, Mr Adebunmi Akinbo, says  technology companies operating in the country should begin now to make aggressive investments towards leveraging 5G, Artificial Intelligence among other platforms to create solutions tailored towards solving immediate social and economic problems in Nigeria or risk lagging behind when serious economies are logging into the next phase of industrial revolution.

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Nigeria has indicated readiness to roll out 5G by 2020. The country has earmarked three spectrum bands viz 26 GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz bands for trial in Lagos and other parts of the country. That was also as the umbrella body of Global System for Mobile Communications companies, GSM Association, highlighted modalities that would help the country achieve a robust 5G platform by 2020.

At a collaborative meeting recently, between the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and GSMA in Abuja, to facilitate 5G policy and spectrum, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, promised that Nigeria would do anything possible to stay ahead in innovation and new tech developments, considering that economies all over the world have become dependent on mobile communications.