Feb 18, 2020 By Team YoungWonks *
Which are the trending smart products in 2020? At a time when more and more smart products are making their into our lives, this is a rather relevant question today. This blog then takes a close look at the smart product trends for 2020.
What is a smart product?
Before we look at the trends in this space, let us first understand what the term smart product refers to.
A smart product is essentially a product or an object that is “smart” in that it can process data even as it performs many interactive functions for the user. It is the result of the combination of physical (hardware) and software interfaces.
These are hybrid products that typically possess a certain set of features:
a. Personalized: This alludes to the smart product being tailored to suit the consumer’s needs.
b. Situated: In the field of Artificial Intelligence, the term Situated refers to an agent which is embedded in an environment.
c. Pro-active: Where the smart product tries to predict the buyer’s behaviour and intentions
d. Adaptive: Where the smart product factors in the consumer’s responses and tasks.
e. Business and Location awareness: where the smart product can consider business, legal constraints and location constraints.
f. Capability to sync up with another product: Where the smart product has the ability to communicate with another product or product sets.
Also known as intelligent products or information appliances, these smart products are typically easy to carry around and use.
Keeping the above description in mind, some examples of smart products include Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple smart watch, Philips Hue smart home lights, etc. Now that we know what a smart product is, let us look at the smart product trends for 2020.
Smart product trends for this year (2020):
1. AI-led healthcare
Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare refers to the use of complex algorithms and software so as to replicate human cognition and analyse complicated medical data. In simpler terms, it alludes to the use of computer algorithms so as to arrive at conclusions without direct human input.
Health monitoring is one of the biggest implementations under AI-led health care. AI-led health monitoring devices such as smart bands have already done rather well in 2019 but in 2020, AI is expected to play a bigger role than before. Not only will AI be used to process the data collated by such devices for millions of people, but it will be used in areas such as remote monitoring of patients’ hearts, respiratory conditions and even computer vision. AI is thus slated to revolutionise the world of wearable tech and help with designing training schedules so as to help people with their health routines.
In addition to this, AI programs are also being developed and used today in areas such as diagnosis processing, drug development, personalized medicine and treatment protocol development. Hospitals are turning to AI for solutions in areas such as operational initiatives so as to increase cost saving, heighten patient satisfaction, and meet workforce needs.
Big technology firms like IBM and Google too have developed AI algorithms for healthcare. For instance, IBM has IBM Watson Health that is working towards building smarter health ecosystems where healthcare processes get simpler, thus offering patients better and timely care, speedier breakthroughs, and overall improved experiences for healthcare providers and consumers.
Google, on the other hand, has come up with Google Health where it plans to use AI to detect diseases, rebuild the healthcare data infrastructure, and explore the potential of AI in the field of health insurance.
2. Home Automation Devices
Home automation devices, as the name suggests, refers to appliances that facilitate automation in the home; these devices offer several advantages such as convenience, reduced costs, and conserved energy. No wonder then, 2019 has already seen the rise in popularity of home automated devices. From Amazon Echo Dot and Show to Google Nest Mini and Apple HomeKit, there is a plethora of options out there now.
So in 2020, one can expect these home automation systems to reach a stage where full integration (including tunable lighting and voice control integration) is possible. This will be achieved through greater compatibility among all smart home products, making it way easier to sync up all of one’s favorites into a single home automation system. Indeed, there is no dearth of possibilities for smart home IoT devices. To know more about home automation, read our blog here: https://www.youngwonks.com/blog/What-is-home-automation
3. Autonomous Driving
Companies such as Tesla are already showing us what autonomous things can do and the limitless potential is only going to be explored further in 2020. From autonomous vehicles to robots and drones, advanced AI is now ushering in an era where these vehicles interact more naturally with their surroundings and with people. Apart from cars, trucking and shipping are said to go the autonomous way.
