According to a GfK study (the largest German market research institute), consumers spent more than EUR 1 trillion worldwide on smartphones and consumer electronics, for the first time in history, in 2018. European consumers accounted for around 25 per cent of these sales. Smart, networkable premium devices were particularly popular in almost all categories.
CES, the world’s leading trade fair for consumer electronics, demonstrated at the beginning of January how manufacturers are adapting to this trend and what trends we can expect in the near future. Apart from a few promising developments, including bread-making robots, intelligent suitcases and rollable televisions , CES confirmed that the industry’s current focus is not so much on real innovations, but rather on connectivity. Whether it is smart homes, wearables, connected cars, 5G, mobile payment or digital assistants, the developments are all interconnected and intelligent. Voice control is also playing an increasingly important role.
Despite all the enthusiasm about the almost inexhaustible possibilities of IoT, there is also criticism. According to the GfK survey, many people are concerned about face recognition, crypto currencies, virtual payment systems and self-propelled cars in particular. The Munich Innovation Conference DLD, which brings together the major players in the tech industry at the beginning of each year, focuses on similar topics that are expected to have a decisive influence on society such as cyber security, quantum computers, the booming space industry and the trade conflicts between the USA and China, which are affecting the technology markets.