Ericsson has issued a new report on the anticipated major consumer tech trends for next year, and the Internet of Things factors into them significantly.
Entitled 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2017, the report is primarily based on data from online surveys of 7,138 “advanced internet users” in major metropolitan areas around the world. These are users “who have an urban early adopter profile with high average use of new digital technologies such as fitness trackers, smart watches and virtual reality headsets,” according to Ericsson’s report; and while they are thought to represent only 27 million of the 200 million people living in the cities surveyed, “their early adopter profile makes them important to understand when exploring future trends.”
One of the ten major trends these early adopters are heralding is a growing embrace of the IoT. It remains a “rather abstract” concept, but users are starting to see how it can improve their lives. Half of the smartphone owners surveyed said they expect to be able to talk to household appliances with IoT technology, while three quarters agreed that “multiple wearables and sensors will help them interact with other devices and physical things around them.” That’s already taking shape with smart home hubs like Amazon’s Alexa, and given that Apple is rumored to have its own such system in the works, it appears likely that users will become most familiar with the emerging IoT in the smart home first.
Ericsson’s report also notes optimistically that having various tasks automated by the IoT could help free us from some of the time we spend in front of screens – a result that is likely to appeal to a great many people.