An interesting aspect that merits a mention is that full autonomy talk is now giving way to a greater focus on Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). The idea is to have customers first get better acquainted with the automated driving technology, which will then help alleviate fears surrounding fully autonomous vehicles. To know more about autonomous driving and how it works, read our blogs: https://www.youngwonks.com/blog/How-Does-Autonomous-Driving-Work and https://www.youngwonks.com/blog/Self-driving-cars:-what-autonomous-driving-technology-can-do-today
4. Smart Learning Products
With the education tech industry projected to see manifold growth in 2020, smart learning products too will see a spurt in growth as they help enhance the overall learning experience. IoT hardware will come into play here as well, even as they are used for purposes such as offering real-time communication tools and time-stamping for tracking student progress and security features like lighting.
For starters, we are already seeing traditional chalkboards give way to digital whiteboards and tablets are being used in place of textbooks. They are typically easy to use and simple to follow, thus allowing for an experience that is as good as a one-on-one class in person.
Pen tablets too are being extensively used by instructors in online classes as they allow them to express their ideas and thoughts using text and drawings, just like they would do on a piece of paper. Vishal Raina, founder and instructor at the after school coding program YoungWonks, explains how technology has come to play an important role in conducting online classes for their students across the world. “There are three main aspects to teaching a student in person. First come the visual cues. This need is addressed by the cameras and excellent video conferencing in our online classes. Next comes hearing out the student and talking back to him and her, this is taken care of by the audio. The third aspect is being able to draw something using text and drawings which is replicated in the online class using screen sharing. In fact, our instructors can draw, highlight and annotate better than on paper, thanks to the use of highlights, colours and digital tools.
Thus at YoungWonks, we make full use of smart learning technology and products so as to offer our students an online class that is no less than being taught in person,” he shares.
5. 5G-enabled devices
5G refers to the 5th generation mobile network. The latest in wireless technology, 5G is expected to not just work across mobile networks thereby connecting people, but also linking and controlling machines, appliances and objects. Given that 5G promises multi-Gbps peak rates, ultra-low latency, massive capacity, and more uniform user experience, there is a lot of buzz around it.
From Qualcomm - which recently announced that it has around 230 5G devices already launched or in development - to Xiaomi with over 10 new 5G devices being rolled out, the year 2020 is expected to see a dramatic rise in the number of affordable 5G-enabled devices. Moreover, both Qualcomm and competitor MediaTek have declared that they shall be offering fully integrated 5G system-on-chip solutions for non-flagship smartphones in the coming year. OnePlus too is expected to release more affordable 5G phones in 2020. One can also expect to see 5G PCs and home broadband soon, ditto for 5G XR (Extended Reality) and wearables.
In fact, 5G was under the spotlight at the Consumer Electronics Show held last month (January 2020). This next generation of wireless technology has been making news for over two years now, especially thanks to its speed, that is slated to be nearly 20 times faster than today’s 4G technology. Moreover, 5G, it is being said, can provide higher performance and efficiency across industries, thus expanding the scope of user experience as we know it today.
So on the one hand, there is a large section of consumers and business owners who are looking forward to it, but at the same time, there are many concerns regarding the potential hazards of this wireless technology. There are, for instance, surveillance concerns, particularly the espionage fears experienced by foreign users relying on Chinese equipment. The health concerns too are attracting attention. 5G radiation is being said to be even more dangerous than 4G, mainly because 5G uses higher microwave frequencies ranging from 2.6Ghz to 28Ghz, as compared to the frequencies between 700-2500Mhz that are usually used by 4G.
Keeping this in mind, some countries have even moved towards taking precautionary steps. For instance, in April 2019, the radiation laws in Brussels, Belgium were invoked to stop a 5G trial. In Geneva, Switzerland, a planned upgrade to 5G was stopped due to the same reason.
For more information on 5G technology, read our blog here: https://www.youngwonks.com/blog/Mobile-Phone-Technologies-Over-The-Years
*Contributors: Written by Vidya Prabhu; Lead image by: Leonel Cruz