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ICE BUSINESS TIMES TRACKS THE TRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE THE CONSUMERS OF 2017

SAVVY SWERVING
Gone are the days of driving Ms. Daisy; with Tesla starting the installment of cars that are completely driving themselves, the days of autonomous driving are becoming a much faster reality. Automated cars could profoundly reduce traffic in metropolitan areas (80%). With 25% of pedestrians feeling safer if cars are autonomous and 65% preferring an autonomous car than driving themselves.

VYING FOR THE VIRTUAL
Most of us want to escape to reality other than our own after an arduous day and with the increasing innovation in merged reality, you might just be travelling the world from your comfort of your sofa. Although Virtual Reality (VR) provides a fantastical experience, a whopping 80% of users believe that the 3-year’s progress will allow it to advance to a stage where it is indistinguishable from reality. Provided the progress that the Internet has made in our everyday, it is only a matter of time before it creates its own.

BEYOND THE BODY
The Euroduplex is the fastest train in the world, running at speeds of 198.8 mph. While soaring through the scenic country at such speeds sounds ideal, 20% of people still feel a sense of nausea. And with everything becoming automated, consumers believe that the drive culture will create conversation traffic within the car. Moreover VR is a source of motion sickness. So as we become busy bodies, 20% of people want implants that will adjust the physiological abilities to that of the higher demands.

R2 REAL
Not only was Star Wars the most iconic movie series of all time, it further popularized the idea of artificial intelligence (AI). We all wanted that R2-D2 to follow us around and give us quirky advice. Well, the reality is they may not be the buddy type as they start to slowly take on many of our jobs. A study shows that 35% of people want an AI advisor and almost 25% open to having AI in leadership positions of a company. Furthermore, with disappointments such as Trump and Kim Jong Un, over 20% would agree to the idea of an AI country leader.

SIGNALS AND SENSORS
Why not have your air conditioner cooling your room, your boiler readying your bath water and unlocking your car at a touch of a one device. These conveniences have become a reality with the use of Internet of Things (IoT). 40% of advanced Internet users believe that our phones will eventually connect to a plethora of devices. 50% of smartphones users believe that the slow-cooker will start their dinner as smartphones will allow them to communicate with household devices.

DEVICE TO THE RESCUE
If you’re new to Dhaka, the winding roads of Old Town will certainly leave the best geographic minds in a rut. That tension has become a matter of the past with GPS in every smartphone. Furthermore, 50% of users have emergency alarms and tracking notifications in their phones, and 60% have emergency contacts. Our phones follow us everywhere and are becoming our handheld heroes. 60% of urban dwellers believe that their phones make them safer to take risk in the concrete jungles with an increasing number believing that they next step in security is panic button, identity authenticators, and smart locators.

SO CALLED SOCIAL
Gone are the days where sharing news was a weekend brunch activity, social network have integrated further into our lives and created what are known as social silos. Now, we differentiate social groups on the basis of our relationships, affecting us so much so that 25% of users believe their contact’s opinions over a politician’s viewpoints. Additionally, 33% of social network users receive their everyday news from these networks. These silos will just become more concrete as 25% of users dissociate themselves with others on the basis of differences in personal opinion.

RECONSTRUCTING REALITY
The world would look so much better through rose colored glasses, nevertheless AR glasses are helping us create draw the reality as we see it fit. With Pokémon GO creating such a massive rift, the advancement in AR technology is at its height. A majority of AR glass users would use the technology to highlight danger around them in order to cancel out the element of surprise. And more than 33% would like to be able to edit out an undesired elements of their life such as garbage and graffiti.

LOCK & KEY
A diary that quite literally locks in our secret thoughts was once deemed to be the pinnacle of privacy. Encryption technology has done out with key and made our fingerprints and retinas the keepers of our secrets. Many major messaging services offer complete encryption of their service given that 40% of users only want to use encrypted services, and 46% find it to be a necessity for privacy. Although 50% of advanced internet users are satisfied with reasonably good privacy, these lines are not as clearly defined as our thumbprints.

SIFTING THROUGH THE SERVICES
Long gone are the days of wondering when the next bus will arrive to ease your commute. IT services such as Google are now able to locate you on the map and provide you with multiple modes to convenience your commute. 40% of these consumers are willing to have the biggest IT companies provide them with the most necessary products and 50% of users think that these companies have the most intimate knowledge about them.  Consumers are keen on IT companies providing them with rented apartments or housing (34%), hospitals and geriatric care (39%), cars (40%), schools and universities (40%), home security services (42%) and of course half of them trust these companies to be able to provide Internet and mobile broadband access services.

THE VIDEO VIRUS
With only 13 milliseconds required to recognize an image, the Internet has transformed from a text-based format to 70% of the total traffic comprising of video content. Online videos are only going to increase with the rise of real time, video call and live stream broadcast such as Facebook Live. Furthermore, Cisco has predicted that Virtual Reality (VR) videos will increase 61 times over by 2020; essentially our eyes will replace our fingertips as the control center.

**SOURCE: ERICSSON CONSUMER LAB “TEN HOT CONSUMER TRENDS 2017

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