From clothes that will keep you from getting lost, to having your own selfie drone, 2017 will be a big year for consumer technology. Here’s our top five trends.
The world’s biggest electronics trade show CES is about to kick off in Las Vegas, where over 160,000 people, including the biggest names in the technology industry will come together to mix with the next generation disruptors to experience and discuss the latest consumer technology trends. The newest and best consumer electronics products will be on show, with sessions devoted to everything from Artificial Intelligence to the latest developments in smart home technology.
Ahead of the event, Telstra’s Chief Technology Office predicts the top five consumer technology trends that we expect to see in 2017.
While some trends have been talked about for a while now, next year we think we will see them become part of people’s lives in a big way.
Gone will be the days when your clothes were just that – clothes. New smart or connected clothing is about to take on the job of your fitness monitor and even navigation aid. With (washing-proof) sensors embedded into the clothes, you can leave your FitBit# at home with the clothes themselves measuring activity. In a strange city and worried about looking “lost” when staring at your phone trying to find a place? Fear not, for jackets can discreetly nudge you on the shoulder indicating where you need to take a turn. Clothing can even support integrated input/output devices like touch-sensitive controls or eventually screens – removing the need to take that smartphone out of your pocket or purse.
While you probably won’t be able to own a fully self-driving car for a couple of years, autonomous vehicles are entering the streets. Trials are taking place even in Australia, and it shouldn’t be long before consumers can experience an autonomous ride – trials and deployments are happening globally at a rapid pace.
Having been talked about for years, 2017 will be the first year when there is a good selection of high-quality VR devices available at consumer-friendly price levels. It will initially be entertainment-focused for consumers – giving a much better feeling to “being there” and it will take home entertainment to another level. It’s also being used for impressive free-roaming multiplayer VR gaming experiences like Zero Latency# VR in Melbourne.
Wearable, connected cameras
Wearable cameras have been a big hit for law enforcement, improving citizen experience and reducing complaints. Social media platform Snapchat# thinks there’s something in it with a slightly tweaked concept. Spectacles#, the sunglasses with integrated cameras, may be a trend-setter – the glasses can capture a day’s worth of snaps, with a single tap recording a 10-second video clip of whatever is happening in front of you. They won’t be useful for secretly recording anything, as lights in front will inform anyone around you of your snap habits.
Consumer Drones, Selfies, Travel and Family Moments
Changes to regulations in late 2016 made it easier for people to fly light drones for personal use in many situations without the owner needing a special permit. Now you might be able to send up a drone to take a picture of the family picnic from the sky, or make a video of your friend’s snowboarding run. The camera on a selfie stick is so last year.
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# FitBit is a registered trade mark of FitBit Inc
# Zero Latency is a trade mark of Zero Latency Pty Ltd
# Snapchat is a registered trade mark of Snap, Inc
# Spectacles is a trade mark of Snapchat, Inc