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In 2017 innovation has focused on providing new connected experiences and seamless integration into user’s lives across devices and context. Disruptive hardware products, beyond the most expensive iPhone ever, are sparsely found. Instead, new digital services, from block-chain technologies powering cryptocurrencies, to artificial intelligence and robotics, dominated the technological discourse.
The incorporation of automation processes - which we highlighted in our Location Trends 2017 report titled “L.I. for the autonomous world” - has extended to cities and consumer’s lives, and calls for solutions that think beyond efficiency and optimization to understand human aspirations.
We’re never somewhere and always everywhere—we’re hyper-mobile. Digitalization has created a world in which physical borders play less and less of a role, inspiring products, services, and institutions to follow suit by offering mobile features.
While in last year’s trend of “The Hypermobile Society”, these features included many products and services that enable people to work and live anywhere they please, a year later, the trend “Expanding the hyper-mobile society” sees a hyper-mobile future which fosters meaningful connections by creating a more diverse, equal and interconnected society. Accessibility and new personal mobility has come to the fore.
Our 2017 trend spotlight “Digital and physical merge”, stated that artificial intelligence will become increasingly humanized and humans become increasingly digitalized, and that it will be up to us to find the right balance between the two.
Whereas in 2018s “Always aware ecosystem”, embedded “invisibly” Artificial intelligence creates a digital ecosystem which is not only highly personalized, but also feels as natural and indispensable as any physical equivalent. In “Robots and Humans” the embodiment of intelligence found in robots moves beyond imitating human look and expressions, analyzing interpersonal relationships and human rituals in order to understand how to make people feel comfortable. For both instances, it holds true that to become more deeply integrated into our lives, AI needs to be increasingly location aware, human and empathetic.
The future of the technology lies in how successfully it can address real human issues.
One of last year’s trend “Re-distribution of resources” was about smart grids and the de-centralization of supply of natural resources. With the 2018 trend “Shared responsibility”, we span the arch from the distribution of physical goods, to the re-distribution of responsibility and power, which is eminent in the changing relationship between companies and consumers and governments.
Last year’s feature “Aspirations in algorithms” has never been more relevant. In fact, any advancement and development of new technology in an automated world can’t be separated from the needs of people and the impact on human life, on all societal and ethical levels.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing detailed break-downs of each of the trends identified above, as well as our methodology of research and reporting. If you want to download the full report, get in touch with us.