From the feature phones that we straddled in the 90s and ‘00s to the smartwatches and smart speakers that we direct voice commands at, the three essentials will continue to be the holy grails of the IoT era.
Minority Report, the Steven Spielberg film released in 2002, created waves for all the right reasons. It unfolded an avant-garde vision of technology unthinkable in its time. Moving beyond a futuristic fantasy, it brought to life innovations like voice-automated smart homes, connected cars, smart personal devices, Big Data analytics to name a few. When you look back, it is evident that Spielberg, quite prodigiously, captured the three key foundations of a future enriched with Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things—Technology, Performance, and Design.
These three factors have become mainstays in our lives now, with baby boomers, Gen Z, and millennials alike looking for a connected experience. From the feature phones that we straddled in the 90s and ‘00s to the smartwatches and smart speakers that we direct voice commands at, the three essentials will continue to be the holy grails of the IoT era.
Technology: the new frontiers
As human-device interaction increases, the Davids and Goliaths of technology are looking at boosting their Artificial Intelligence capabilities through AI algorithms. For instance, we have come a long way from the time when one could only imagine controlling their home appliances remotely. Now, we can simply connect smart TVs, refrigerators, and other appliances through a centralised platform and control them via a smartphone.
Ten years ago, you would not have thought of a compact, sleek, and functional device strapped to your wrist that could measure blood oxygen or BPM levels with medical-grade accuracy. And as technology evolves by leaps and bounds, we may even see a future where smartwatches emerge as our personal health assistants, giving a more humane experience. When 5G eventually arrives, the momentum will pick up pace, thanks to its extremely high-speed, low latency, and ubiquitous coverage. From stable and reliable connectivity in crowded spaces to more realistic gaming experiences with augmented, virtual, and mixed realities, the possibilities are immense.
Getting to the brass tacks of performance
The snazziest of technologies will not hold the fort if the basics are not in place. Brands are focusing on a seamless amalgamation of best-in-class hardware, long battery life, and fast charging experience for a successful AIOT device. It’s becoming imperative for AIOT products to sport an incredibly long battery life, often lasting up to 60-90 days on a single charge. In this way, many AIOT products for personal usage only require 4-5 charging rounds in an entire year! AIOT devices also come with wireless inductive charging which gives a hassle-free and convenient charging experience.
Let us take the case of True Wireless audio accessories for example. State-of-the-art TWS products come with a large 43mAh battery, in the niftiest of shape, with the promise of watching three movies on a single charge. Wireless charging cases are super-fast, giving users 20 hours of battery life on just a 10 minute charge. Going forward, we will see more uptake of ultra-low-power processors below 8nm technology and sensors, and low-power wireless connectivity to solve performance woes.
Responsive, ergonomic designs
Creative, gorgeous product designs with endless functionalities. Doesn’t it sound tempting? Brands have worked hard over the years to fit in the maximum number of features in a small device resulting in products that are compact, stylish, and aesthetically pleasing. In many personal AIOT products, users need to have access to both touch and voice functions, so simple, elegant yet utilitarian design is the key.
Form factors of wearables have evolved to ensure that these devices blend seamlessly into your grip. With a quick button and built-in microphones, voice assistants can be accessed in a highly convenient way. Many users dedicated to these products fall in the millennial’s demographic. Hence the design language itself has evolved as well, giving a more premium, energised, sporty feeling. With creative social media influencers emerging, brands are collaborating with them to infuse design elements that complement pop cultural trends.
We have traveled a long way since 2002. And while flying cars may become after a few decades, the overarching goals for brands, including us, remains to create a modern technological lifestyle that benefits people with holistic products across price points. The pleasure and convenience of such a life will be incomplete without the trifecta of Technology, Performance and Design. It is a good time to enjoy the juicy fruits of the electronics industry brought by the development of science & technology. Here comes the world, with the convenience of a few touches.
—Madhav Sheth is VP—realme and CEO, realme India and Europe. The views expressed are personal
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)