What should we expect, now that all the celebrations are over, from 2018? The spread of digital technologies doesn’t seem like big news to us…but if we add some “unprecedented” means of interaction among people to smart systems and devices, we get some interesting predictions about the technological trends that will come with the new year and those yet to come. Analyzing the future from the perspective of early adopters of latest generation technologies, Ericsson’s ConsumerLab indeed outlines that consumers expect to be able to operate digital technologies through the same “commands” that are used in human interactions. Body language, facial expressions and intonation are added to voice and touch for controlling a user’s interaction with technological devices, creating further changes in a market already subject to rapid evolutions.
Technology and reality, an increasingly fine line
Here are the ten items foreseen by the Ericsson laboratory in the report “The 10 Hot Consumer Trends,” prepared from an online survey conducted last October of advanced internet users in the ten most important cities on a global level.
- Your body is the user interface: we will use body language, expressions, intonation and touch to interact with technological devices as if they were human beings.
- Augmented Hearing: 63% of those interviewed would like to have headphones capable of translating language in real time, while we are already discussing eliminating noises that disrupt sleep.
- Eternal Newbies: it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stay up-to-date with new technologies, we feel like we are eternal newbies but also experts at the same time; the internet allows us to learn and forget new abilities faster than ever.
- Social Broadcasting: social media have been invaded by the broadcasters of traditional programs. But half of consumers maintain that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would be useful for controlling the veracity of facts posted.
- Intelligent Ads: advertisements could even become too smart. More than half of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) users think that ads will become so real that they replace products themselves.
- Uncanny Communication: 50% of those interviewed say that would be very afraid of not being able to distinguish a human being from a machine.
- Leisure Society: 40% of those interviewed would like to have a robot that works and produces income in order to have more free time.
- Your Photo is a Room: imagine being able to enter a photograph and relive a memory. Within five years it could be possible to use virtual reality to walk in pictures taken with a smartphone.
- Streets in the Air: city streets will be congested with traffic, but there is still space in the air. 39% believe that a network of streets for drones and other flying vehicles is necessary.
- The Charged Future: the connected world will need portable energy. We will have batteries that will last so long that they put an end to the worry of recharging mobile devices.
“Today, we need to know all the tricks of the devices we use,” comments Michael Björn, Head of Research at Ericsson ConsumerLab. “But in the future, it will be the devices that know us. For this to become reality, devices must be able to link complex data about human interactions to cloud-based elaboration programs, as well as respond in an intuitive manner within a few milliseconds, increasing the requirements/demands of next-generation connectivity.”
With these futuristic challenges – but not too futuristic – the staff of Connessioni wishes companies, professionals and experts in the AV world a 2018 full of growth and satisfaction, with a reminder about the first, not-to-be-missed appointment with AudioForum at ISE 2018, 5 February at the RAI in Amsterdam.
This post is also available in: Italian