What’s hot for tech enthusiasts in 2019? Comms connectivity firm Ericsson has released the eighth edition of its ConsumerLab trend report, 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2019, representing predictions of 34 million early technology adopters.

The latest edition of the annual report evaluates consumer thoughts and predictions on near-future technology including AI, VR, 5G and automation. The report reveals that autonomous and mood-predictive technology could soon play a bigger role in people’s everyday lives.

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

The 10 hot consumer trends for 2019 and beyond are:

1. Awareables

More than 60 percent of virtual assistant users think devices that understand our moods will be mainstream in three years.

2. Smart quarrels

Over 65 percent of virtual assistant users think smart speakers will argue like family members in three years.

3. Spying apps

Over 45 percent of consumers think apps collect data about them even when they don’t use the app.

4. Enforced agreement

Always having to accept data collection cookies annoys 51 percent of consumers.

5. Internet of skills

More than 50 percent of AR or VR users want apps, glasses and gloves that give virtual guidance for practical, everyday tasks such as cooking or carrying out repairs.

6. Zero-touch consumption

Around half of virtual assistant users want automated bills and subscriptions, as well as self-restocking household supplies.

7. Mental obesity 

31 percent of consumers soon expect to go to ‘mind gyms’ to practice thinking, as everyday decision-making becomes increasingly automated.

8. Eco me

39 percent of consumers want an eco-watch that measures their carbon footprint.

9. My digital twin

48 percent of AR or VR users want online avatars that mimic them exactly, so they can be in two places at once

10. 5G automates society

Around 20 percent of smartphone users believe 5G will better connect IoT devices, such as household appliances and utility meters.

On whether we should see this near-future technology as a threat or an opportunity, Dr. Pernilla Jonsson, head of consumer at IndustryLab, said in the release: “We have already entered the age when humans and intelligent machines are interacting and working together. So far, we’ve only taken small steps into the future. Most of the zero-touch future is yet to be developed—and how we create that future is still in our hands.”

The insights in the report are based on Ericsson ConsumerLab’s global research activities over more than 23 years, and primarily draw on data from an online survey conducted during October 2018 of advanced internet users in 10 influential cities across the world.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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