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    Consumer Electronics: Connectivity would be New Impetus

    Consumer Electronics are on the surge due to the proliferation of wearable devices and technology, smart TVs, connected cars and household appliances.

    The consumer can start and end their shopping experiences on a mobile platform, in-store or online. It is a fluid movement that will be even harder for retailers to keep up with or predict because it will include a growing number of devices and touchpoints.

    Real-time applications, such as voice, video and eCommerce connectivity, have always been sensitive to disruptions. An unstable connection can result in jitter, latency, and packet loss that translate into obvious performance issues such as delays, echoes, slow checkouts and lost sales. 5G will prevent these disruptions by enabling users to stay on the same cellular network throughout the journey.

    Mobile commerce will also be boosted by technological innovations made possible by the 5G cellular standard and its massively increased bandwidth. 5G will even allow data-intensive applications to be integrated into online shop systems, without impacting the page load time and consequently the customer experience as well. Such applications mainly include high-resolution video content; virtual reality and augmented reality; and playful content to the mobile shopping experience.

    The appliances and consumer electronics industry, which lost around 25 per cent of annual sales in the COVID-19-hit 2020, expects to regain the lost ground next year through a special focus on digital initiatives, emerging trends, change in consumer behaviour as well as the impetus to ramp up domestic manufacturing activities.  COVID-19 has disrupted the global supply chain of major consumer electronic brands.

    hina is the largest consumer and producer of various consumer electronics products but also caters to a wide range of countries by exporting several input supplies that are essentially used to produce finished goods. Shut down of the production in China has forced other consumer electronics makers based in the US and Europe to temporarily hold the production of the finished goods. This is leading to an increase in the supply and demand gap.

    2020 has been unique with many challenges and possibilities for the industry. Leading brands witnessed a rapid increase in digital consumption, changes in demands where more consumers are seeking value propositions with a comfortable, convenient, and connected experience to support a changed lifestyle amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The use of IoT to enrich direct communication with customers will be essential for brands to improve the product experience and brand engagement. Data can be used to send personalized communications to customers. Product information could include tips and methodologies for using other features of the product or to find out which features of the product customers use most. The results of connectivity in Consumer Electronics are bringing about changes in the way we shop and the opportunities that open up for brands and manufacturers.

    IoT presents a host of opportunities to improve the everyday health and lifestyle of consumers and presents a massive business opportunity for manufacturers of consumer electronics. By adding cloud connectivity to regular electronics, ingesting the data, and analyzing to understand patterns of usage and consumer behaviour, consumer electronic companies can grow their presence in the market by providing new value to consumers.

    This value can be delivered in the form of lifestyle suggestions and tips, suggestions for new products, tracking and reporting on product usage to advise on best practices for health or home. Let us also look at the recent trends in consumer electronics and the technologies used:

    Smart Speakers

    The original purpose of smart speakers was the wireless delivery of audio content from a user’s media library, which may be on different platforms, and from online music services. Like any type of electronic product, smart speakers vary widely in features, design and quality. As with many smart devices, there are security and privacy concerns for smart speakers, in particular with those that use a microphone for voice recognition. Many services upload voice data to servers over the Internet. Privacy experts have expressed concern that the same companies producing smart speakers are also known to harvest user data.

    Consumer Drones

    The technology advances in-flight technology, flight modes, and controls along with the improvements in portable photography and video technology lead to an explosion with amateur and professional photographers and videographers. By 2021, the latest numbers are expected to surpass 2 million. Drone popularity among consumers isn’t predicted to stop booming anytime soon. Rapid and often conflicting changes to drone regulation will dramatically affect this evolution.

    Automated Home

    Automated home technologies such as speakers, TVs, fridges, ovens, washing machines, thermostats, lights, and security cameras, which connect through a hub. Smart speakers will increasingly work as a hub for automated home technology. By 2025, spending on smart appliances will hit $5.5bn, according to GlobalData.

    Augmented Reality

    Augmented reality could be the next huge computing platform in consumer electronics. Ultimately, AR glasses of some sort may take the place of the smartphone as the primary connected device. When the technology grows up, the location-based entertainment and in-app purchases will become more outstanding. Besides, new advances in smart phone hardware — such as 3D sensing cameras and AI chips allow developers to develop more forceful AR experiences utilizing devices many consumers and businesses already own.

    Personalized Medicine

    Medical technology has long been relying on innovation within electronics. Currently, more evolution has been made in electronic tattoos — thin, wearable electronics that can be worn on the skin to monitor vital signs such as heart and brain functions and transfer that data to a smartphone or computer for real-time health analysis.

    Connected Cars

    CASE (connected, autonomous, shared, and electric) is the future of the automotive industry. Vehicle connectivity over the next two years will be driven by the implementation of the newest driving assistance systems. The two biggest consumer electronics trends in the coming years will be the arrival of 5G and the rise of cyber-attacks on connected vehicles.

    Virtual Reality

    One of the consumer electronics emerging trends of 2020 has been extended reality or XR. 2021 is likely to bring more extended reality concepts and technology. Virtual and augmented reality video games have seen some enormous developments in the past year, with many popular games combined with the elements of VR or AR.

    Autonomous driving

    Advanced sensor technology, smart control systems and intelligent actuators: For everything from automated to autonomous driving, complex technology is in demand. However, it is not just a question of automated vehicles being able to set themselves in motion. In the future, safety will continue to be the top priority, and passenger comfort will become even more important.

    Consumer Robots

    Consumer robotics combines robots designed for entertainment, for companionship, or to implement domestic tasks. The fastest-growing segment will be household service robots. Social robots are a long way from mass adoption but have gained traction in Japan. The last two years have seen some players exit the consumer robotics market.

    Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted most industries, with significant disruption in their day-to-day business operations. The economy has been hit really hard and according to industry experts one way to revival is for brands and retailers to tap into the surge of demand for online commerce that has been induced by the lockdown.

    The accelerated boost in e-commerce that has been noticed due to the lockdown is an opportunity that one should leverage. With Consumer Electronics projected to grow at 11% CAGR till 2025 in India, eCommerce with its almost double-digit growth of 20% CAGR will play a significant role. And not just that, it is strongly believed that a large portion of the Consumer Electronics business is going to be influenced by digital-enabled commerce and the entire industry is looking at that positively.

    By: Mannu Mathew | Sub Editor | ELE Times

    Mannu Mathew
    Mannu Mathew
    An engineer and a journalist, working, researching, and analyzing about the technology sphere from all possible vector, Currently working as a Sub-editor / Technology Correspondent at ELE Times

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