How technology will change our lives in 2014

By Fjord

1. Businesses will begin to classify consumers according to their attitudes to data and privacy

This year many people will wake up to the value of their online data and demand something back in exchange, to actively manage what they make available or choose to opt out. Data and privacy will become a core issue for every business, brand or organisation seeking to interact with people online.

In response Fjord predicts that in 2014 businesses will begin to band consumers and deal with them according to which category they fall into. This issue will become far bigger than simple online privacy: In 2014 people will begin to understand we are headed towards a completely connected society and interaction with technology will become a dominant theme in our daily lives. Public awareness that many previously inanimate objects and disconnected services will become interactive and web connected will rise; a society in which almost every aspect of our lives is monitored and managed by devices that surround us from the moment we wake up, through travel, work or school. Many people will not like this and will fear a loss of control over their lives and their privacy, however others will embrace this or ignore the data implications.

2. Look out for the beginnings of a universal sign-language for interacting with computers

Rather like Tom Cruise in the film Minority Report, we will in the future use gestures and body actions to interact with technology rather than the traditional click, tap or swipe through keyboards and screens. Ultimately as body gesture takes over universal interaction standards will be needed and a whole new digital language made up of movements and gestures will emerge. This will become imperative as this technology leaps from front room gaming systems into public spaces such as banks, shops, airports and stations.

3. In 2014 you will be on the look out to recruit your own virtual life management assistant

This will be a universal system that’ll help you keep an eye on your health, home services and security, family and relationships while you’re out and about. Virtual assistants will emerge as people begin to create unified personal information networks around themselves and businesses will start of offer virtual lifestyle systems that will bring all this information together and make it easy to access and control.

4. In 2014 you will start to carry your home in your pocket

For example this year will see more sensors introduced into homes. Everyday objects such as windows and fridges and utility supplies will begin to connect to the internet. It will be possible to buy new services that will connect up your home so they can manage security, communications with the neighbours, shopping, energy use and basic household tasks for you. Your home will in effect travel with you wherever you go. You’ll be able to watch it, take action if things go wrong and allow it to make decisions on your behalf.

5. Wearable tech that helps monitor health and wellness will become fashionable

Google’s Glass goggles may look naff but it won’t be long before its pioneering technology makes its way into our clothes and fashion accessories. 2014 will see wearable tech and fashion advance into the health and wellness sector, spawning a growing demand for fashionable wearables that provide a stylish means of monitoring our health, enhancing our fitness and advising on our lifestyle choices.

6. Insurance companies will become interesting and useful!

Technology will begin to transform the insurance industry in 2014. Consumers have traditionally seen insurance as a necessary evil, but the role of insurance companies is about to change beyond recognition as they start to crunch big data in ways that will help make life safer and easier and less stressful when something bad does happen. For example they’ll begin to advise drivers on where it’s safe to park, the least dangerous routes to drive and when. Consumers who accept advice on health and wellbeing and take appropriate action will be offered lower premiums.

When things do go wrong, insurance companies will use connected data analysis to solve the problem rapidly rather than being a hurdle to jump. For example in a crash they’ll do the hard work by analysing data from your car and identifying the cost of fixing it rapidly. Forward thinking insurance companies will begin to pivot to a role where they add value and protect consumers.

About Fjord

Fjord is the global service design consultancy part of Accenture Interactive. Find more details on the link: http://www.fjordnet.com/ 

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