2014 Accessories: The Sky’s the Limit
Robotics and other app-enabled products compatible with iOS and Android are also playing a big role in the emerging product revolution. These devices pair cutting-edge technology and innovation with practical and entertaining applications, from carrying and picking up objects to performing dances and playing games. The next generation of robots will encompass self-awareness: the device knows when its battery is low, prompting a trip to its charging station. These ultramodern robots have the capability to project images and text for presentations or for personal use—users will be able to set the robot as an alarm and turn on its projector for the latest traffic report and weather all before they get out of bed in the morning. Over the next year, robotic devices will have telepresence capabilities suitable for business applications. Imagine a cradle that holds a tablet during your next group conference call, providing a hands-free speaker and simultaneously adjusting to focus on the specific person talking in the room via voice-detecting technology.
Advanced home automation capabilities will continue to evolve. Consider the ability to link up fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, doorbells, the mailbox, security system and more all into one system. A user-friendly, all-in-one hub will control everything within the home. By pairing the hub with a mobile device, users can receive real-time alerts and dial in from anywhere in the world to check in via live camera feeds. Another category to explore within home automation is LED lighting. These aren’t just energy saving light bulbs. This market will see everything from light bulbs equipped with Wi-Fi repeaters to ensure easy wireless access throughout a home to bulbs embedded with high-quality speakers.
The sky’s the limit for accessories and complementary technologies that pair with smartphones, tablets, and notebooks. According to an IHS report, there are more than six billion Internet-connected devices today, a number that will more than triple by 2020. With so many new technologies and devices coming to market, it’s important for retailers narrow the field and determine the key emerging-technology players to invest in. Manufacturers need to be two steps ahead, continually assessing tomorrow’s trends to incorporate into their product offerings. Whatever your role in the CE industry, look to a distributor that’s well-positioned in emerging tech to serve as your launch pad or trusted advisor. The educational phase of emerging technology is rapidly transitioning into full-scale adoption. Make sure you don’t miss the boat. This one’s forging ahead at lightning speed.