What’s coming our way in 2021…? part 4

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Intro

Continuing our foray into the wonderful world of technology, here’s yet another round of what we see coming in the short term for general technology. Keep in mind, this is our opinion. Ready to get into it? Here we go!

Graphite Batteries

These things have been rumored to come about for years. It was actually first discovered as a “lithium graphite” mixed battery in 2014, but it has been difficult to manufacture in large quantities and for years the industry has been working on cracking how to mass-produce graphite for this level of use. Now, we’re seeing the very first “batteries” that do some incredible non-battery-like things:

What does this mean? It means we’re all gonna be supercharged quickly. We’re talking cars that charge themselves in 5 minutes, cell phones that produce almost no heat and last for days on standby, laptops that could go for 48+ hours on a single charge and charge up within an hour. All of this sounds way too good to be true, but perhaps we’ll see a pairing between Apple’s M series processor and this new battery within the next few years. For now, we’ll have to settle for expensive “luxury” items containing graphite.

WiFi 6

The new WiFi 6 protocol allows a much larger spectrum of frequencies. Is it necessary to upgrade right now? Not unless you’ve got some issues with your current network. Let me explain: we’re just now starting to see widespread adoption for WiFi 6. In fact, it’s not even available in Apple’s latest-generation iPhone yet. It will likely be released this year with the iPhone 13. Now… there are significant advantages if you have WiFi 6 compatible devices – there are SO MANY more frequencies available to WiFi 6 – your standard 2.4GHz and 5GHz router have a frequency range of 400MHz – of that, we can really only use a third of the channels due to frequency overlap. That’s why you may have heard that 2.4GHz only has 3 channels, 1, 6, and 12. Any other channel in-between will experience interference.

WiFi 6 has a range of 1200 MHz. That’s three times the amount of available channels compared to what we have now across BOTH 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

Now, with the new channel range that is available, manufacturers can do some nifty tricks and increase the amount of use your computer can get through WiFi. Let’s connect two laptops through WiFi 6 as an example. If you’re transferring files from one laptop to the other (with no hardware limitation such as SSD speed) you can theoretically transfer the data at 9.6Gb/s (compared to 3.5Gb/s in the current WiFi 5GHz spectrum). That’s big, for WiFi. Then there’s reduced congestion from your neighbors above you who always stomp at weird times of the night. All of this brings us to yes, it’s obviously better, and if you can get your hands on everything that runs on WiFi 6 you’ll be amazed, however, if you’re operating now, my suggestion is to wait. We’ll see prices drop in the next 6 months on WiFi 6 as many more electronic devices will be released on this spectrum.

5GHz vs 5G

Listen, 5G cell phone service is NOT what you have at home with your WiFi router. Sorry, it just isn’t. We can kinda relate the two, and I can see the link, but they’re two different technologies.

Should you take on a phone that offers 5G internet? Sure, if you have the extra cash, you’ll be able to get some faster speeds on your cell phone, sometimes. Other times, you may not be able to get on the internet at all or you can’t get onto 5G when you’re staring at the 5G antenna. It’s a bit of a crapshoot right now, but some people report awesome experiences with very little challenges where others report calls dropping when you walk 3 blocks down the street.

Oh, it won’t hurt you either. I’m sure you know that by now, and I’m all for conspiracy theories (and I may even share a few here!) but this is one that’s just harmful to the perspective of mobile devices. Taking everything into account, the biggest harm we COULD encounter with 5G is a bit of an adaptation on weather satellites (they broadcast on nearby frequencies). I don’t believe it’s going to cause a significant disturbance in that regard, but some others definitely disagree with that conclusion.

Stay tuned for part 5 tomorrow, we’ll be bringing this series to a close and open up to new topics!

Ben BeachWhat’s coming our way in 2021…? part 4

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