The Ericsson Consumer Lab Observatory has just published the eighth edition of its report on the top 10 technology consumption trends for the year 2019. This list is based on information about the assessment of consumers’ opinions and expectations on tomorrow’s technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, 5G and automation.
“A lot of hope and fear are simultaneously occupying the minds of consumers as digital technologies spread in society. The prospects are promising and the opinions of users on an automated society are included in this report, “reads the document. Ericsson’s latest report reveals that autonomous and predictive mood technologies may soon play a larger role in users’ everyday lives.
The findings of the paper are based primarily on an online survey conducted in October 2018 among 5,097 advanced Internet users based in Johannesburg, London, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.
Aged 15 to 69, survey participants have a high average use of new digital technologies. In the sample concerned, 47% use virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa at least once a week and 31% use augmented or virtual reality (AR / VR) every week.
“Imagine a smartphone with a conscience, able to decipher not only what you do, but what you are,” said Michael Bjorn, Director of Research at the Ericsson Consumer Lab Observatory and lead author of the report.
“Today, artificial intelligence is able to capture your personality just by looking in your eyes. The first adopters we interviewed even imagine a future where our equipment will have a better knowledge of what we will have from them, “he added.
Should we consider these technologies a threat or an opportunity? Pernilla Jonsson, Director at the Consumer & Industry Lab, comments: “We have already entered an era where humans and intelligent machines interact in almost every aspect of everyday life. But we are still in the infancy “.
The first trend reveals that soon our terminals will know us better than we know them! More than 60% of virtual assistant users think that, within three years, there will be equipment capable of decrypting our moods.
“Today, AI can already understand your personality just by looking at you in the eye or hearing your voice. Half of those who today use virtual assistants, over the phone or through smart speakers, think their smartphones will soon understand their emotions. And 42% think that smartphones will soon understand better than their friends, “reads the report. The second trend concerns “smart” disputes.
A “virtual assistant” family member
The study notes that virtual assistants could talk to their users as if they were members of their families. “They are 66% to imagine, also in three years, the existence of intelligent speakers able to engage in disputes, as would the members of a family,” say the report’s writers.
The third trend is spyware. In fact, 47% of consumers surveyed think that applications collect information about themselves, even outside periods of use.
“Many popular apps use cameras, microphones, and location information to collect daily consumer behavior data even when apps are not in use,” the report says.
Although the EU initiative to protect data and user integrity takes into account the benefits of consumers, it has triggered a global epidemic of companies trying to get them to waive their rights to personal data “The report says. The fifth trend is the Internet of skills.
The report states that more than 50% of augmented / virtual reality user’s dream of apps, goggles or gloves that would virtually help them perform everyday tasks such as cooking and repairs.
“With instructions that fit numerically into all the tasks to be done and will soon be available on demand, we will probably see the creation of a whole network of skills,” say the report’s writers.
As for the remaining five trends, they concern: “non-interventional consumption” where nearly half of the virtual assistant users would like invoices or automatic subscriptions, as well as household items capable of self-replenishment.
In addition, “31% of consumers are planning to go to” mental gymnastics classes “to practice thinking and fight what the report calls” mental obesity “.
In the “Ecological Ego”, the report explains that “39% of consumers are asking for a watch that can measure their carbon footprint”, while 48% of augmented / virtual reality users want online avatars, kind digital twins, able to imitate them perfectly, so that they can be in two places at the same time.
Finally, nearly 20% of smartphone users believe that 5G will improve the connectivity of objects, and will be the engine of automation of the company.