The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) unveiled five cutting-edge technologies that will significantly impact the CE industry during the opening session “Five Disruptive Techs to Watch” at CEA’s Innovate! Conference held recently in Phoenix AZ.
The session, moderated by CEA senior vice-president of communications and strategic relationships Jeff Joseph, included The Envisioneering Group’s Richard Doherty; Disruption Corp.’s Paul Singh; and CNET Reviews Editor-in-Chief Lindsey Turrentine.
Based on CEA’s annual publication, Five Technology Trends to Watch, the session introduced each of the five topics with man on the street videos of consumers filmed on the National Mall in Washington, DC to gauge their familiarity with the five technology trends. The 2015 edition highlights Big Data, the rise of the machines (Internet of Things, robotics and driverless cars), digital health and the quantified self, entertainment and immersive content including augmented reality, and business models in the innovation economy.
Geared toward industry professionals, this publication provides in-depth analysis of each trend and outlines related issues and market forecasts for the coming year. Each section also explores consumer perspectives, partnerships and key players.
“This annual publication looks at where technology is heading. It highlights the opportunities and challenges in these technology areas as the industry continues to evolve,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “Using exclusive CEA market research, the trends examined in this report are areas that have significant potential in the years ahead and underscore the continuing innovation that is a hallmark of the consumer technology industry.”
During the session, Singh said, “From the pervasive lens of venture capital, driverless cars are already happening.” He added, “I am bullish about use cases,” but cautioned that “these technologies will displace workers and massive retraining will be necessary.”
Doherty said the killer applications with robotics will be (1) entertainment; (2) purposeful robots to save lives; and (3) assistive robots. He said, “There could be a quintillion things connected in the next decade.”
Joseph asked which digital health benefits will most resonate with consumers. Turrentine said from a personal perspective that since she is diabetic and wears an insulin pump, she is looking forward to the day when she can monitor her stats from her cell phone. Singh said, “The quantified self is not an ‘if’ but is a ‘when’. It will be driven by sensors that disappear into everyday life that can be easily embedded in your shirt or your shoes.” Turrentine added, “As sensors become small and disposable, there will be a huge market.”
The panelists also discussed, and agreed upon, the need for the industry to explain the benefits of these technology trends to consumers and be transparent to address concerns about privacy and data security. “As the benefits of big data become clear to each individual, their concerns about sharing their personal information diminish,” said Doherty.