Smart Device & AI Device Usage Statistics

Artificial intelligence is becoming a bigge part of our lives with every passing day. Machine learning programs are gathering ever more data, which they use as feedback to improve their functionality and drive progress. AI technology continues to grow and improve, and so does its applicability in the business world. CEOs and other executives at companies of all sizes have invested in research and development for this exciting new technology. With so much potential for growth, it’s no wonder businesses hope to use AI to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. But don’t take my word for it. These three AI facts can help you stay ahead of the curve!

More than 20 percent of WiFi-connected homes now contain smart speakers.

Though business applications for AI are talked about quite often, it’s important to note what’s going on with consumers as well. When you think about it, all business trends ultimately depend on mass adoption from consumers. For example, there wouldn’t be such widespread use of Facebook Ads (which also use AI, by the way) over the past few years if Facebook hadn’t been widely adopted by consumers. It’s never been easier for businesses to reach their target audience on the site now that it boasts more than two billion users.

If more than 20 percent of homes with WiFi have smart speakers, as you can see in the graphic below, it’s going to become increasingly important for businesses to find ways to take advantage of this technology.

Smart Speaker USA statistics

As more consumers adopt this new hardware to get their morning news, find the day’s weather predictions, or remind themselves to take out the trash, it’s going to become a more attractive medium for businesses.

77 percent of people use devices with AI capabilities, but  only 33 percent realize they’re using AI.

It’s obvious to some people that AI technology is a part of their daily lives — especially if they have an Amazon Alexa or another smart speaker in their house. However, AI is far more prevalent than many people think. In fact, most people who use AI-capable devices don’t even realize they’re using AI. If you think about it, every single iPhone user who has asked Siri a question has used a form of AI. This just goes to show how rapidly technology is progressing and being implemented into our daily lives; most of us don’t even realize it’s happening.

It’s no wonder that AI is attracting increased attention from savvy folks in the business world. Take it from an expert like Mark Hurd, who claimed, in a LinkedIn article published earlier this year, that “during the next two years, artificial intelligence and the ability to run autonomous software and systems will dramatically reshape how businesses think about technology.”.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, has proclaimed that “we are now solving problems with machine learning and artificial intelligence that were… in the realm of science fiction for the last several decades. And natural language understanding, machine vision problems, it really is an amazing renaissance.”

72 percent of business leaders consider AI to be a “business advantage.”

Jeff Bezos is no fool. He and his team at Amazon had the foresight to see AI coming — hence why Alexa now owns almost 70 percent of the smart speaker market. They anticipated the “business advantage” of AI in the home before most companies caught on and were thus able to get their products to market earlier. That’s what makes AI such a business advantage in the first place: despite its prevalence, it’s still an emerging technology.

As with anything else, the people and companies that can adapt the fastest to take advantage of new trends and technologies (otherwise known as first mover advantage) are often the ones who succeed. As AI continues to develop and evolve, there will be many more opportunities for businesses to implement it in new areas of our lives — it’s just a matter of beating everyone else to the punch. Those who are open-minded, agile, and able to adapt quickly will have the upper hand.

AI has gained serious traction in the past few years, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. It’s infiltrated our homes as smart speakers, it’s in the phones we use every day, and it’s even found its way into many famous movies. AI’s capabilities are evolving every day, and so is our understanding of it. But if there’s one thing that you must understand, it’s that if you’re not ahead of the market when it comes to using AI, then you’re already behind.

Top 5 Trends in The “Convenience Technology” Market

Since the dawn of man, convenience has been the most common factor in the creation of advancements and societal progress. Perhaps, it is simply the human condition to want to develop more convenient ways to accomplish the same tasks we have done for centuries, or maybe we simply want to achieve more than we have in the past. No matter what the reason is, these advancements continue to grow and shape a brighter future for our world each and every day.

However, although the “convenience technology” market has been around for decades, each and every year, the tech industry introduces technological innovations more advanced and unique than the last. With this said, for 2017, five trends in the market reign supreme ranging from the way we drive all the way to the way we speak with one another. By looking at these trends, it may be possible to predict the future of the convenience technology market and utilize this information as tech professionals to be at the forefront of these trends as they transform and advance over time.

