The iPad was just one success in the seamless world of 2011
Connectivity is no longer sci-fi or a utopian dream but is on our doorsteps, in our pockets, and even in the fibers of our clothing.Always onOver the next few years mobile broadband will enable the cost-effective deployment of ‘always on’ devices for the consumer. This year’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas highlighted the fact that we will soon be hard-pressed to find consumer electronics that are not connected to the internet.According to Tim O’Reilly, the computer book publisher who coined the phrase Web 2.0, “Increasingly the web is the world, everything and everyone in the world casts an ‘information shadow’, an aura of data, which when captured and processed intelligently, offers extraordinary opportunity and mind-bending implications.”This year saw the merger of the physical and virtual worlds enter the mainstream, with technology being applied in new and interesting ways. Data streams are now everywhere – they are helping us understand the world around us, and gain greater knowledge of what is going on with ourselves.Physical and virtualThis year saw the inclusion of technologies in the retail space, with consumers becoming accustomed to using their mobiles for payments in venues such as Starbucks. With NFC technology likely to be included in the majority of future smart phones we can expect this method of payment to become more common.Other technologies are being implemented in-store to assist consumers in their purchasing decisions, such as Puma introducing iPads to provide additional information in their flagship store in Paris or Diesel implementing Diesel Cam so that consumers could share photos of themselves trying on clothes with their Facebook friends prior to purchasing.Consumers can now even stay connected in-flight with new services giving passengers access to content wirelessly onto their own devices.Beyond devicesBut connectivity and interactivity is no longer contained within the realm of consumer electronics, with electronics becoming included in a number of everyday objects. The fusion of electronics and textiles holds promise to create intelligent, Increasingly the web is the world, everything and everyone in the world casts an ‘information shadow’innovative products for numerous apparel applications. We are already witnessing the potential for wearable health monitoring, performance-mapping sport wear, wearable displays and controls, electronic protective clothing, and also new fashion alternatives. September saw the launch of Adidas’ F50 adiZero boots that contain a chip allowing amateur and professional footballers alike to compare their performance to teammates and friends.It is not only for physical health that we are being monitored. Volkswagen’s new Passat included a fatigue detection system that monitors driver behavior, alerting the driver if they are tiring.The internet of everythingWe are at a dawn of a new world where we are constantly connected to ourselves and the world around us – technology is becoming ubiquitous and in the future will go unnoticed. Electronics are likely to be included in a multitude of objects, as everything becomes ‘connected’. Machines will increasingly talk to each other to work seamlessly and efficiently without the need for our input, with the greatest potential likely to be in smart clothing. The implementation of comfortable and unobtrusive sensor systems for application in sports, baby wear, workwear, healthcare and wellbeing could become part of the everyday fabric of life.The aging population will fuel demand for functional apparel that can continuously monitor the wearer’s well being. High performance and professional athletes will need active monitoring during competition and training. Finally, the overarching macro health and wellness consumer trend will likely mean the mass market entry of health monitoring clothing and other wearable systems.The last couple of years we have witnessed the beginning of the wireless data streaming world, with the boundary between life online and real life, between the physical and the virtual diminishing. Over the next couple of years we can expect more sophisticated services coming to market that make Over 2012 and beyond we can expect more sophisticated services coming to market that make our virtual and physical, home and on-the-go lives more seamlessour virtual and physical, home and on-the-go lives more seamless, as our media and information shifts from a physical location to the cloud – accessible anywhere, anytime, from anywhere. The days of the internet as an identifiably separate thing may be behind us.
Staying ahead of the competition with innovation
Flying is no longer about getting from A to B – after the rush for cheap, no-frills budget air flights of the last decade, consumers are now looking at making their journeys more comfortable and experiential. With the air travel industry being highly competitive, airlines are increasingly looking at innovative services and products to capture consumers and make them loyal to the brand.
How is in-flight entertainment reacting to our needs?
In flight entertainment is changing – consumers are demanding more variety and convenience from their airline. They want their devices to stay charged up, be in control of what media they consume and continue to stay connected, even when in the air.
Malaysia airlines have recently launched a new Facebook application, called MHbuddy, that allows travellers to search, book and pay for flights directly through Facebook.
A vision of the future city filled with connectedness and smart embedding
Connectivity is no longer sci-fi or a utopian dream but is on our doorsteps, in our pockets, and even in the fibers of our clothing.
