The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has published its predictions for the key trends at CES 2018, enabled by global communications and IT services company CenturyLink. The hot topics identified by the DPP broadly fall under three environments: home, car and the public realm.
“The approach to technology over the last few years has been a very siloed one, focusing on the smart home, internet of things, smartphones, AI, immersive tech, and so on,” says DPP Managing Director Mark Harrison. “These individual categories will become obsolete in the drive to create integrated data-rich environments that cut across different devices, lifestyle themes and contexts. We will see attempts to apply machine learning, automation, and responsive interactions to all of these areas as the whole world will become one big user interface.”
The DPP’s top six predictions to look out for at CES 2018 are:
Home hubbub: After the launch of Amazon Alexa at CES 2017 – we will see a copycat frenzy. There will be numerous new voice products from a wide range of companies, until the industry regroups again around the major players in a couple of years’ time. We will also see a leap to voice assistants with video screens, with Amazon again leading the way with Amazon Echo Show.
The car as a second home: The car as a captive environment for consumer technology is undeniably compelling and it will become an important part of making personal data highly mobile. Development of the self-driving car will continue apace, with new applications of visual processing and machine learning applied to the interior of the car.
Death of the brand? The brand is becoming less important in the technology choices made by consumers as the focus shifts to operating systems. The competition between the giants (Amazon, Google and maybe Apple) will be compelling. The Eureka start-up zone is where we will see the real innovation and the Chinese and Korean manufacturers will feel very present. This will leave a vast swathe of vendors in the middle ground looking rudderless.
Protecting the paranoid: 2017 saw security and ‘safety tech’ on the rise. Security features will be emphasised in a huge range of products. Security may not feel especially hot as a topic, but we expect it to be pervasive.
Immersive in the palm of your hand: We anticipate another downbeat year for VR. AR and mixed reality will continue their resurgence, and we expect a raft of user-friendly, app-based applications of AR – particularly using the smartphone for viewing virtual products in real environments.
Bad Robots: Robots have been prevalent at CES for a few years, but largely frivolous. This year we expect the obsession with AI to prompt a sudden growth in the number of robot ‘assistants’ with applications around public realm environments.
Lucy Dougherty, Account Director, Century Link commented, “CES has long been a showcase for leading-edge technology, although admittedly not everything makes it from the show floor to us the end-user. CES 2018 is set to see a real shift in the approach to connected consumer technology as the barriers between devices begins to break down.”