The consumer electronics market is increasingly witnessing new technological innovations. How are the trends shaping up?
Technology is evolving at a fast pace and given the kind of innovations that we are observing every day, it will not be incorrect to say that the future will be quite different from what it is now. Technology is bringing about paradigm shifts in the way we connect, communicate, exchange information and conduct our day-to- day lives. It is making innovations possible and driving demand. Notable trends in the consumer electronics segment include expansion into newer segments, increased affordability, a focus on energy efficiency, the growing luxury market, competitive strategies, increased investment and favourable administrative policies. Let us have a look at the dominant trends that will drive the consumer electronics market in the coming years.
Internet of Things
One of the biggest trends in the coming times will be IoT (internet of things) and digital centralisation. IoT has entered the next stage of business promising value instead of potential, convergence/integration and ever more IoT-enabled projects instead of pilot projects. Now, the focus is moving from what IoT can do to what it does, how exactly it fits into business goals and how it generates value. Devices of the future will not only be interconnected but will also interact with each other in an immersive manner. IoT has helped modern families simplify their daily lives. Digital centralisation has given households the ability to seamlessly monitor and control via a single app, the wide and ever-growing range of products and services that are compatible with the IoT platform. Imagine a home where your microwave and a smartphone application suggest the dish you can cook based on ingredients that are available at your home. IoT interactions will be natural, and our smart devices will be so seamlessly woven into the fabric of our daily lives that we will spend less time managing them and more time enjoying our day. Everything from devices to appliances will be connected and one can manage everything with one single device — maybe just through your innocuous smartphone.
Another trend worth noting is that each device will have multiple functionalities. Though this trend is very much visible now, it is likely to snowball even further in the near future. The gadgets of the future will be multifunctional and all-in- one. A refrigerator can be used to book a taxi. Similarly, a TV will be used as a photo frame. Product and technology innovations of the future will not only make life easier but will also be minimalist in form and essence. No one likes a house filled with multiple gadgets; everyone prefers a sleek and beautifully-designed gadget that can function in multiple ways and provide solutions, apart from what the product is actually meant for. The future will see just that and much more! Also, since issues related to climate change and talks around environmental sustainability are very pertinent today and rightfully so, the future will witness a wide plethora of energy efficient products making their way into our lives. With rising concerns over carbon emissions and wasteful energy consumption, energy efficiency has become a critical area of focus. As a result, manufacturers are beginning to develop green and efficient technologies, and are redesigning their product offerings to decrease running costs with a focus on environmental sustainability. Energy efficient products not only help individuals save money but are also environmentally sustainable.
In the television segment as well, innovation is the name of the game! Big screens will be big in the coming times. Televisions have evolved over the years to offer consumers an outstanding viewing experience, while acting as a centralised connected smart hub to enhance everyday life. Ultra-wide screens fully immerse the user in game play, delivering cinematic viewing for all types of content. Additionally, the bezel-less designs remove limitations to screen size and make it difficult to tell where the screen ends and the wall begins. Displays are getting, bigger, brighter, clearer and more lifelike. In fact, larger than life.
Rise of intelligent assistants
Not very long ago, CES 2018 showcased that the connecting thread linking the whole wide range of consumer electronics products and services is ‘connectivity’ itself. With the advent of IoT, VR and AI, intelligent assistants are playing a key role in streamlining consumer experience. An assistant that controls and commands all devices and appliances as per the consumer’s requirements is what all ‘smart homes’ aspire to offer. Most voice assistants today are limited to phones. But such assistants might be a part of more than just your phone; they could also be incorporated in televisions, refrigerators, etc. Such capabilities offer users a simple and personalised platform to help them fully utilise this expansive IoT device network. From foldable displays to batteries that run for years, technology is continuously evolving. Technology is always changing, adapting and progressing, and sometimes things that seemed impossible can quickly start becoming possible, just a few years later.
The author is SVP, consumer electronics, Samsung India