We’re now connected to our toys and games like never before
Toys and games play a vital role in our development as a child, and continue to be an important part of our leisure time in adulthood. However, the increasing integration of technology and the internet into our lives mean that even our toys are now connected to us, and even to each other, in new and innovative ways.
A touchless world
There are multiple emerging indications that in the future, consumers can expect more natural, flexible and intuitive interactions with computerized devices, in a manner similar to human-to-human communications. Disruptive innovations in sensor-based technologies are emerging with a promise to create new products with touchless interfaces that can be controlled by human gestures or even thoughts.
Social networking is no longer just about how many friends you have
For the last 20 years the internet has connected us to each other in increasingly varied ways – beginning with email and chat rooms, and now with social networks. The rise of social media has presented huge opportunities for people to connect with each other via messages, statuses and photos – and now brands have realized the potential to connect consumers to their products, ushering in a new era of innovative services and commercial strategies.
Gaming is changing the shape of our living rooms
Video games were once sequestered to that stand-up Pac-Man machine in the back of a pizza restaurant. As time progressed they migrated to recreational rooms and basements where kids spent most of their time. More recently, they have found their place in the family room due to expanding applications such as playing DVDs and connecting to the Internet. Now they are not just for video games, but for general entertainment purposes.
The living room is fast becoming the place for daily exercise routines
Getting fit used to be something that most people would associate with busy, sweaty gyms or cold early morning jogs around the local park. However, consumers are increasingly using the home as a place to get fit and exercise, with technology being a key reason for this shift from the gym to the living room.
As our homes become less formal and our furniture gains a lower profile, our televisions are changing too.
The television takes centre stage
Even with the rise in popularity of the internet, televisions still have a central role in our lives, and in fact we are watching more TV than at any time in the last five years. But how people are viewing TV is rapidly changing.
XBox 360 Kinect - www.xbox.com
This year saw all three of the major game consoles now having a semblence of motion control, with Sony introducing the PlayStation Move and Microsoft introducing the Kinect for Xbox, joining Nintendo’s highly successful Wii.
Finding more hours in the day leads to less hours at night
People want to spend a lot more of their time in bed. A luxurious day in bed with no work, no pressure and no hassles is seen as a real indulgence. The bed is the one place people really want to be – it’s the one place they can really rest and relax.
Next month the new channel Vintage TV launches in the UK – it is a channel aimed at the over-50s. It’s focus will be on culture and music covering material between 1940 and 1980.
Gaming for more than just leisure
Earlier this year, Gloucestershire County Council in the UK introduced Nintendo Wii’s to elderly residents as part of a social services program.
The future of sports broadcasting
Watching sporting events on the television is something engrained in our culture – this year’s superbowl became the most watched TV show in US history, with 106.5 million people watching it on the American network CBS (Reuters).
Encouraging participation through networking
For years US track and field events had seen a decrease in attendances, sponsorship and media coverage. A series of doping scandals that have wrecked both careers and record books, have further disillusioned a dwindling fan-base with no dominant American athletics hero to pin their hopes on.
The cell phone is the perfect sensor
Over the last 3 years cell phones have included increasing sensitive and accurate sensors within them. From mics, to cameras to accelerometers, our phones have gained the ability to further interact with the consumer and the world around them.
Interactions that are more responsive and immersive
How we interact with computers has been changing rapidly over the last year or so, as new sensing technology has led to more intuitive ways of controlling and accessing media.
Nintendo have continued to push the boundaries in the gaming market. Later this year Nintendo will introduce the Wii Vitality Sensor – a pulse sensor that clips on to the player’s finger and connects to the Wii-mote. It measures heart rate to determine levels of excitement, nervousness and even concentration, with the data then used to adjust game difficulty.
As the economy recovers pragmatic luxury will be the growing trend
As the economic climate begins to improve we will likely observe growth of luxury, indulgence, and brand names. It is unlikely that luxury will return to the same extent, but it is predicted that we will see smaller, regular indulgences in both mass and premium channels. Luxury is constantly being redefined and is now within reach of a much larger consumer segment.
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From all of the Antennae Team we hope you have enjoyed our reports so far and here's to another 50 reports and beyond!
This video looks at our changing lives as everyone and everything becomes connected, becoming part of an 'always on' network