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Each year, we visit events around the world to immerse ourselves in the future of technology. This year we saw AI take centre stage alongside (and even inside) new offerings for the tech that’ll be in our pockets, our homes, and our cars. Tech expos like SXSW, Mobile World Congress, IFA Berlin and CES attract people from all over the world, acting as a global showcase for the technology of tomorrow and beyond. Here's six of the main themes we noticed this year:
We have seen technology that will close the loop from 3D audio and visual consumption to consumer 3D content creation.
From surround sound advancements and wearable personal speakers, to cable-free 3D ear pods and mixed reality headsets, the future of entertainment is unquestionably immersive and democratized. But with offerings like the very first consumer 3D 360 camera 'Humaneye 360' by Vuze and the '3D Ambeo smart headset' by Sennheiser, it’s creative, too.
We’re all accustomed to our technology getting to know us, and there’s no stopping that just yet. From physical scanning and analyzing, to real time feedback, tailored environments, and next-step personalized coaching, our devices create profiles that start to incorporate biometric data to help us hear, sleep, stretch, navigate, live, and breathe even better.
From a headset that performs a hearing test to determine your very personal hearing frequency to a concept refrigerator that scans our body, determines our BMI, and suggests recipes based on that data… it’ll be interesting to see if consumers think that’s pushing the relationship a little too far.
Our lives are about to get smarter in a big way. It starts with our mobile phones in our pockets with 3D facial recognition from LG and Samsung’s Bixby, which can identify landmarks, translate foreign languages or shop for products online simply with an image and the tap of a button. With deep integration it will also invisibly help us in our homes to minimize the water use and optimize energy efficiency in general.
While the world finds what a smart home truly feels like, we meet the new age of smart appliances. There are those that let you run your home with your phone or your voice, the ones that save time and prevent food waste, and those that we relate to on a human level. So while some technology will help us cook the perfect turkey, others will recognize us, greet us, help us with video conferencing, and might even slip a high five in there.
Not only do we see interfaces disappearing, but consumer electronics as we know them are now turning into life space products and sound spaces to make your home more ‘you.’ ‘The Frame’ TV by Samsung blends easily with your wall art, and 'Beo Sound Shape' speaker system by Bang and Olufsen is art in itself.
Toys and kid-focused tech took center stage at the show as smart toys gain popularity. We saw connected devices that help you get pregnant, give birth, look after your baby, and raise your child, as well as storytelling offerings to welcome the next generation of digital natives.
Design Forward, within our CTO Office, works to identify early socio-political-economical-environmental ‘Indicators of Change’ across industries. This then acts as inspiration and creates awareness of the future(s), enabling continuous evaluation and shaping of our products and services.