The Future of Consumer Technology in 2022
Bianca Green, Client Services Manager
Climate change is fast becoming the most urgent issue of our time; across every industry we find ourselves reflecting on how we can be more environmentally aware. This year at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the most influential tech events across the globe, sustainability is without doubt the leading trend.
In this article, we explore how the fast moving nature of the consumer electronics industry has shaped some of the trends showcased at this year’s CES.
The food and nutrition industry has seen a huge shift since the pandemic hit, creating new trends and patterns that will only continue to grow. What we eat and how we eat is changing significantly each day, which is not only due to being at home more often, but consumers are also becoming more environmentally aware as climate change concerns grow. Food technologists are addressing these concerns by creating new and sustainable ways for producing food.
Plant based alternatives are at a new high, as consumers change their diet to less or no meat. Creating a tasty plant-based product is a primary goal, but as consumers are searching for the most sustainable option, it’s vital this is shown in the production process. Food technology start up The Protein Brewery offer an animal-free protein called ‘fermotein’ that has undergone a brewing process, deploying fermentation technologies using locally sourced and water efficient crops. This method offers an environmentally friendly process and enables animal-based food production to be significantly reduced.
In a recent conceptual study, we explored sustainable design by addressing the lack of freezer capacity in today’s kitchens. The smart EcoModule concept provides a fresh twist on conventional kitchen appliances by radically reducing the amount of food that is thrown away. You can read more about this innovative project here.
Sustainability in Tech
Tech companies across the globe are starting to play a major role in shaping an environmentally friendly future. As circularity and alternatives to plastic become more obtainable, consumer electronics companies are finding ways to weave more sustainable solutions into their product development output.
When searching for new products, consumers are giving greater priority to sustainability on their list of demands. This calls for tech companies to create products that are either recyclable, reusable or simply have a longer life span, and with this in mind, consumers are now insisting on the obvious: brands should focus on managing the longevity of their product ecosystems. Legislation is starting to underpin this need in the form of lifespan labelling and right to repair regulations that make manufacturers accountable for ensuring products remain functional for much longer timescales than those that we have come to accept as the norm. Although we are headed in the right direction, the consumer technology industry has some way to go to meet and then keep pace with these growing market expectations.
The production process for packaging innovation is advancing quickly; circularity, recyclability, and plant-based alternatives are at a new high. Our article, ‘Sustainability In Packaging Innovation’ explores these trends showcased across a number of different brands. Read more here.
The pandemic has affected digital health immensely, and with social distancing and virtual doctor’s appointments part of a new normal, the industry has had to adapt fast and we are now seeing a technological revolution in the healthcare sector.
The healthcare industry has begun to implement a higher level of patient centricity (and with it a stronger consumer focus) across the medical field, and this has come with challenges. The main challenge is building a high level of trust, to use technology on patients it must be perceived as appropriate and reliable and considerate of the patient or users broader lived experience.
As AI (Artificial Intelligence) continues to undergo many thorough tests in the healthcare sector, we are inching closer and closer to the potential of deep learning in drug discovery and the possibility of surgical robots and AI-enhanced diagnostics. Empathetic AI is a new and emerging way of detecting and responding to human emotions by understanding and interpreting our information and how it interacts with us. To explore this topic more, read our article Empathetic AI: A True Partnership Between Users and AI.
Our Meaning Centred Design™ process decodes how people perceive brands and experiences, unlocking valuable insight, identifying rich seams of opportunity, and informing design solutions that focus on what matters to people to achieve commercial success and longevity.
This article was first published in December 2021