MANILA- Consumers should watch out for 5 major technology trends that could significantly influence their lives this 2017.
According to market research company GfK, trends that are seen to potentially impact consumer behavior this year are mobile payments, smart home, wearables, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), and autonomous vehicles.
Mobile payments are predicted to expand this year on the back of consumers’ desire for cashless shopping and the gaining popularity of shopping apps in Southeast Asia.
A separate GfK study, "The Connected Asian Consumer," shows that contributing factors to the growth of usage of shopping apps include affordable smartphones, a massive young and tech-savvy population, and efforts by governments and telco operators to expand and improve high-speed wireless networks.
For this year the smart home experience seeks to expand from smart televisions to smart air conditioners.
Smart cooling units are now seeing a boost in global sales with Taiwan leading the market share in Asia, followed by Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.
Japan, China, South Korea, and Singapore are also expected to contribute significantly to the growth of smart homes given the large proportion of high-income households and the data connectivity in these countries.
With more fashion brands embracing wearable technology, more people are seen to embrace the market for different uses.
A GfK study carried out across 16 countries showed that one-third (33 per cent) of respondents said they track or monitor their health or fitness via an online or mobile application, fitness band, clip or smartwatch.
Companies are advised to sell wearable technology that can be used for monitoring one's health since more consumers have shown interest in keeping themselves fit.
VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY
With the successful launch of the PlayStation VR in 2016, GfK thinks 2017 will be the year that virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) will start to achieve mass market status.
Companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are eyeing virtual and augmented reality as a possible tool to develop their market. However, the burden of incorporating the technology that goes beyond entertainment value in the daily lives of consumers rests upon companies before a mass market adoption kicks off.
Though it is still unlikely that driverless vehicles will see a massive market this year, consumers should still look out for autonomous vehicles with more manufacturers and tech companies working to realize this vision.
GfK thinks widespread adoption of the vehicle would most likely pick up at least by 2025 as manufacturers find the balance between consumer demand and what technology could deliver.
A major reason why the trend is part of the list is due to its huge appeal among young consumers who could possibly spark the interest of other consumers on the trend.