Technological changes are poised to revolutionize our everyday lives – from how we live, work and communicate to how we define who we are. The Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) chief economist Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D. spoke today about the five key trends and technologies emerging at this year’s CES.
Trend one – The New Voice of Computing
The CTA is predicting that voice will replace the graphical interface in many computing applications, particularly in smart home applications. This is driven by the increasing success of voice recognition software that is now on par with a human’s ability to process voice. Products in this area are becoming more fluid and conversational and personal assistant products, like Alexa, are starting to become more commonplace. Five million of these types of products have been sold so far and the CTA is predicting a similar number in 2017, doubling the installed base.
Smart homes and environments are driving the use of faceless computing that provides computing without the traditional use of keyboards and displays and this trend seems set to continue.
Trend two – Artificial Intelligence (AI) Infusion in Our Lives and Businesses
Once again smart home applications are a driver as we allow AI to take control of more parameters in our lives. This growing trust is due in part to the growing sophistication of the products on offer. At CES this year, there are products like fridges that adjust to the external temperature and humidity. The consumer’s trust in AI is growing as we become happier to allow more parts of our lives to be automated.
The use of algorithms that define content using AI is broadening into content development, like entertainment programming and much more. The CTA believes we are seeing an inflection point in the perceived value of AI.
Trend three – Connections and Computation
Everything connected and everything computing. Again, smart homes are a part of this with growth of 63% predicted to more than $3.5 billion. Also, the blurring and blending of data from multiple devices like wearables, which is another market slated for substantial growth.
Ultimately this connectivity and computation is creating changes in behavior in specific cases. As an example, last year’s Pokémon Go got people outside and moving more than before.
Trend four – Transportation Transformation
It’s no longer the automotive industry colliding with the electronics industry; now the vehicle is one seamless consumer tech product and some major announcements are expected this week with more of the major car makers taking part than ever before. Nissan is exhibiting for the first time and its CEO and Chairman, Carlos Ghosn, will be presenting one of this week’s keynotes. Already we have seen Fiat Chrysler Automotive unveil its Portal, a vehicle for millennials, and this evening Faraday Futures finally launched its first vehicle, the FF91.
In addition to the growth in the automotive sector, the drone market is also expected to grow 40% with new applications that combine areas of technology, such as smart homes and drones, fueling that. As an example, one launch this week at CES combines home security with a drone that is sent up to surveil the home from above when the alarm is activated.
Trend five – Digitizing the Consumer Experience
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are combining to create a mixed reality that has applications in shopping, gaming, on-site maintenance, medical procedures, and other areas that have not yet even been considered. The CTA is expecting many new developments and products in this area through the coming week and beyond.
Clearly many of these trends overlap as VR and AR combined with AI impacts areas such as transportation, smart home, and faceless computing through voice recognition. It’s all part of a large, complex digital ecosystem of intelligent, connected devices driven by innovation in technology.
These are all trends that will impact not only on CES this week, but our daily lives in 2017 and the coming years.