Robin Raskin, founder and president, Living in Digital Times shares her thoughts on the eight emerging lifestyle tech trends at CES 2017.
The Digitization of Everything
- It’s clear that the world is moving into the digital realm at a ferocious pace, with both money and credit cards moving towards being completely digital. At home, our photos, music, entertainment, the records we keep, and how we communicate with each other and learn are increasingly digital, too.
- From try-and-see beauty apps, to in-store devices like virtual mirrors changing consumer engagement and transforming how we shop, to how we workout, to adding information to maps, to exploring diseases, to kids toys and games, to modelling things like atoms in the world of education, AR lets us look at the real world and add valuable, entertaining and immersive information to it.
- One of the hottest trends at CES 2017, VR probably won’t become a mass lifestyle technology this year. A steep price tag, a dearth of content, and a bulky form factor make VR more suitable for industry, training and medical, and of course, serious gaming. But consumers are whetting their appetite for VR by using it in stores, at events and with low cost devices like Google Cardboard or Samsung VR that rely on the mobile phone to provide the virtual reality experience. Already VR channels for home entertainment are beginning to appear, a harbinger of what’s to come.
- Medicine can now be tailored to fit an individual’s DNA, helping to tailor cancer and other complex disease treatment. Fitness devices and sensors are becoming personalized enough to offer real time coaching and behavioral analytics for better results. We’re seeing tools to help us hear better and sleep better, as well as hot to conceive and monitor prenatal care. In our schools, hyper-personalized curriculums are reshaping how we learn. As tech continues to grow more capable of analyzing and predicting personal data it will drastically improve outcomes.
- The ability of machines to digest enormous volumes of information and learn to predict and infer outcomes from that information is becoming a reality. In medicine, it is helping diagnose and treat diseases, tackling everything from community outbreaks of disease to medication adherence. In education, it is helping identify everything from at risk students to a personalized learning path. It’s being used to predict everything from how likely you are to make a purchase, to how to run an optimally smart home. Even kids’ toys are using AI to power a personalized experience, and become a companion or tutor. With this generation of products, the more they know about you, the better they can predict your outcome.
- According to Gartner Group predictions, by 2020, one third of people will browse the web with something other than a screen. Made evident with devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home we can already see voice in action. You’re seeing wearables like smartwatches and even fashion respond to voice commands. From telemedicine to new toys and home appliances, our digital interactions are quickly becoming conversations.
Geomapping & Proximity
- As our wearables and mobile devices have the ability to pinpoint our exact location they have a context for the type of information we’re seeking. We’re seeing wearables that allow seniors and kids to be located immediately. We know how close we are to a good restaurant or a tank of gas. We’re never lost and can receive information about a sale in our favorite store simply by walking near its doors. And digital financial transactions make it easier to do things like detect fraud by proximity and patterns.
Internet of Things
- More and more everyday products have their own IP address and are connected to the Internet — hence, the Internet of Things. Baby things, cooking things, driving things, and health things just to name a few. We’re seeing door locks, web cams, and home appliances taking the lead in these categories and over time we’re going to see a dominant platform emerge in the home that will let these things talk to each and learn from each other as well. Of course, these things need to be safe and secure. Presently they’re opening up a new world of cybersecurity concerns that we’ll be discussing.
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