Imagine a future where you are never really alone. Even when the spouse is on a business trip or the children are away in the summer camp, you will always have someone (or something) to talk to. In the morning, ask the microwave to heat a bowl of oatmeal. In your car you can tell your stereo to put on some 90's music. And when you enter the office, you can ask your smartphone, "What happens in the calendar today?"
This is constantly the world that the technology industry is building with an inflated portfolio of devices that can respond to voice commands ̵
The future will be shown next week at CES, a consumer electronics fair in Las Vegas serves as a window into this year's hottest tech trends. Artificial intelligent virtual assistants will take the centerpiece as the most important technological issue, with large and small businesses expected to showcase voice controlled devices such as robust cabinets, alarm clocks, refrigerators and car accessories. Most of these products will be run by the Amazon Alexa or Google's assistant, the two most popular artificially intelligent assistants, says industrialists.
"AI will permeate the show," said Gary Shapiro, CEO of Consumer Technology Association, who owns CES.
If this whole sounds like a repetition last year, it's because a lot of it is. The hottest technological trend of 2018. In other words, the technology industry is in a state of iteration rather than jumping with a whole new one.
Other technological trends emerging include the debut this year of the fifth generation mobile network known as 5G, which will significantly increase mobile internet speeds. Cybersecurity home networking products are also spreading, an important protection now because consumers own as many devices that can connect to the Internet.
But as often is the case, there will also be a lot of talk in the coming week about overly optimistic technology that you will do best to sidestep for now, because some of the most hypedet technologies are special Even self-driving cars – are so far from reality that you will not see them in stores or retailers anytime soon.
Here's what to see and what to avoid.
Battle of the virtual assistants
In 2015, Amazon gave birth to Echo, the artificial intelligent speaker with the virtual assistant known as Alexa. A year later, Google reacted with Home, its smart speaker powered by Google's own digital companion, called Assistant.
Since then, in an effort to become your go-to digital companion, the two tech giants have joined forces with device manufacturers such as thermostats, door bells, light bulbs and car accessories to add their virtual assistants to them .
Google is expected to become even more aggressive this year with its assistant. The company will triple the size of its presence at CES this year, suggesting that it is likely to uncover a vast array of products that work with assistant.
"We really wonder about the assistant as the best way to get things done, help you with many things that you go about your day," says Nick Fox, a Google manager who oversees the assistant.
Amazon said that it should also showcase a wide range of technologies working with Alexa next week, as part of a vision called Alexa Everywhere, the company's goal is to extend the reach of the virtual assistant in every aspect of human life, including kitchens. living room, office and car.
For you and me, here's a warning: Virtual assistants are still in their infancy and have many shortcomings. We need to speak a very specific command to trigger a virtual assistant to control a device, For example, setting the temperature of a thermostat or turning on a lamp. Those who are not familiar with lingo can find the devices even more difficult to use than pressing a button in an app.
"We must still learn languages, and they have not learned spr Ket ours, "said technical analyst Frank Gillett. Forrester, a technology research firm.
Lost in hype about virtual assistants is whether people really want a ubiquitous companion involved in their everyday life. Smart speaker owners mostly called digital assistants to basic features such as listening to music, checking the weather and setting hours, according to Nielsen research last year.
Security for your smart stuff
Many people install antivirus software on their computers. But what about all the other devices that can be connected to the Internet, such as smart watches, phones, televisions and speakers?
In a time of smart stuff, the Wi-Fi router becomes a bigger target for hackers, so expect a flood of new equipment and software to provide protection by improving network security.
For a sense of what to expect Eero Plus, a subscription service that Eero, a Wi-Fi equipment manufacturer, released last year. Eero Plus contains virus and malware protection for all devices connected to the Wi-Fi network. Last year, NetGear released NetGear Armor, a similar security service.
Several should follow this year – starting next week at CES, where Scalys, a network company, plans to introduce the TrustBox, a router with built-in security features.  The arrival of 5G
This year, the wireless industry will start a major upgrade to the infrastructure. Phone carriers such as AT & T and Verizon Wireless say 5G technology will deliver data at incredibly fast speeds, allowing people to download entire movies in seconds.
In addition to increasing smartphone speeds, 5G will be important for other types of devices, such as robots, self-propelled cars, drones and security cameras. The technology is expected to greatly reduce waiting times, or the time it takes for devices to communicate with each other.
But don't be too busy. Carriers say the new network technology will be distributed this year in just a few cities in the United States, and in some parts of the UK, Germany, Switzerland, China, South Korea and Australia.
And not many smartphones will be compatible with 5G initially. Some Chinese handsets and Samsung Electronics have said they will release their first 5G smartphones this year. Apple is not expected to release a 5G-compatible iPhone until 2020.
"For the early adopters with deep pockets, that's great," Gillett said. "For the rest of us, great who."
Here is what still overhypes
Virtual reality and self-driving cars have been talked a lot about the last few years, and they will still be talked about this year. But the two technologies are still progressing or premature.
Over the past two years, technology companies such as Facebook's Oculus, HTC, Google and Samsung have been flooded with virtual reality headsets and lots of software and games. But people haven't exactly embraced the products.
"The industry has been plagued by high costs, motion sickness, lack of compelling content, and a general lack of consumer interest," said Victoria Petrock, research analyst. firm eMarketer, in a recent post.
Self-propelled cars are also still many years from becoming commonplace. While some companies are allowed to test autonomous cars in California, Arizona and elsewhere, several of the technology leaders, such as Alphabet's Waymo, have declined to commit release dates for self-driving cars.
"There is a lot of noise about car technology, but nothing clear or specific," says Gillett.