"We are fast approaching a new era of consumer technology," according to Steve Koening, vp/market research at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

Speaking in Las Vegas, where the CTA-run CES event is currently under way, he explained to delegates that the world is on the cusp of a seismic change.

“Here, in 2019, I think we’re really coming to the end of the connected age of consumer technology,” he said. “We’re bridging, and we’re fast approaching, the data age of consumer technology.”

The devices that served as bellwethers for the digital revolution are being superseded by new gadgets that can interact with each other, and even make decisions, without the need for human intervention. (For more, read WARC’s report: CES 2019 heralds a shift from the “connected age” to the “data age”.)

“We can already feel this transition happening as more and more consumer choices – [and] more and more business decisions – are backed up, supported, and informed by data,” said Koenig. “We’re transitioning into the data age.”

Such a process is facilitated, in large part, by the fact certain “ingredient” technologies – like high-speed 5G cellular mobile connections, artificial intelligence (AI), voice computing, robotics and blockchain solutions – are achieving greater levels of sophistication.

A prime beneficiary of 5G connectivity will be the “smart home”, according to Ben Arnold, the CTA’s senior director/innovation and trends.

But it won’t all be plain sailing: he expects that a core goal for the smart home – with prospective implications for collecting data – will be ensuring various devices work in concert.

“Consumers don’t typically buy all along brand [lines] or all along the same platforms,” he pointed out.“How can we account for different products and different brands and different platforms? How can we get them to connect with each other? The idea of a smart home is about a symphony of devices working together, not so much one single device working on its own.”

Equally significant will be the rising intelligence of these devices – with further consequences for data gathering and analysis.

“Already, we’ve seen security cameras come out with features that are able to understand who is knocking at the door or who is in the background, even going far enough to be able to distinguish your aunt from the UPS driver when they’re standing at the door,” said Arnold.

Sourced from WARC