In January, more than 175,000 tech enthusiasts gathered at CES 2020 in Las Vegas for a preview of the world’s most exciting new products. As usual, the exhibit space was chock-full of futuristic, eye-popping innovations, including flying Hyundai Ubers, bionic robot sharks, smart pajamas and zerogravity bathtubs.
But beneath the shiny veneers and seemingly endless hype, tech companies are working quietly to address a growing problem: As AI, the internet of things (IoT) and next-generation connectivity relentlessly creep into everyday life, “tech angst” is at an all-time high.
A Q2 2019 GlobalWebIndex survey found that nearly one in four internet users worldwide (24%) don’t understand new technology and fear being left behind, up from just 15% in Q2 2013.
Consumers are also more anxious than ever about technology’s ability to compromise their personal privacy. At the current pace of development, it will soon be difficult to watch TV, drive a car, open a refrigerator or even go to sleep without sensors collecting data about these experiences. For this reason, it’s more important than ever that the industry find ways to help people comfortably use technology in simpler, more intuitively “human” ways and understand how it can ultimately benefit them.
If CES 2019 was all about how technology can make people’s lives easier, CES 2020 was about making the innovations themselves easier to use and less tech-like. This trend manifested itself in several ways. In this Industry Insights collection for CES 2020, you’ll hear from three speakers and eMarketer’s own principal analyst Victoria Petrock about this trend and more.