Consumer Products – Innovation Engine of the World

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The proliferation of developments such as Internet of Things, 5G, WiFi6, automation and artificial intelligence means that companies need even more engineering expertise to put it together and create the next-generation of products.

In the post-internet era, the consumer products industry has experienced exponential growth — growth that’s sure to continue given rapid advancements in technology. Every day, it seems, a new product hits the market and a new concept is developed.

Consumers have become digitally empowered to make their buying decisions, meaning that any company has to be strategic to stay ahead of its competitors. Although total market size is difficult to pin down, we can safely assume that it is a multi-trillion-dollar market and growing. It’s said that “disruption comes from the bottom up.” In other words, customer obsession comes before digital transformation.

A decade ago, oil and gas company stocks had the highest market capitalization. But the table is now tilting towards tech companies that are high on innovation in consumer products. Internet of Things, 5G, WiFi6, automation and artificial intelligence are no longer just concepts. They are being integrated into not just PCs, smart phones and tablets, but also wearable devices and other household items. On a higher level, they’re being integrated into our houses and cars.

Smart Grids

Today’s smart grids enable an unprecedented level of consumer participation, providing information and tools so consumers can make informed choices about their energy use. For example, you will no longer have to wait for your monthly statement to know how much electricity you use. Smart meters and other mechanisms will allow you to see how much electricity you use, when you use it and its real-time price. This will allow you to save money by using less power when electricity is most expensive.

Augmented Reality (AR)

AR, which enhances the real world using digitally produced perceptual overlays, has experienced significant adoption in the past few years. Gaming achieved breakout consumer success in 2016 with Pokemon Go. In 2018, digital ads on Facebook allowed users to try on Michael Kors sunglasses using AR. Magazine ads in three German automotive publications used AR to enable readers to preview a 3D model of a MINI Cabrio convertible. The global AR ad market is projected to grow to $2.6 billion by 2022.

Big tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google continue to be the front runners in the AR space. However, other employers are also seeing value in using ARs even outside produce development. Caterpillar is embracing AR to train and guide technicians in the field. Honeywell uses a simulation tool to train its industrial employees using Microsoft HoloLens. The Army is using AR to train soldiers to practice and fight in the virtual world. In short, AR devices are used in every Industry that comes to mind, including education, construction, health care and manufacturing.

Mixed Reality (MR)

MR uses projected graphical visualizations that appear to interact with the real world. For AR and MR applications, the hardware may be an AR headset, a pair of AR glasses or mobile device. Imagine Google maps layered on top of the real street you are walking down and using it for real-time navigation. This may sound like science fiction, but it is closer to reality.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Smartphones

Most high-end phone processor chips now have dedicated components for artificial intelligence calculations. That means they can handle tasks specifically suited for machine learning, like being able to recognize a dog and a cat in a photo or being able to tell your voice from anyone else's. That in turn means a phone doesn't have to upload these kind of recognition tasks to the Cloud, so the device responds instantly and you get your results quicker. Think smoother augmented reality shots through your phone's camera or shooting modes that quickly identify the type of photograph you're trying to take. The most exciting smartphone innovations happen on the software rather than the hardware side.

Network Technology Innovations

5G network is expected to operate at speeds that are three times the speed of 4G. WiFi 6 promises faster download speeds than WiFi 5, which means it will take less time to download a 4K movie from iTunes to your Apple TV.

Smart Homes

As smart home technology evolves, traditional home automation hubs are becoming less and less necessary to build an interconnected home. In place of these third-party hubs, companies like Amazon, Google and Apple are pushing a new wave of smart speakers and intelligent assistants.

Despite the proliferation of digital products and automation, companies still need engineers and engineering expertise to put it all together. If your company is looking to implement your next generation product, Actalent has the domain experience and knowledge to help connect different industries:

  • Automotive
  • Utilities
  • Medical Devices
  • Consumer & Industrial Products
  • Heavy Industry
  • Networking
  • Software

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help create consumer products, contact Actalent now.

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