Even a world without smartphones seems unimaginable, half of people feels these devices will become a thing of the past within the next 5 years. "Artificial intelligence will make the smartphone a superfluous item", Ericsson says in regards to a worldwide trends study.
10 "hot consumer trends" for 2016
One of the most remarkable future trends in Ericsson Consumer Lab, a study with 1.1 billion people from 24 countries and another 46 million smartphone users in 10 metropolitan cities, is that people think the smartphone will disappear in 5 years' time. An overview:
- "Sharing" works: 4 out of 5 people already experience the advantages when they participate in the sharing economy. Worldwide, already 1 out of 3 people share rooms, cars or bikes.
- Streaming natives: teenagers watch more YouTube videos than any other age bracket. 46 % of the 16-19 year olds watch at least 1 hour of YouTube on a daily basis.
- The end of the smartphone screen: artificial intelligence will connect devices without the need for a smartphone screen. 50 % believes smartphones will become superfluous in 5 years' time.
- The virtual world will become a part of daily life: headphones that let us experience a sports match as if we were there, video calls that feel like we are all sitting around the same table. 45 % even sees a future in meal printing.
- Smart houses: 55 % of smartphone users feels houses will get sensors to report leaks, fungi and electrical issues within the next 5 years.
- Smart commuters: commuters want to efficiently spend their time while travelling and that is why services will have to adapt to the commuter's personal needs (update travel information based on the personal travel information, personalize payment options and so forth).
- Emergency chat: consumers prefer social media to an emergency phone number to reach emergency services. 6 out of 10 are interested to get apps that can give information during a time of crisis, like Facebook's "safety check" during the Paris terror attacks.
- Body sensors: internal sensors that can track and measure our physical condition, those are the gadgets of the future. 8 out of 10 is willing to use technology that amplifies their senses (sight, memory, hearing).
- Hacking and viruses are an increasing worry. One out of 5 smartphone users has more faith in a company that has been hacked and dealt with the issue.
- The power of the consumer: consumers share more information than ever before and believe that they can have an impact on society that way. More than 1 in 3 respondents believe it is more efficient to fight against a corrupt corporation online than it is to go to the police.
"Some of these trends may seem a bit far-fetched now, but consumers' interest in new technologies and smart networks keeps growing. Companies are therefore able to work on new products, which is an evolution that can change an entire industry and create new business models", Ericsson Benelux' CEO, Saskia Van Uffelen, said.