New wearables may be inside the body, claims Ericsson
According to Ericsson ConsumerLab's '10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2016' report from its global research programme, internal sensors within the body may become the new generation of wearables.
Eight out of 10 consumers surveyed said that they would like technology that enhances their cognitive abilities and sensory perception, such as hearing, memory and vision. More than half would also want to improve their communication capabilities. One in three consumers expressed interest in implants that could integrate internet information to their hearing or vision.
Consumers are currently improving their health and wellbeing, measuring and quantifying their progress with the help of wearable devices. However, the current generation could be considered aesthetically unattractive to some or impractical in some cases, preventing wearers from fully performing everyday activities.
Based on current consumer interest, the next-generation wearable may be used inside the human body. These 'internables' would initially have a focus similar to current external body-monitoring wearables. The report indicates that 50% of smartphone users believe that sensors will monitor their wellbeing and health in three years.
The report includes nine other major trends. Overall, networked technologies adoption has been moving faster, and the time period for early adopter influence is now shorter than ever.
Michael Björn, Head of Research, Ericsson ConsumerLab, said: "Some of these trends may seem futuristic. But consumer interest in new interaction paradigms such as AI and virtual reality (VR), as well as in embedding the internet in the walls of homes or even in our bodies, is quite strong. This means we could soon see new consumer product categories appearing - and whole industries transforming - to accommodate this development."
Other major trends seen in the report include the lifestyle network effect, in which the benefits of an online service increase as its user base rises. One in three consumers are already part of various forms of sharing economies. Another trend is the growing demand for daily YouTube video content among teenagers.
Artificial intelligence will enable object interactions without using a smartphone screen. One in two smartphone users thing that the device will become obsolete in five years. Consumers also want virtual technology for their everyday activities, with 44% wanting to event print their food.
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