10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2019

Ericsson 10 Hot TrendsA smart speaker that argues like family…virtual assistant devices that understand your mood at any moment you wish to speak with and use them – budding futurists are predicting these 2019 consumer technology trends and more as part of a new report from Ericsson’s ConsumerLab consumer research division. The new report, logically titled the 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2019 is based on the insights and predictions of 5, 097 global advanced internet users in metro markets that demographically represent nearly 34 million early technology adopters.

See more on what budding futurists predict as Hot Consumer Trends for 2019…

Forecasting the future is a risky business and is almost always wrong. However, the forecast can be specifically wrong, but generally right…and often we learn more about the thinking behind the forecast than we do about its actual inevitability.

This wide ranging consumer survey by Ericsson is one that they do annually and whether these predictions come true or not, we nonetheless see how technically oriented consumers feel about where technology may be heading – or perhaps, where they would like to see it headed. A wide range of technologies and technology-related topics were contemplated, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), 5G, and automation.

Emerging from this research, we see those who are technically astute predict that autonomous and mood-predictive technologies may soon play a bigger role in all of our lives.

“Imagine a smartphone that not only knows what you do but also knows who you are,” said the report’s main author, Michael Björn, Head of Research Agenda at Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab. “Today, artificial intelligence can understand your personality just by looking into your eyes. It’s clear that technology adopters see a future where our devices know us better than we know them.”

Ericsson’s 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2019

  1. Forget Wearables, Think Awareables
    According to the research, more than 60% of virtual assistant users think devices that understand our moods will be mainstream in three years. And 42% think that their smartphones will soon understand them better than their friends do. When our smart devices understand our moods, they will begin to act based on the current mood-aware “situation” rather than just always responding the same way to a set command.Consider the scenario where you “tell” your smart device a secret and want it to be discreet – 56% of respondents said they want their smart device to “lower it’s voice” in those situations. Talk about a brave new world!

    Graph showing trust ratings

    Think about this…which do you trust more, AI or humans. The answer, it seems, depends on which topic is in question. Survey respondents said they trust AI more to keep secrets than they do humans. But when it comes to lawyers and doctors, humans are thought to be more trustworthy…

  2. Smart Arguments

    Over 65% of virtual assistant users believe that one day, smart speakers will argue like a family member. This will also happen sometime within the next three years, they predict. Related to Trend #1, if our smartphone’s virtual assistant understands us and our moods, then it logically follows that when they interact with other people’s virtual assistants, disagreements are likely to break out. In some ways, this becomes a bit of a proxy war – What should we get for dinner? Pizza, your assistant cries out…Burgers, your spouse’s assistant declares.Fully 66% of survey respondents view this as a likely scenario within the next three years. And taking this one step further, 41% say it will be important for couples to have compatible virtual assistants!

  3. Spying Apps
    Many surveys have identified that consumers are concerned about their smartphones spying on them. Clearly, the large tech companies have been less than trustworthy on this front. In Ericsson’s survey, almost half (47%) of all respondents say they believe their apps collect data about them even when the app is not in use. And more than half (52%) believe that apps collect more data than necessary to provide profit opportunities for the app publisher.
  4. Enforced Agreement

    Being forced to always having to accept data collection cookies when you visit a website annoys more than half (51%) of all consumers, the survey shows. Although the European Union envisioned empowerment when it launched GDPR (the general data protection rule), so many companies are forcing users to click “cookie agreements” in which you are essentially signing away the rights to your personal data, it is in fact causing a new wave of distrust by consumers.

  5. Internet of Skills
    More than half of the survey respondents want to use Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality apps, glasses, and gloves in order to have virtual guidance in real time tasks – such as cooking or carrying out repairs. A large 82% of respondents believe that this kind of guided reality will happen some time within the next three years.

    Graph showing VR/AR skills

    This graph shows a listing of the skills that tech savvy users want from the VR and AR technologies…

  6. Zero-Touch Consumption 
    About half of the survey respondents envision a future where ongoing consumption is on auto-pilot, requiring no additional personal interaction. So, in other words, bills that are automatically paid, subscriptions that are automatically renewed, and even household supplies that when exhausted are automatically restocked. The idea is to have technology eliminate the tedium of daily life.
  7. Mental Obesity
    After the holidays, where many of us have likely over-indulged in food, drink, and sweets, you might choose to go to a gym as part of your New Years resolutions and get your body back in shape. Survey respondents envision a “mind gym” where you can get your flabby mind back in shape. Almost a third of respondents (31%) suggested that we will use these mind gyms to practice thinking and work to make everyday decision-making more automated.

    Graphic of the brain

    Will we go to “mind gyms” to exercise our brain? These futurists think so…

  8. Eco Me
    Yes, this tech savvy bunch is concerned about the planet. Almost 4 out of 10 (39%) respondents said they would like a special watch, call it an eco-watch, that measures our personal carbon footprint on a daily basis.
  9. My Digital Twin
    Beyond effective virtual assistants, nearly half of respondents (48%) say that they want an online avatar that mimics them exactly, both in terms of looks…AND in actions. In other words, we all want to be in two places at the same time. How’s that for productivity?? Although…46% did express concern that they may be held responsible if their avatar commits an illegal act!
  10. 5G Automates Society
    And finally, in a note that reinforces something that many in our industry have been talking about for years, around 20% of survey respondents who are smartphone users say that 5G will better interconnect IoT devices like appliances and utility meters. This will serve to automate much of our society, which is more labor intensive as of now.

Want to see more detail on any or all of these insights? Simply follow this link to see more on this survey…

What’s YOUR prediction for 2019? Leave your thoughts in the Comment box below…

About Ted

A sales and marketing specialist - primarily in the technology industry - I've experienced a sort of "circle of life" in business. I've been a mass merchant retailer, a specialty retailer, a specialty manufacturer, a large volume manufacturer, a distributor, and even represented sales representatives. Now the owner of a marketing company that works with a variety of businesses on improving their strategic marketing and business development - I analyze issues from all angles to develop holistic solutions.

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