The Internet of Things involves a lot of tracking, both of things and of people. Sensors and chips can be embedded into household appliances, toys, pets and even people. Now there's a move in one state to keep microchips from being implanted into people. Microchips already can be implanted in pets so they can be found if lost.
There's virtual reality and then there's the reality relating to virtual reality. Despite all the marketing and promoting of VR headsets of various types, marketers will not get much out of VR as it exists today, according to a new study. However, in the long term, virtual reality with transform marketing experiences, unlike any marketing channel that has come before, according to Forrester.
One of the promises of self-driving cars is the potential of new forms of marketing to the people in those cars. Even though self-driving cars are a work in progress, researchers nonetheless are searching for what drivers expect they would do should they find themselves in a self-driving car. One survey by Morning Consult earlier this year found that the majority of consumers say talking on the phone would be acceptable while watching TV or reading would not, as I wrote about here at the time.
Not all smart home systems are alike. There are essentially two types: those that are professionally installed and those that are more do-it-yourself like. This was quite obvious at CES in January, with companies like ADT, Brinks and Carrier promoting home security systems that come via their installation prowess in the field while marketers from companies like UltraSync Smart Home argued that consumers want to buy and install the systems themselves.
Along with connected cars comes in-car entertainment. More and better screens in the driver console as well as for rear-seat passengers and greater availability of in-car connectivity and Wi-Fi services will be pushing the market along, based on a new study. The global in-car entertainment hardware market will reach $36 billion by 2021, an increase from $16 billion last year, according to the connected car report from Futuresource Consulting.
This year will mark the time that the number of Internet-connected things passes the number of people on earth. A new forecast says there will be 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide this year, an increase of 31% from last year. That's roughly a billion more than the world population of 7.5 billion.
Consumer robots are coming. Millions of them. A new forecast says 16 million consumer robots will be shipped globally this year, growing to 48 million in three years. North America and Western Europe will drive significant shipment number while China and the Far East will dominate the market by 2020, according to the report by Juniper Research.
Virtual and augmented realities are moving well into the millions. That's millions of units and millions of dollars. A new forecast now projects VR headsets to grow more than 50% a year for the next four years.
There are smartwatches, other smart wearables and now an artificially intelligent wearable that is so smart it can tell how a conversation is going. The intelligent wearable system can predict if a conversation is happy, sad or neutral, based on a person's speech patterns and vitals. The wearable AI system was introduced this week by researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Institute of Medical Engineering and Science.
Not all smart wrist wearables are created equal, but they may be heading in that direction. For example, there are fitness trackers and there are healthcare trackers. And then there are smartwatches. Early on, each had their own specialized functions and associated marketing messaging.