The 5 to Watch from the Consumer Electronics Association
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) recently published its latest edition of the annual 5 Technology Trends to Watch. These are technology trends that are predicted to influence the consumer electronics industry in the future. Those key technology trends are: Internet of Things (IoT), driverless cars, digital health care, robotics, and the future of video distribution and consumption.
The Internet of Things discussion explores how a hundred billion nodes are connecting more than people. The interconnection of the physical and digital worlds is an extension link a hyperlink to physical objects via embedding digital elements in physical objects. As the IoT phenomenon penetrates further and further, connecting an ever greater number of things to the internet, devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming the interface. The next challenge will be managing the gargantuan amount of data involved. “The ultimate goal of these systems is to build intelligent, sentient and sapient agents – systems that are self-aware; systems that perceive their environments and take actions to maximize their chances of success.” – Shawn G. DuBravac, Chief Economist and Director of Research at the Consumer Electronics Association
“Here in my car, I feel safest of all, I can lock all my doors, It’s the only way to live, In cars” – Gary Numan
Driverless Cars are already amongst us, made up two main types of driverless vehicle intelligence systems: sensor-based and camera-based. There may already be enough acceptance of driverless vehicles to get more than test cars on the road. When surveyed about their willingness to ride in a driverless vehicle, 75% of respondents replied affirmatively if there was the ability to take control of the vehicle if needed. “We stand on the precipice of a great advance in quality of life, enabled by the automation of driving – an activity that nearly all of us do every day. The degree to which technology improves our lives is heavily dependent upon how we as a society agree to craft rules, accept new responsibilities and respond to a shifting of the demand for scarce resources like parking, pavement and power. It will cause great upheaval in the lives of some while it produces new opportunities and conveniences in the lives of even more.” Jack Cutts, Senior Manager, Business Intelligence at Consumer Electronics Association
Digital Health Care – There’s an App for that!
Wearable devices and self-tracking apps is the new wave of health care. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed reported tracking their health with a smartphone and tablet. And thirty-six percent of seniors surveyed report being very comfortable with technology. The impediments to wide spread use at this point are perhaps primarily concerns with information privacy, the cost of devices and apps, and any mistaken interpretations of date or device malfunctions. But as the savings of remote monitoring are further explored and felt, and concerns are addressed, the market will further embrace digital health care. “The next generation of health care technology promises even more wireless connectivity, enabling patients to share their complete medical histories and detailed biometric data with their health care providers, and allowing caretakers to stay in touch with patients and on top of their health needs around the clock” – Rachel Horn, Publications Manager at Consumer Electronics Association.
My 4th grader is building a robot at school.
While having a robot to help with household chores is a big unmet “need”, consumers are interested in robotics for all kinds of time-savings and task-avoidance. Bring on the Rumba to vacuum in your house while you are out working. My 4th grader’s robot is programmed to serve pizza and ice cream. The CEA reports that according to ABI Research, the market for consumer robots was $1.6 billion in 2012, and they predict that it will grow to $6.5 billion by 2017. Besides convenience, companies are betting consumers will want robots are for home safety/monitoring, elder care, even tick killing! Medical robotics can help amputees and Parkinson’s patients. “In the not too distant future, robots in the home will be common. You will have more free time as they do daily chores and may even have a pleasant conversation with one.” – Richard Kowalski, Research Librarian at Consumer Electronics Association
Video distribution and consumption has changed a lot since Sony release the Betamax videocassette recorder in 1975. Consumption of video via cable, satellite or fiber subscription remains strong, in parallel with free or ad-supported video streaming and aid video streaming services. Sixty-two percent of online U.S. adults own a smartphone and forty percent own a tablet. Internet connectivity is one of the most appreciated features of today’s gaming consoles. With today’s streaming and DIY video production galore is matched only by our appetite for more video! “Viewers don’t need to be mired in content source and delivery methods, and it will be bliss when someone takes the reins and unites the wide array of available content in a meaningful way.” – Mark Chisholm, Publications Specialist
To learn more about the future of consumer technology, read the Five Technology Trends to Watch from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The complete publication can be found online at CE.org/FiveTechs.