DigitalMartin Bradley

What are the key trends that will affect consumers in 2020?

As the sun sets on another year of CES, 2CV help you navigate the myriad of announcements, giving their view on what the major trends will be for 2020. Plus the Tech & Entertainment team have got together to give their list of 'what we're excited about for 2020'!

2CV review CES 2020

For us tech nuts, CES is the yearly kick-off where we get to see what consumer technologies are going to change our lives over the coming years. Inevitably our discussions in the office soon descend into which off-piste products will actually make it to market. Smart litter trays, a wearable subwoofer, portable desks, fake pork and a toilet paper delivery bot were just some of those announcements. For fear of being proven wrong, I'll let you make your own mind up as to which has the greatest chance of success.

As we start a new decade, CES certainly did not disappoint with a strong line-up of major tech launches to go alongside the traditional mix of wacky new products. And if CES is anything to go by, we're in for a wild ride in 2020. But beyond the obvious (slimmer laptops, foldable phones, near-bezelless TV screens, 8K, concept cars) what are the key trends that will affect consumers in 2020?

The content war gets even hotter

It's not hot enough with Apple TV+ already out and Disney+ coming? Well if CES is anything to go by, no. Quibi is set to revitalise the debate of the role of short-form content. Jeffrey Katzenberg as founder, A-list creators including Guillermo del Toro and Steven Spielberg and $1.4 billion in investments all in less than 10-minute bites. I for one am stoked about the potential this has to revolutionise how we engage with content from a 'mobile-first' focus. Our commutes may never be the same again as we consume a whole series over a couple of days. For our US friends, NBC's Peacock brings the concept of ad-funded free video back into the mix. The subscription war is far from over. Roll on 2020!

Digital health is evolving what it means to be human

We're used to there being an app for everything health related; from sleep tracking to step counting to calorie counting to water intake tracking. Well now there's a product for every part of our body too. Health and CES have gone hand-in-hand for many years, but the boundaries between physical and digital health are becoming increasingly blurred. Smart insoles, smart belts (CES 2020 Innovation Award winner nonetheless), smart sleep headbands, smart underpants and care bots were just some of the products that grabbed our attention. It's never been easier to understand your body, but how do all these products fit together? Does this mean the onus shifts from health services onto consumers? Add into the mix the role of AI, robotics and IOT, the ability to understand our bodies has the potential to help us better deal with the constant demands and stresses of modern live. Alternatively, it can make these stresses more apparent as our smart belt tells us we have been sitting for too long! Does this make taking care of our physical health easier at the expense of our mental wellbeing? Only time will tell.

Privacy matters to consumers and tech companies want you to know this

Privacy is one area of the tech world up to now CES has largely ignored. This changed dramatically this year and provides an insight into what tech companies have planned for 2020. Even Apple, who generally avoid CES, sent a representative to talk not about products, but privacy. For the first time CES let registered attendees pick up their ID badges with facial recognition. And biometrics was a key feature of the show. The data that companies hold on us goes far beyond what we search for, from where we are to what we look like, what we sound like or what are fingerprints are. Privacy and surveillance were front and centre for CES, reflecting increasing concern among consumers about how their information is collected and used. The information consumers are willing to give away to transform their lives will continue to be an issue. The range of smart products announced at CES means tech companies will continue to garner more data about us, but at what cost? How will consumers match demand for tracking tech with privacy concerns? These are issues we will see more tech companies address in 2020 as consumers demand the burden shifts from themselves to the companies they engage with.

2020 is certainly shaping up to be some year, in tech at least! At 2CV our Tech & Entertainment team have got together with their list of 'what we're excited about for 2020'!

Adam Pemberton, Head of Quantitative Research "Half-Life: Alyx. Will it give VR the boost it needs and encourage more investment from other developers?"

Richard Pickering, Research Director, Qualitative "Robots. Human companions can be a huge source for good in modern society, but will the rise of the machines change how we interact as humans?"

Martin Bradley, Research Director, Quantitative "Quibi. I've talked about it already! But short-form has seen a huge resurgence through TikTok. Will Quibi be a game changer for how we engage with content?"

Zachary Kemp-Hall, Research Executive, Quantitative "PS5 and Xbox Series X. Which is going to win this generation of the console wars? And will this generation of games consoles be the last?" 

 

Martin Bradley

Research Director, 2CV London

Martin.Bradley@2cv.com