4 February 2015

In 2015, we might use technology very differently

Source: Intel infographic. Learn more here.

Today's world has moved beyond one where we only used one device with a basic level of connectivity, and it's going to change further. According to Intel, we may live with multiple devices, from wearables to smartphones, tablets to PCs, but the future could be even more different.

"Consumers are demanding more performance from our devices than ever before. (In 2015), devices will cater to a greater demand for improved imaging and photography capabilities, longer battery life without compromising on performance, integrated experiences, and a greater level of responsiveness,” observes Hermann Eul, VP and GM, Mobile and Communications Group at Intel.

"When it comes to mobile devices, we’ll see an increasing number of devices interacting with one another in the ecosystem. From applications enabling smartphones to control the TV through to enhanced insight into healthcare - we’ll continue to get more and more out of our devices.”

Connected devices will be more useful and intuitive, Intel predicts. “People who are buying 2 in 1s are refreshing their computers a full year earlier than a traditional clamshell buyer. What’s more exciting, is about half of the 2 in 1 buyers strongly considered buying a tablet instead. The 2 in 1 gives users a great experience in tablet and PC modes which we expect will continue to resonate with consumers.” says Kirk Skaugen, Senior VP and GM of personal computing at Intel.

Eul highlighted wireless charging as a key part of the immersive lifestyle of tomorrow. “Integrated wireless charging is still in its early stages, and will be initially available in high-end platforms as a differentiator. Places like coffee shops will start offering wireless charging zones as an incentive for customers. It won’t be mainstream next year, but it’s a natural evolution – it will be one of those things where we wonder ‘what did we do before we had this?” he suggested.

Asia Pacific and Japan will be the world's biggest fans of this new era of computing, Intel says with brands from the Chinese Technology Ecosystem (CTE) and dedicated innovation centres driving change into 2015 and beyond. “The China Technology Ecosystem will continue to be instrumental in the transformation of computing, delivering to market innovative products and technologies that offer great user experiences without compromising quality for price. 

"In the wearables space, the availability of low cost, good enough quality hardware, coupled with the debut of dedicated wearables operating systems (OSes), e.g. Apple Watch OS and Android Wear, will hasten the development of the wearables ecosystem as more and more app developers join the game," forecasts Weng Kuan Tan, VP and GM, Mobile and Communications Group China, and Director, Supply Operations at Intel.

Source: Intel infographic. Learn more here.

“Over the coming years we’ll see the rise of the smart city, with the management of people at its core. Enterprises will need to be mindful of competing interests and maintain the correct balance of profit versus what is right for the citizen. Smart cities will be about asking better questions of how things are currently done and optimising services that benefit everyone,” said Genevieve Bell, Vice President, Intel Labs; Intel Fellow and Director of User Experience Research.

The smarter devices being used in 2015 will also become easier to use, tailored to our individual needs, and we’ll see the emergence of new form factors, capabilities and experiences, such as wearables and 3D imaging, driving innovation and making the Era of Integration a desirable future for all involved.

“For wearables…there needs to be greater collaboration between technology companies and fashion companies. Something you wear is highly personal, it’s not just another computer. It needs to be inviting. We’re getting through the noise of the hype right now, and I think you’re going to see some great outputs in 2015,” says Michael Bell, VP and GM, New Devices Group at Intel.

“Touch isn’t necessarily the right interface for every wearable. We’re doing a lot of work around alternative ways to interact with wearables. A more intelligent voice control interface could be very interesting,” Genevieve Bell added.

"Device and transaction security will change the face of the Internet forever. Written passwords will eventually become a thing of the past, replaced with advanced biometrics, coupled with increasing government regulation.”

Source: Intel infographic. Learn more here.

Consisting of billions of connected smart devices – from miniscule chips to mammoth machines – that use wireless technology to talk to each other, our connected world – otherwise known as the Internet of Things (IoT) – is growing fast. Recent findings from IDC predict that the worldwide IoT market will grow to US$7.1 trillion by 2020, up from US$1.9 trillion in 2013*. 

IoT could potentially improve government efficiency, transform business and increase productivity, delivering huge value to communities across the globe, especially those prepared to shift quickly. For instance, the use of IoT platforms at an Intel factory in Malaysia delivered cost savings of US$9 million**. 

“While it is early days for IoT in the region, every country is becoming increasingly connected, presenting new journeys for national productivity. We currently have a number of smart cities in pilot across Asia Pacific and Japan, and the trick for those implementing IoT will be to proactively manage and improve the quality of life across their markets,” said Prakash Mallya, MD, Intel South East Asia. 

To ensure global communities successfully embrace this new era of computing, the benefits must be clear. "The challenge, as with all technology, is to explain it as clearly and simply as possible, while alleviating any concerns, such as privacy and security,” said Bell. 

Source: Intel infographic. Learn more here.

The ecosystem around the technology has to exist, too. The current and future workforce has to have the skills, knowledge and tools they need to succeed in this new era. According to the Talent Shortage Survey, skill shortages prevented 45% of employers in Asia Pacific filling vacancies in 2013***. If the region is to continue to be a hotbed of innovation, it is critical that gaps are rapidly addressed to provide opportunities for all. 

“Education and broadband connectivity will be huge for developing countries in Asia Pacific and Japan in 2015. With more connected citizens and more devices per user, productivity in these regions will increase significantly. This is great news for the economies and emerging markets in the region, and it lays the foundations for IoT and embedded computing too,” says Prakash Mallya, MD, Intel South East Asia.

Shelly Esque, VP, Legal and Corporate Affairs; Director, Corporate Affairs Group; and Chairman of the Board, Intel Foundation, says that technology can bring education to more people. "We are committed to narrowing the gender and Internet gap around the world. The Intel ‘She Will Connect’ initiative is empowering women and girls by creating social and economic opportunities through technology access, digital literacy and entrepreneurship skills. 

"As women access the Internet, they not only become consumers of content, they learn the skills to become creators. They can create content and gain the confidence and skills to be active participants in the economic and social fabric of their countries and creators of their futures. We will work to catalyse an ecosystem of partners to address this challenge,” she said. 

Society, too, must evolve to address the changes taking place. A key driver in this will be government regulations, and changing end-user behaviour. “Governments must enable business to be an open playing field and allow SMEs to run their business in the best way they see fit. Small businesses will stand by the way they want their business to be run,” notes Richard Hsu, MD, Intel Capital China.

*Worldwide and Regional Internet of Things (IoT) 2014–2020 Forecast: A Virtuous Circle of Proven Value and DemandMay 2014.
**Intel and Mitsubishi Electric Collaborate to Create Next-Generation Factory Automation Systems, September 2014.  
***Talent Shortage Survey 2013, ManPower Group.