Table of contents
Over the past three years, society has been reeling from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are now actively trying to navigate our next normal. Consumer technology trends represent the modern technologies that open up new opportunities, allowing us not to be afraid of major changes and to be prepared for any global market fluctuations. Artificial intelligence is reshaping business industries and boosting the talents of professionals such as teachers, doctors, and architects, allowing them to accomplish incredible new achievements.
What other technologies will define 2024? How to effectively implement them in your business? Let's create a picture of their possible future together.
Major Consumer Technology Trends for 2024
Consumer technology refers to any technology that is directly purchased by individuals to meet their needs, helping them solve problems and have better experiences in their day-to-day lives. This can include the latest smartphones, smartwatches, TV sets, and countless others. So here's an overview of the tech trends that are going to change the way people live their lives.
Extended Reality, Internet of Senses, and spatial computing
The stimulation of two of our senses – sight and hearing – is usually required to engage with digital content and services online.
Nowadays, customers expect outstanding digital and physical experiences. In the Internet of Senses, visual, audio, haptic, and other technologies allow human beings to have digital sensory experiences similar to the ones we experience in the physical world. The Internet of Senses augments our senses beyond the boundaries of our bodies, giving us augmented vision, hearing, touch, and smell. Therefore, technical experts strive to move forward to deliver customer experiences that are as similar as possible to what we experience in real life.
As the combination of Mixed, Augmented, and Virtual Reality – collectively known as Extended Reality (XR) – continues to build its potential, it is helping to improve processes across various business industries. Following Apple's entry into the XR and spatial computing industry with the release of the Apple Vision Pro in 2024, competitors will quickly follow suit, intensifying the market competition in this sector. This increased competition and expansion of the XR and spatial computing market will surely motivate more content producers to bring their games, solutions, and experiences to these platforms.
2024 is going to be marked as a significant year for AI-driven technology, with a surge in AI-powered gadgets changing how we use technology. The upcoming year will bring us a wide range of AI-integrated products, including PCs, cars, robots, health tools, and electric bikes, reflecting AI's expanding role in various sectors.
Tech giants, Intel and Qualcomm, are leading this trend, working on integrating AI into mainstream PCs. They're developing CPUs with dedicated "neural processing units" for enhanced AI performance. Meanwhile, Nvidia, a leader in AI hardware, continues to innovate with the recent introduction of the H200, a superior graphics processing unit for AI model training, boasting 141GB of 'HBM3' memory. And Microsoft's announcement that new Windows PCs will include a dedicated AI button for easier access to Windows 11's Copilot AI further demonstrates that AI is not just becoming a feature but a fundamental aspect of gadget design and functionality.
In recent years, the concept of ordinary individuals connecting to satellites has undergone a significant transformation, shifting from primarily serving emergency needs to becoming a more practical and widely accessible technology. The year 2024 promises to bring this transformation to the general audience as SpaceX, under the leadership of Elon Musk, takes a momentous step by launching six satellites designed to function as orbiting cell towers. This technological breakthrough holds the potential to eliminate cellular dead zones and fulfills Musk's initial vision, introduced in 2022, of enabling regular smartphones, including those from the cellular partner T-Mobile, to communicate globally through text messages. The roadmap also includes plans to extend this capability to voice calls and data connections, likely by 2025.
Concurrently, Amazon is pursuing its goal of establishing a global satellite-based broadband internet service to compete with Musk's Starlink. In late December, Amazon reached a significant milestone by achieving a stable, high-speed data connection between two test satellites. Over the next several months, the company is poised to expand its orbiting satellite fleet, with trials for potential customers anticipated to commence later this year.
Personal and domestic robots
Domestic robots are no longer a surprise: robotic vacuum cleaners and other single-purpose devices have long been used by people, making it easier to carry out day-to-day tasks.
Technology experts continue to advance innovation. LG's latest smart home AI agent unveiled at CES 2024, combines robotics and AI for home automation. It controls smart appliances, monitors pets, provides security alerts, and assesses environmental conditions. Greeting users and adjusting the home environment to their moods, this AI agent marks a step towards LG's 'Zero Labour Home' vision, enhancing the smart home experience.
Internet of Things and smart homes
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that is propelling society's continual digitalization and datafication in a variety of new and amazing ways. These networks of interconnected things enable self-driving automobiles, autonomous manufacturing robots, and remote medical gadgets that allow physicians to diagnose patients and even perform surgery. Statista predicts that by the end of 2024, the number of IoT devices worldwide will reach approximately 17.08 billion.
Along with this, we are witnessing a tendency for household devices to get smarter. According to predictions, the trend for all domestic things to become increasingly "smart" and capable of communicating and connecting with each other in more useful ways will continue throughout the next year. The smart home market is expected to generate a revenue of $154.4 billion worldwide this year.
