Ten hot consumer trends for this year and beyond

business January 08, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

Exploring the future from the perspective of an early adopting user perspective, Ericsson ConsumerLab has released the latest edition of its annual trend report “The 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.

The report points to a paradigm shift as consumers expect digital technology to increasingly operate on human terms. Body language, facial expression and into nation will augment voice and touch to control consumer interaction with tech devices, easing adoption in an everincreasing pace of technological change. This report presents insights based on Ericsson’s longstanding consumer trends programme, now in its seventh year. The quantitative results referred to in the report are based on an online survey of 5,141 advanced Internet users in Johannesburg, London, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo that was carried out in October 2017.

Respondents were advanced Internet users aged 1569, who have an “urban early adopter” profile with high average use of new digital technologies.

These are the 10 trends for 2018 and beyond:

1. Your Body is the User Interface: More than half of current users of intelligent voice assistants believe that we will use body language, expression, intonation and touch to interact with tech devices as if they were fellow humans. Some two in three think this will happen within a mere three years.

2. Augmented Hearing: Some 63 per cent of consumers would like earphones that translate languages in real time. And 52 per cent want to block out a family member’s snoring. 

3. Eternal Newbies: Also, 30 per cent say new technology makes it hard to keep their skills up to date. But it also makes us instant experts. And 46 per cent say the Internet allows them to learn and forget skills faster than ever. 

4. Social Broadcasting: Social media is being overrun by traditional broadcasters. But half of consumers say AI would be useful to check facts posted on social networks. 

5. Intelligent Ads: Advertisements may become too smart for their own good. More than half of augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) users think ads will become so realistic they will eventually replace the products themselves. 

6. Uncanny Communication: Half think not being able to tell the difference between human and machine would spook them out. And 40 per cent would also be spooked by a smartphone that reacts to their mood. 

7. Leisure Society: Just under one in three students and working people do not think they need a job to develop a meaningful life. And 40 per cent say they would like a robot that works and earns income for them, freeing up leisure time. 

8. Your Photo is a Room: Imagine being able to walk into a photo and relive a memory. Well, three out of four believe that in only five years they will use virtual reality to walk around in smartphone photos. 

9. Streets in the Air: City streets may be choked with traffic but the skies remain free. Some 39 per cent think their city needs a road network for drones and flying vehicles. But almost as many worry that a drone would drop on their head. 

10. The Charged Future: The connected world will require mobile power. More than 80 per cent believe that in only five years we will have longlasting batteries that will put an end to charging concerns.