Whether you’re a tech geek, on the lookout for new technology as it’s announced, or a technophobe, avoiding it unless necessary, you’ll have probably noticed that there’s been a lot of talk over the last few weeks about 2020 being the year for new technology – and technology that is affordable for the everyday working man or woman.
Let’s have a look at what’s out there. From technological breakthroughs to the latest gadgets available to the average consumer, there’s much more about this year than I’ll touch on here today. But we have to start somewhere, right? There’s even a trading app that will give you a free share, worth up to £100, on signing up and funding your account. Read on..
“Hold on!” I hear you call. “3D printing has been around for a few years”. Well yes, it has – since the 1980s as ‘Rapid Prototyping’, which was used to create prototypes for industry. But only recently has it started to become affordable. A 3D printer can build an object based on a 3D image (created using computer aided design or CAD) by printing molten plastic, layer by layer.
So how affordable is affordable? You can pick up a 3D printer for just a few hundred pounds, like these available through Amazon. The ELEGOO MARS UV is £229.99 (right image above). Maybe you can create the next hit toy, or print solid plastic body armour for a forthcoming apocalypse. The choice would be yours!
Have a glance at this 3D Printing Guide for all the information you’re yearning for..
Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s XBox Series X
The next generation of video games consoles will be released this year. Both Sony and Microsoft release their new consoles later this year. If you own one of the current generation of video games consoles, you’ll know how realistic and immersive some of them are, which makes the next gen consoles a very exciting prospect indeed.
There isn’t a date known for the PS5 yet – holiday 2020 is what has been touted, which is somewhere in the final quarter of the year. The Sony PlayStation page is currently only showing the PS4. The PS5 will boast an optical drive with games coming on 100GB optical disks. The drive will, of course, also operate as a 4K Blu-ray player. A new audio engine, cloud gaming and backwards compatibility (to what degree has not yet been revealed, but sure to be PS4 at least) are all tempting. Sony will release more information in due course, probably at the rumoured reveal event – but for the moment we’ll have to wait and see.
Microsoft have revealed a bit more about their next console, the XBox Series X. Also penned for a ‘holiday 2020’ release, the Series X will be four times more powerful than the existing most powerful console, the Xbox One X. Load times will be seriously reduced, there’s talk of games with 120 FPS, 8K, and ray tracing (Google them).. in fact, there’s likely to be little between Microsoft and Sony’s new systems in terms of sheer power.
Of course you don’t need to be a gamer to look forward to the next generation of consoles. They double as media centres, allowing you to access video and music streaming services as well as playing traditional discs. It’s clear that Sony and Microsoft are going to make 2020 the year for new technology. If you’re a Nintendo fan, you’ll have to wait a little longer than this year as the Switch has a lot of life left in it – and Nintendo know that their console caters to a different target audience. Expect both consoles to be available for under £600.
Apps apps apps – for making money (and get a free share..)
Apps are all we hear about these days aren’t they? Whether you’re packing the latest Apple iPhone or one of the many Android operating smartphones, you’ll no doubt have a memory card full of apps that do, well, pretty much everything. Banking? Check. Gaming on the move? Check. Predict the weather? Book a flight? Home temperature control? Probably.
But do your apps work for you? Can you use your smartphone for making a bit of money? How about dabbling in the stock market? It is all possible today, such is the power of technology. Apps like EBay have been around forever, allowing you to sell your unwanted items. Shpock is slightly newer app – meaning ‘shop in your pocket’. Developed by an Austrian startup, Shpock is an online marketplace that runs from an app. It has become increasingly popular in England as a ‘car boot sale app’, is free to sign up to, doesn’t charge a fee when a product is sold and, in general, items are sold for lower prices than you’ll find on EBay or Gumtree.
My favourite app at the moment
My favourite app at the moment – something a friend introduced me to, is Trading 212. Trading 212 is an app that allows you to invest in and trade on the stock market with little to no fees involved. Traditionally, buying shares hasn’t been a straightforward process. I’ve always been put off due to the perceived complexity involved, but Trading 212 puts the ability to buy shares of a business in your pocket, literally, on your smartphone. It will also allow you to practice before you invest real money. And it is genuine, here is the Trustpilot page.
My favourite stock at the moment is Metro Bank. Trading in the region of £2.25 at present, its price plummeted but is sure to climb soon – one to watch. Trading 212 is currently the UK’s number one trading app by download. Of course, it is possible to lose money (my shares in Just Eat and Ocado are down at present) but the old adage is true – only invest what you are prepared to lose – because it is very possible to lose money here if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Use my referral link to sign up to the investment platform (avoid CFD unless you really know what you’re doing) of Trading 212 to receive a free share up to the value of £100 on funding your account. You’ll be able to join me in holding shares in such diverse companies as Alibaba, Just Eat, Aston Martin, Metro Bank Sony and more.
Is 2020 the year for new technology? It certainly is for me. I’ll be covering more on tech in coming months, including quantum computing (and its implications for the average Joe) and outdoor tech.