5G and ultrafast networks
5G, already up to 100 times faster than 4G, is unlocking new opportunities for businesses and consumers alike. Now a standard feature across a range of price points in mobile phones and other devices, 5G is no longer confined to premium products. This widespread adoption facilitates higher-definition and higher-bandwidth video services. Its faster connectivity speeds, ultra-low latency, and increased bandwidth are advancing societies, transforming industries, and significantly enhancing day-to-day experiences.
The idea of a metaverse has been around for some time, but now, thanks to the backing of Facebook and Microsoft, there is a growing interest in building simulated worlds that closely model our reality. What is metaverse? It's a combination of multiple elements of technology, including extended reality and video, where users "live" within a digital universe.
Facebook and Microsoft are not alone in its interest in the metaverse. Other large companies, such as Epic Games, have also been talking more about it recently. According to Statista, the metaverse market volume is projected to be worth $936,6 billion by 2030, reflecting its potential for significant growth and industry-wide impact.
Tech Trends In Practice
Blockchain in retail
At the start of the pandemic, retailers faced challenges such as keeping products on shelves, moving supply chains, keeping stores open, and keeping employees safe. Now is a decisive moment for the retail industry to use blockchain in addressing all the challenges of the new normal.
Thus, Auchan, one of France's most prominent retailers, implemented blockchain food traceability. How does it work? The conditions and circumstances of transportation are more crucial than the route for certain items, such as food and medicines. With special sensors capable of communicating with the Internet, and thus with blockchain, it is possible to additionally measure and record parameters such as temperature and humidity during transportation, and the results of the measurements can be stored as blockchain transactions. The values can't be removed after they've been recorded, therefore the information is completely trustworthy.
Auchan uses this technology to track the supply chain of organic vegetables, poultry, exotic fruits, or cold cuts. It is worth mentioning that the application is beneficial not only for retailers themselves but also for consumers.
XR and metaverse reshaping healthcare
The healthcare industry is now actively using technologies like extended reality (XR) and artificial intelligence (AI) both in software and hardware to enhance the proficiency of medical devices and expand the reach of medical care. In short, the metaverse is an extension of the XR technologies that we use today.
When Meta (formerly known as Facebook) acquired Oculus in 2014, the company started its own way in the development of cutting-edge healthcare solutions. For example, the Oculus technology based on XR is used at UConn Health, the University of Connecticut's medical center to train orthopedic surgery students. With the Oculus Quest headsets, students can visualize in 3-D executing a variety of surgical procedures, such as putting a pin in a broken bone. Because the procedure is conducted digitally, the system allows the students to make mistakes and receive feedback from professionals.
A notable advancement in the healthcare technology domain is the introduction of the Magic Leap 2. This XR device offers an immersive mixed reality experience, which is crucial for medical professionals who require a seamless integration of digital and physical workspaces. By enabling remote guidance from medical experts, the device reduces the need for travel, thereby saving time and costs. This is particularly beneficial for specialized medical training, allowing trainees to interact with and learn from complex medical scenarios within a controlled, digital environment.
Another example is Microsoft HoloLens, a mixed reality headset. The technology has a wide range of applications: it enables healthcare workers to collaborate remotely and conduct virtual patient consultations with real-time spatial information to accelerate diagnoses and reduce time-to-treatment, empowers clinicians and the care team to rapidly share imaging results, better contextualize physician-patient conversations, and drive more informed patient decision-making, and also enables modern telehealth solutions to improve care coordination, expand provider access, and address skill shortages.
The power of IoT and 5G in manufacturing
5G is rapidly becoming the world's number one catalyst for enterprise digital transformation. The key advantages of 5G, which are low latency, high reliability, and increased speed are necessary to support emerging technologies and their novel applications in the smart manufacturing space, such as process automation, remote monitoring, and maintenance and device life cycle management, among others.
For example, Worcester Bosch, known for manufacturing domestic boilers, launched the U.K.'s first 5G factory using a 5G private network and mobile edge computing infrastructure.
The factory uses 5G to run real-time machine sensors, allowing them to handle production line issues before they occur. An additional advantage has been the installation of a network of collision detection sensors, making the factory and its products significantly safer for on-the-ground employees.
Bosch also uses IoT technology: for example, the factory has sensors for preventative maintenance and real-time feedback, whilst also using data analytics to predict any potential failures. Through a combination of 5G technology, the factory has already been able to optimize machine performance and increase output by as much as 2%. The project is a great example of the journey into smart factories, offering efficiency that its predecessors, including 4G, simply couldn't achieve.
Are you ready to innovate your business?
Emerline experts stay up to date on new technology trends and are always ready to integrate innovative solutions into your company’s business processes. Having rich expertise in the development of innovative solutions for business, our team can help to make your brightest tech ideas come true. Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll help you start your company’s smart journey right now!