Predictions for 2021 look very different from those made for 2020, as much of the world grows accustomed to life under COVID-19, tech will help us live life firmly at home.

We will continue to access work, entertainment, health, and knowledge from home, according to the WSJ’s predictions. Key among them:

  • E-commerce comes of age. Between fear and forced closures, e-commerce penetration soared in 2020, but this year, systems (and expectations) have begun to form. While Amazon is leading the way here, expect more competition through comparison services. The giant’s play will likely be convenience, but its position is not guaranteed under growing regulatory pressure on big tech platforms. Read more on e-commerce effectiveness here.
  • Our tech needs reflect safety anxieties. Though there were plenty of gimmicks – the social-distancing sweater and the maskfone – consumer tech such as the Lexon wireless charger/phone sanitiser point to our continued anxieties.
  • Health, through digital doctors and at-home fitness, becomes more important. With gyms still closed in many places, companies like Peloton, that cater to users at home will likely see continued growth, as will telemedicine, which is normalising following the shock of 2020.
  • WFH reaches its limits. 2020 showed that remote work can deliver, even if some itches remain unscratched. One such rub is the feeling of getting together with the whole team – the WSJ expects a small industry to emerge offering these experiences safely. In the day-to-day, platforms will build on the improvements of 2020 to attempt to bridge the gap between digital teams and the physical spaces they used to inhabit.

Sourced from the Wall Street Journal, WARC.