Many technologies that used to belong to the realm of science fiction are now a reality, and the vision of digital innovators never stops providing new ideas that in the future will become part of our daily lives. Vodafone experts have drawn up a list of the innovations that will see the light of day throughout this decade, providing society with more innovative, friendlier and more connected technologies that will make life easier for people.
The world is digitizing quickly, providing society with new tools that make work and daily life easier, providing ways to obtain information, connect with other people and share all kinds of experiences. This progress is relentless, and during this decade, experts predict that innovations will emerge that will revolutionize the way people interact with technology and digital environments.
To provide a vision of the near future, the company Vodafone has prepared the report The Connected Consumer 2030, where they delve into the five trends that, according to their vision, will revolutionize connectivity throughout this decade. These technologies will not only change the way we communicate but will impact other aspects of the world we live in, from climate change to health.
To prepare this document, a study has been carried out in collaboration with The Future Laboratory, which predicts where innovation efforts will be directed in remote health care, smart cities and transport, ethical connectivity, sustainability and other technologies. The avant-garde will see the light in the coming years, precipitating a series of changes in the digital society.
Smart health devices
The health field is changing rapidly since the pandemic revealed the ineffectiveness of traditional health care systems in the face of unforeseen emergencies. For this reason, the health sector has decided to immerse itself in digital transformation and technology manufacturers fully support this initiative, developing devices to support health care. This has led to a whole new branch of services such as IOT in healthcare.
Vodafone researchers believe that in the next ten years, homes will have devices capable of proactively monitoring health, which will help diagnose illnesses and possible health problems in a preventive way. And they believe that this will help the health sector save up to 39,000 million euros a year.
In this category, they anticipate that new categories of connected devices will emerge, such as smart mirrors equipped with sensors that will check blood flow or skin colour changes that denote hidden health problems. And in a more connected home, speakers equipped with smart digital assistants will be able to automatically request a recipe when they detect sounds like a cough or sneeze.
In addition, new devices of a different nature will emerge, including wearables, which will allow monitoring advanced constants such as hydration level, blood pressure or blood sugar to achieve more precise health control, especially for chronic patients. This will help improve the quality of life and reduce healthcare costs, avoid unnecessary visits to health services, and allow doctors to carry out a more precise follow-up of patients without the need to go to the doctor.
Mind control of digital devices
The idea of controlling computers or devices with the mind is science fiction. Still, Vodafone researchers believe that by 2030 wearables will have interfaces that allow users to control them through thought. They predict that by then, there will be brain-machine interfaces capable of interpreting the words that are meant before they are spoken, translating them into commands for intelligent assistants, which will transfer them to the devices. According to his vision, this type of platform opens the possibility of a future in which screens will not be necessary. Communication with devices will be carried out through neural networks that allow taking “mental notes” and communicating with these devices. Silent.
Reduction of emissions through connected technologies
Another prediction Vodafone researchers have made is that modern global connectivity will help meet environmental targets set for the end of this decade. On the one hand, they believe that communications technology will allow us to know the state of our environment in real-time, including the health of the forest masses, the prairies, and even the oceans. This will help more accurately monitor the impact generated by human activities and the correct development of environmental actions such as reforestation. In this sense, they have joined forces with Defra and Forest Research to investigate the possible uses of Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) technology to monitor tree growth and promote research on its role in the fight against climate change.
They also believe that collecting data from more intelligent and more capable connected devices will allow smart cities to monitor resource consumption and better reuse surplus energy and heat to power public spaces, among other benefits. In this aspect, consumers have their role. In the coming years, they will have digital tools based on information collected to understand better the impact they generate on the efficiency and sustainability of the communities in which they live, which will help them make better decisions to reduce their environmental footprint.
Smart holograms for commercial purposes in autonomous vehicles
The autonomous vehicles that we will see in the coming years will not have the classic robotic driver of the movies but will be governed by a complex, intelligent system capable of safely taking people to their destination. And by transforming the driver into a mere passenger, new entertainment and business possibilities are opened up during journeys.
At the moment, manufacturers are evaluating the business model to support the development and maintenance of onboard digital ecosystems. Still, Vodafone experts point out that immersive holographic interfaces will be developed that will serve as a platform to sell products and services to travellers. This will open up a new universe of opportunities for e-commerce, tourism and digital leisure that will seek a high level of personalization.
New ways to monetize personal data
The value of personal data is undeniable for retail and advertising companies, and consumers are increasingly aware of it, with 44% currently refusing to share it in exchange for a personalized experience. The researchers say that brands that want to get more value from this personal information will have to offer users more attractive benefits for sharing their data.
In his conclusions, Lutfu Kitapci, general director of Vodafone Smart Tech, comments that “in the last two years, connectivity has become part of the fabric of our daily lives, helping people to be close to people and things. that matter most to them and to solve daily challenges”. From his report, he highlights “how the pace of transformation is growing and how we will place ourselves at the centre of it with our connectivity solutions to help governments, companies and consumers face society’s main challenges”.