We help our customers develop breakthrough products and services within their market.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is an idea that’s been around for a decade or more but is just starting to permeate everyday life. Will connected discrete products be enough to woo consumers, or will smarter interconnected devices with common interfaces need to drive adoption?  Will security risks tarnish and set-back the industry?  Issues I’ll be looking for relate to two primary attributes necessary for success:

  • Consumer relevance - Is the IoT capability providing some user benefit that users will cherish and come to expect? One that is truly plug’n play with immediate gratification and supporting the brand promise?
  • Security - IoT solutions have to be better. In 2017 we saw too many IoT products hijacked and networks brought to their knees because of products designed with insufficient security. Product software updates relying on users to update products all over their home and automobile won’t cut it anymore. Blockchain, private keys, or will technology being developed at Preveil, a Boston-based start-up prevail?

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Anytime you use an app or product that you get frustrated using because it just seems so dumb, will be transformed with artificial intelligence. Products that understand you and your behaviors will become easier to use and anticipate what you want to accomplish. AI will be pervasive in every product we use. I’ll be looking to see how many products have embraced AI so they can adapt to the user, instead of the user adapting to the product. I’ll be analyzing what types of advanced data science methodologies are being used; neural networks, machine learning, natural language processing, and adversarial systems. Let’s see if 2018 will be the year products start getting really smart!

Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality

At last year’s CES, I specifically looked for advancements in the AR/VR space but didn’t really see much on the hardware side. Slight advances in field of view, resolution, and wearability, but quantum leaps in performance are hard. AR/VR markets are very broad and different. Beyond the glass, I'll be looking to see if motion tracking, natural feature recognition, or other enabling technologies have matured.

Smart home

The smart home concept has been around for decades, but the technology wasn’t ready to support it. Will 2018 be the year the smart home concept is finally ready for primetime and a platform ready for the consumer features we’ve always dreamed of? As we begin to come into the age of the smart home there will be two primary challenges:

What products and services will actually deliver a relevant consumer need?

Which platform to adopt? 5G promises ubiquitous connectivity but current technologies like Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and systems from Apple, Google, and Amazon have enormous consumer engagement.

Health and wellness

The market seems to have tried and realized that an iPhone app or bracelet is not enough to transform a culture of consumers. Consumer behaviors, attitudes, and motivations that drive health decisions are complex. There has yet to be a killer healthcare application, and perhaps there never will be since people and their health is personal and varied. While this field is excited about its future, we’re still waiting for that one breakthrough that paves the way for success to follow. I’ll be on the lookout for something that breaks the current paradigm.

Author
Eric Cohen
SVP, Consumer Business

A recognised leader in consumer and health technology, Eric has more than 30 years experience of developing products that create new consumer experiences using new technologies and healthcare behavior models. His track record in new product innovation and development combined with his first-hand knowledge of patient care and industry-leading patient engagement methods plays a critical role in developing new products and services in the consumer and wellness markets.