Consumers will increasingly expect digital technology to increasingly operate on human terms in 2018 – which means they will expect technology interactions to be controlled by intonation, facial expression and body language.
That’s according to Ericsson ConsumerLab’s seventh edition of its annual consumer trends report, which names what it expects will be the top ten “hot consumer trends” for 2018.
Which are as follows:
- 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 2 in 3 think this will happen within a mere three years.
- Augmented hearing: 63% of consumers would like earphones that translate languages in real time. 52% want to block out a family member’s snoring.
- Eternal newbies: 30% say new technology makes it hard to keep their skills up to date. But it also makes us instant experts. 46% say the internet allows them to learn and forget skills faster than ever.
- 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.
- Intelligent ads: Advertisements may become too smart for their own good. More than half of AR/VR users think ads will become so realistic they will eventually replace the products themselves.
- Uncanny communication: 50% think not being able to tell the difference between human and machine would spook them out. 40% would also be spooked by a smartphone that reacts to their mood.
- Leisure society: 32% of students and working people do not think they need a job to develop a meaningful life. 40% say they would like a robot that works and earns income for them, freeing up leisure time.
- Your photo is a room: Imagine being able to walk into a photo and relive a memory. 3 out of 4 believe that in only five years they will use virtual reality to walk around in smartphone photos.
- Streets in the air: City streets may be choked with traffic but the skies remain free. 39% 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.
- The charged future: The connected world will require mobile power. More than 80% believe that in only five years we will have long-lasting batteries that will put an end to charging concerns.
And now, the infographic version! [Click to make it legible.]
“We are entering a future where devices neither have buttons and switches nor need to be controlled digitally via your smartphone,” said Michael Björn, Head of Research at Ericsson ConsumerLab. “In fact, this may be a necessary change, as it would be difficult for people to learn a new user interface for every device that gets connected to the Internet of Things.”
Today, says Björn, you have to know all the intricacies of the devices you use. But in the future, the devices will know you instead. “For this to become a reality, devices must be able to relay complex human interaction data to cloud-based processing, and respond intuitively within milliseconds, increasing requirements on next generation connectivity.”