Consumer Electronics industry in 2019: Top 5 Trends

by Sourav Mukherjee, Founder & CEO, Netscribes

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Consumer electronics have become an essential part of our daily routine. It has penetrated every aspect of human life leading to aggressive investment and innovation by tech companies. Moreover, rise in disposable incomes, emerging middle-class, evolving lifestyle preferences, and the penetration of smart devices has contributed to the overall growth of the global consumer electronics market. Having said that, 2019 is expected to be an important year for consumer technology ushering in the first fleet of 5G enabled smartphones, advanced AI consumer applications, self-driving vehicles and much more.

Here’s a detailed look at what’s trending in the consumer electronics space in 2019:

5G becomes mainstream

Thanks to the burgeoning need for speed, telecom players are beginning to deploy fifth-generation cellular networks this year. As a technology, 5G is expected to bolster security, support extensive connectivity between devices, along with many other advantages. Though 5G network services are far from being rolled out, tech events and seminars showcasing a slew of 5G powered products provide a glimpse into what the future holds. Tech giants like Verizon, Intel, Qualcomm, and AT&T have announced 5G enabled products and technology solutions soon to be available for consumers and enterprises this year. In fact, MWC 2019 saw brands like Huawei, Samsung, Xiaomi, LG and ZTE, announce that their 5G enabled models will be off the conveyor belt and in the consumer’s hands this year itself.

Dominance of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With innovations in speech recognition, predictive tech, and big data analytics AI has been creating ripples in the consumer tech space. Virtually plugged into every piece of IoT technology like wearables and smart devices, AI is constantly unfolding new market opportunities. It also took center stage at CES 2019 displaying how the technology will be ingrained into the most routine operations of our lives. Major companies like Intel, LG, Hisense, and Mercedes took the lead in announcing their solutions in this light, at the event. LG announced Home Brew – an AI-enabled beer maker, while Hisense unveiled three new quantum dot-technology TVs containing AI chips that elevate the viewing experience. Also, NVIDIA revealed that it will be designing the AI architecture needed to help Mercedes Benz engineer self-driving cars.

Voice-assisted personal entertainment systems

As for the latest innovations in personal entertainment, 8K TVs are gearing up to offer a world of a difference in image quality, clarity, and resolution. However, manufacturers who plug in intelligent systems into their newest models will steal the spotlight. Speaking of intelligent, LG’s latest Signature Series OLED R, is a rollable television that rises out of a box on the touch of a button. It will support Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and also Apple AirPlay 2. Apple on the other hand opened up its ecosystem to partner with a slew of TV manufacturers to provide access to their AirPlay 2 and iTunes platforms. Additionally, leading consumer appliance and electronic brands are all set to offer voice assistance integration in their products to make life convenient and comfortable for their tech-savvy audience.

Rise of smart homes

Smart homes are finally here, all thanks to remote connectivity between smartphones and Wi-Fi enabled homes, along with improved voice recognition technology. With growing availability of connected appliances, from basic security monitoring to smart lighting and entertainment systems, the future of the smart home market looks promising. Tech stalwarts like Google, GE and Amazon have created smart products that provide traffic updates, weather & calendar appointment notifications, and smart lighting options. A good example of this is Capstone Connected Home’s Google-enabled smart mirror – that allows users to access Google Assistant and stream videos from YouTube through voice and touchscreen capabilities.

Transforming the auto industry

The automotive industry is experiencing a transformative wave, driven by rapid innovation and regulatory changes. Some innovations expected to go live this year are autonomous cars, electric vehicles, large-screen infotainment systems, telematics powered vehicles, and even flying taxis. In fact, CES 2019 saw Autotech companies like Aptiv, Byton, and Uber display AI solutions offering new levels of passenger luxury and convenience. Additionally, auto manufacturers like Nissan, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Hyundai, and Kia Motors are gearing to get their latest electric and fully autonomous cars out on the roads this year. As for developments in telematics, the technology is equipping everyone from vehicle owners, insurers, to fleet management firms with valuable data in real-time to inform their onward journey.

What lies ahead?

As consumer preferences shift and technologies continue to evolve, the consumer electronics industry is bound to benefit from a host of new business opportunities. Based on the latest innovations, it’s clear that IoT, 5G, and AI-powered voice assistant technologies will drive this market for a long time to come. Businesses operating in this space need to tread carefully so as to make informed investment decisions and ensure sustained success of their products.

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