Tech­nol­ogy re­view and out­look for 2019

Sunday Trust - - NIGE­RI­AIN2019 - Pro­fes­sor Ladeinde is with the State Univer­sity of New York, Stony Brook, New York fo­[email protected]

han­dle the per­sonal data of Euro­peans, came into ef­fect. In Au­gust, In­dia started push­ing back strongly against tech “col­o­niza­tion” by the In­ter­net giants. In­dia’s reg­u­la­tions would end the “free rein that Amer­i­can tech giants have long en­joyed in In­dia.” The In­dian gov­ern­ment’s pro­posal in­cludes GDPR-style lim­its and also bor­rows from China’s in terms of the right to ob­tain pri­vate in­for­ma­tion. In an­other as­pect of reg­u­la­tion, Aus­tralia and New Zealand banned the Chi­nese com­pa­nies ZTE and Huawei from com­pet­ing for 5G ser­vice in those coun­tries, while ZTE al­most col­lapsed in June af­ter the com­pany was forced to cease ma­jor op­er­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties world­wide fol­low­ing the US gov­ern­ment’s ban­ning of the com­pany from us­ing tele­com com­po­nents made in the US. On 1 De­cem­ber 2018 the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was ar­rested in Van­cou­ver, Canada, on sus­pi­cion of vi­o­lat­ing US sanc­tions against Iran. Wanzhou was put in jail for a few days be­fore be­ing re­leased on bail. She faces ex­tra­di­tion to the US.

Var­i­ous smart­phone de­vices were launched by Ap­ple (iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR) and Sam­sung (Galaxy S9/S9 Plus and Note 9) in 2018 and Huawei un­veiled Mate 20 Pro. Fold­able phones were un­veiled in 2018.

The Nige­rian-based Paystack Pay­ment Gate­way Com­pany re­ceived in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion dur­ing the third quar­ter of 2018.

In terms of the out­look for Nige­ria in 2019, it is my hope that the cur­rent dis­ci­plined en­vi­ron­ment in the coun­try would sig­nif­i­cantly en­hance the chan­nel­ing of the bright minds in the youths to de­vel­op­ing ad­vanced lo­cally-ap­pli­ca­ble tech­nolo­gies, in the foot­steps of Shola Akin­lade and Ezra Olubi of Paystack. The fi­nan­cial ser­vices apps in Nige­ria, in­clud­ing the on­line bank­ing and pay­ment pro­cess­ing plat­forms, com­pare fa­vor­ably with what is avail­able any­where in the world, and they are the most pa­tron­ized lo­cal­ly­de­vel­oped apps. The lo­cal so­cial me­dia plat­forms are not as ca­pa­ble rel­a­tive to in­ter­na­tional plat­forms like Face­book.

In­ter­na­tional tech out­look for 2019 doesn’t prom­ise rad­i­cal in­no­va­tions, but rather evo­lu­tion­ary ones. The smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers will of course launch new de­vices but noth­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary is ex­pected. For Sam­sung, we are prob­a­bly look­ing at the ca­pa­bil­i­ties ru­mored for the “Be­yond X” an­niver­sary phone.

Year 2019 is go­ing to be quite de­ci­sive for the re­la­tion­ship be­tween China and the US, es­pe­cially as it con­cerns tech­nol­ogy. Un­for­tu­nately, Huawei may be on a tight rope and in the cross-hairs in 2019, as Amer­i­can and Western reg­u­la­tors push to hold this en­tity ac­count­able.

Be­yond hype, not much is ex­pected on self-driv­ing cars over what we have al­ready seen. The vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity tools will prob­a­bly not im­prove sig­nif­i­cantly in 2019 and face recog­ni­tion will see con­tin­ued sig­nif­i­cant de­ploy­ments in China and per­haps other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. How­ever, the core tech­nol­ogy will not im­prove in any sig­nif­i­cant way. The sus­pi­cion with Face­book will con­tinue in 2019.

Fi­nally, we are go­ing to see real 5G de­ploy­ments in 2019, as well as the phones that sup­port the net­work. The 5G ser­vice, even though the­o­ret­i­cally up to 100 times faster than 4G or Long Term Evo­lu­tion (LTE), will prob­a­bly be quite spotty and un­sta­ble, and may not mat­ter much in 2019 for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

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