Ten hot consumer trends for 2014

Staff Writer

Ericsson’s ConsumerLab has once again identified the hottest consumer trends for the year ahead. Topping this year’s list with some of the most far-reaching implications are apps’ growing impact on society, our bodies becoming the new passwords and the use of sensors in everyday places. Friends are also increasingly having a major influence on our content consumption.

The global research is based on interviews with more than 100,000 individuals in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities.

The company’s ten hot consumer trends for 2014 are:

1. Apps change society. The mass demand for mobile services will potentially transform all aspects of daily life within three years.

Afrizal Abdul Rahim, head of Ericsson’s ConsumerLab in South East Asia and Oceania, says the rapid uptake of smartphones across the globe has completely changed the way we communicate and use the internet.

“This has set the scene for a transformation of all other industries. We have entered a new phase of rapidly diversifying smartphone use, and people are looking for apps across all sectors of society to improve their everyday lives.”

He says consumers believe that mobile services can enhance satisfaction when it comes to activities such as shopping, eating out and leisure activities. They can also alleviate dissatisfaction with areas like child day-care and elderly care, communications with authorities and transportation.

2. Your body is the new password. Websites are demanding longer passwords with a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols, which are almost impossible to remember. This is leading to growing interest in biometric alternatives. Ericsson’s research found that 52% of smartphone users want to use their fingerprints instead of passwords and 48% are interested in using eye-recognition to unlock their screen. A total of 74% believe that biometric smartphones will become mainstream during 2014.

3. The quantified self. Blood pressure, pulse and steps are just some examples of how we want to measure ourselves with mobile devices, using personally generated data. You only need to start an app to track your activities and get to know yourself better.

A total of 40% of smartphone users want their phone to log all of their physical activities and 56% would like to monitor their blood pressure and pulse using a ring.

4. Internet expected everywhere. Consumers now expect they’ll have close to ubiquitous internet access. But smartphone users are realizing that the signal bars on their phone are no longer a reliable indicator of connectivity – since a signal that is adequate for a voice call may not be good enough for watching a YouTube clip – and finding a Wi-Fi connection is not always easy.

Afrizal says there’s a clear opportunity for mobile service providers in both developed and emerging markets to improve the network experience, especially for the internet.

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