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IoT to be supplanted by internet of senses by 2030

Ericsson research reveals consumers expect AI, VR and AR-enabled connected technology to interact with the senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch by 2030

The ninth edition of the Ericsson ConsumerLab Hot Consumer Trends report has revealed that mobile users now expect an array of beneficial services from connected technology interacting with their senses.

The research primarily draws on data from an online survey in October 2019 involving advanced internet users in 15 cities around the world – Bangkok, Delhi, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Tokyo.

The survey predicts the arrival of the internet of senses, which it says will be enabled by technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 5G and automation. It predicts that by 2030, screen-based experiences will increasingly compete with multisensory experiences that will be almost inseparable from reality.

Almost two-thirds of consumers believe they will be able to map routes on VR glasses by simply thinking of a destination, and a similar number believe they will be able to take on anyone’s voice realistically.

The other good news for business is that half of respondents recognised themselves as post-privacy consumers – they expect privacy issues to be fully resolved so they can safely reap the benefits of a data-driven world.

“We’re talking about a shift from current smartphone-based internet connectivity to immersive experiences resulting from our senses being connected,” said Pernilla Jonsson, head of Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab, and co-author of the report.

“This report explores what that could mean for consumers, with augmented reality glasses as the entrance point. We did not expect the extent to which consumers already envisage vast changes to our daily lives driven by sensory connectivity through AI, VR, AR, 5G and automation.”

Michael Björn, head of research agenda at Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab, and co-author of the report, added: “We often imagine the future as a linear development from today. But we already need to consider the opportunities and challenges of a world where all human senses are digitised.”

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