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2024 Tech Trends: Looking ahead and what to expect

AI in phones and Wi-Fi 7 proliferation

3. Proliferating artificial intelligence features in phones

Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8, the poster child of an "AI-loaded" smartphone.

I believe that artificial intelligence's (AI) most prominent showcase will come through smartphones. That's because a smartphone is readily available in most hands, and they offer more direct representation and results that can immediately enhance how we use mobile devices.

Companies like Qualcomm are adding phone components/standards like authenticators to verify imagery artificiality, while companies like Google are on a path to optimising processing resources for their consumer-AI tools in their Pixel phones. That doesn't yet include new entrants, like Samsung's Galaxy AI.

This development is greater than simply including AI tricks on a phone. The conveniences or troubles they will bring will also define the next battleground between these devices. It will also show you the true colours of your favourite technology brands, and lead you to ask how much AI is acceptable in your daily interactions. There is no one right answer.

I'd say that existing smartphone AI features (e.g., photo/video improvements and call/recording conveniences of which the Google Pixel 8 series is leading the game) will see further refinements. It's not just about delivering cute, cool, or trendy AI features. It's also about the industry finding its footing in providing relevant features. After all, what do specs and components offer if they can’t do anything more?

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4. The adoption of Wi-Fi 7 to pick up pace

With the arrival of Wi-Fi 7-enabled routers, mesh systems, and access points from brands like ASUS, Linksys, TP-Link, and Netgear, along with subscription plans from telcos like this one from Singtel using TP-Link devices, we can expect to see a rise in the adoption rate of Wi-Fi 7 in 2024.

Generally speaking, Wi-Fi 7 will reduce latency while giving users increased capacity, speed, stability, and the ability to have more connected devices at once. It does this thanks to a couple of key developments in networking technology. Multi-link operation (MLO) will, for the first time, allow a router to communicate with client devices using a combination of the 5GHz and/or 6GHz band. 

These advances should let users enjoy not only faster speeds on Wi-Fi 7, but each Wi-Fi 7 router should also be able to support more devices. This is key as we have more connected devices at home than ever before - from connected coffee machines/roasters, dehumidifiers, washing machines, ovens, robot vacuums, smart fans and more.

We can also expect to see more Wi-Fi 7 enabled devices soon with top motherboards and laptops already embracing Wi-Fi 7 support. Some of these include the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi IIAcer Swift Edge 16, and the MSI Alpha 17 C7V. All in all, we are on the cusp of the next big shift in networking technology.

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