Intelligent living happens when smart devices, software and services work together seamlessly to form an ecosystem that surrounds us. Its aim, says Olivier Dobo, marketing director of HONOR UK, is to help people live life more efficiently and effectively, so that they can focus on what truly matters.
Our new report, Intelligent Living in Europe, prepared with Canalys, forecasts that global demand for smart devices is on the up, with shipments expected to exceed 3 billion by 2023. These include smartphones, PCs, tablets, wearable bands, smart speakers and smart personal audio devices.
But how will these cutting-edge devices impact the next generations daily life in 2020 and beyond?
Let’s break it down into four key categories; Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Productivity and Connected Living.
A move towards immersive entertainment
As the digital landscape shifts toward video, the demand for wireless audio devices, such as Bluetooth earphones and headphones, will increase, as people seek convenience and quality. Truly wireless earbuds will be smaller yet smarter and worn for longer periods of time.
According to our report, users are most likely to upgrade from their bundled earphones to wireless audio devices for the convenience and sound quality improvements it brings. Integration of smart assistants and sensors will allow people to use hearables to control other smart devices around them while at the same time, enabling a crystal-clear audio experience whether watching videos or taking calls. At the cutting edge, some smart personal audio devices are already adopting hearing aid technology to enhance users’ hearing.
Ubiquitous high-speed connectivity and the democratisation of smartphones allows gamers to play online games whenever they want, and the quality of games we can play on mobile devices has improved massively. 5G and cloud gaming promise to extend high-quality gaming to more people.
As long as there’s high-speed Internet connectivity, any mid-range device, including smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs, will be able to play high quality AAA titles streamed directly from the cloud so much so that mobile game live streaming is quickly becoming the norm among the gaming community. On the other hand, the rise of foldable displays and dual-screen devices will offer new form-factors and modes to enhance the gaming experience.
When it comes to bingeing on your favourite boxset, streaming platforms have already had a profound effect on the way people consumer content. In the future, people are more likely to enjoy such services across multiple devices. Streaming services must be able to deliver a superior viewing experience across different devices, including smart TVs, notebook PCs, tablets and even smart displays.
While wireless audio devices are mostly paired to smartphones, compatibility and interoperability across devices, such as PCs and notebooks, will offer a more seamless listening experience. This ecosystem, where products work together to enhance the overall consumer experience, is the standard that the industry is moving towards.
A fresh look on health and fitness
When it comes to health and fitness, the potential of the IoT is far reaching. We already enjoy the benefits of wearable IoT health devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches. These devices can record everything from the steps we’ve taken to the calories we’ve burnt, and measure how well we exercise and then transfer all this data to an app on our smartphone to allow us to better keep tabs on our health and fitness goals. Findings from our report suggests that the top reason to buy smartwatches and fitness bands is to improve fitness and well-being.
In recent years, wearables have evolved to help us monitor our sleeping patterns, heart rate and stress levels with additional features such as female health tracking, to allow us to keep our wellbeing in check.
In the future, we’ll see wearable devices progress to become better at monitoring an even wider range of indoor and outdoor sports so aspiring and professional athletes alike can improve their performance and tweak their training schedules accordingly.
We’ll also see an increase in stress management tools being added to devices, particularly in an age where many millennials are working longer hours and experiencing burnout. Breathing exercises are already becoming common on wearable devices, some offering notifications to remind users to start breathing exercises when a high heart-rate during a low level of activity is detected. We’ll also see more mindfulness exercises via audio guides being added.
Fostering smarter working habits
The gig economy has created growing opportunities for contractors and freelancers, while office workers in today’s digital age are adopting a more flexible working culture. For the new generation of mobile workers, mobility, connectivity and the ability to rely on a small number of devices to work efficiently is important. Continuity features between smartphones and mobile PCs can improve productivity and convenience, and in the future, we’ll see more seamless cross collaboration between devices, when it comes to sharing files and working across multiple screens.
Always-connected PCs with 5G integration are expected to introduce the next wave of productivity improvements to mobile workers. This is especially important for creators, including photographers, videographers, vloggers and influencers, who rely on multiple devices to perform their work, obtaining photos, video footage and sound, then editing them on PCs and subsequently posting them online.
They are set to benefit most from an ecosystem of devices working together seamlessly to create a conducive environment, ensuring that they worry less about trivial tasks and allowing them more time to focus on unleashing their creativity.
Smart tech at home
A smart home that’s energy efficient and makes our lives easier and more convenient is one of the first things people think of when considering a future shaped by the IoT. Smart TVs, thermostats and home security systems already have the ability to be remotely controlled over the internet. In the future, smart routers and smart hubs will play an important role in enhancing connectivity coverage around the home and will be embedded with advanced artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technologies to enable us to do even smarter things around the home, such as shopping online using voice-enabled technology.
Our report predicts that demand for smart speakers is expected to soar over the next three years with shipments set to hit 39 million units in 2023. This growing popularity is in part due to the fact speakers can act as command centres in our homes, allowing users greater convenience.
40% of surveyed respondents in the UK already have smart speakers set up at home, with a further 42% having two or more devices connected to them, signalling that as a nation, we’re moving towards a smarter society. Smart assistants are now expected to be one of the key components to create the ideal ecosystem for intelligent living. They will work seamlessly across homes, offices, cars and while on-the-go.
From offering users high quality audio and visual experiences while consuming content or gaming, allowing workers to achieve peak productivity and creativity wherever and whenever they work, allowing people to better manage and keep track of their health, fitness and wellbeing goals, and ensuring people can better manage their homes, smart living is achieved when technology works together in harmony to achieve these scenarios, and IoT will be the driving force in transforming the next generations daily life.
The author is Olivier Dobo, marketing director of HONOR UK.