  1. Autonomy in Technology

The first autonomous vehicle was designed in the 1500s by Leonardo Da Vinci and was ultimately a self-propelled cart which was powered by two symmetrical springs. Then, in 1933, the “Mechanical Mike” aircraft autopilot was invented which allowed it’s creator, Wiley Post, to both navigate and fly at the same time.

From there, myriad different autonomous vehicles and forms of technology began to sprout up, leading to the 2015 Tesla autopilot cars which not only modernized the autonomous car but also raised the question of whether or not it was possible to create a completely autonomous transportation industry in the future.

According to a study by The Center for Internet and Society, human error is the explanation for over 90 percent of car accidents across the globe. With this said, the autonomous car market has continued to grow since 2015 with over 44 corporations working on autonomous vehicles as of 2017. In fact, the market has grown so significantly that it is projected to be worth 7.84 million units by 2021 and growing.

So, what is the setback which is currently hindering these corporations from making autonomous vehicles readily accessible to the masses? Unfortunately, despite the fact that, after reviewing the pros and cons of driverless cars, there isn’t much to be concerned about, there are still many individuals that believe these vehicles could be dangerous due to the fact that they would not only eliminate human error but also human inference. The main fear is that this could lead to multiple deaths yearly as these cars would assess the risks in swerving versus the risks in hitting objects — and potentially choose hitting the object over moving out of its way.

With this said, many people wonder if the cars will be able to discern the difference between saving your life and that of a small child who stumbles into the road. Furthermore, many others are concerned that the car would be solely logical and could potentially choose sacrificing its owners over causing the deaths of others. Although this may seem ideal as one life is not worth two or more, some owners believe self-preservation is far more important than autonomous convenience.

However, when reviewing this information, it is clear that the yearly car accidents and death rates would significantly decrease with the inclusion of autonomous cars on the roads, and the likelihood of sacrifices being made in such a drastic manner would be little to nothing as it is proposed that these cars would ultimately be smart enough in the future to notice the crashes or disasters before they are forced to resort to those kinds of measures.

Furthermore, as the first autonomous cars are being tested nationwide, the conversation has transitioned into what the countless opportunities are regarding these amazing vehicles. From drastically reducing transportation costs and truckers being far more safe and well-rested on the road all the way to flights that are no longer delayed due to understaffed airplanes and bad visibility, the opportunities to incorporate this smart technology into multiple modes of transportation are truthfully endless. With this said, this is just one of the many ways that the convenience technology market is truly making an impact on our world and the future of it.

  1. Self-Service

With time becoming such a valuable aspect of modern society, being able to create systems that make average daily tasks quicker and easier to perform allows us to save the precious time we once wasted and put it towards the things we feel actually matter, such as our careers, families, and pastimes. However, in 2017, this convenience and efficiency has reared its head in many ways, and it can sometimes be difficult to nail down just one or to analyze the pros and cons of these advancements.

However, when it comes down to the case of self-service technology, the debate is alive and well; the future of both our job industry as well as our tech industry may very well be on the line. The truth is that self-service technology is highly effective, relies on far less money and variables to be consistent, and makes many of our everyday tasks far easier and quick in the long run. However, some people believe that incorporating this technology in the hospitality industry could lead to a decrease in available jobs over time and take out the personal touches only a human employee could give to guests. On top of this, even more believe that the use of self-service kiosks will not only keep the minimum wage at its current low but possibly decrease it with time.

In fact, according to the former president and CEO of McDonald’s USA, Ed Rensi, “The push for a $15 starter wage has negatively impacted the career prospects of employees who were just getting started in the workforce while extinguishing the businesses that employed them. I wish it were not so. But it’s important to document these consequences, lest policymakers elsewhere decide that the $15 movement is worth embracing … Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced the nationwide roll-out of touch-screen self-service kiosks. In a video the company released to showcase the new customer experience, it’s striking to see employees who once would have managed a cash register now reduced to monitoring a customer’s choices at an iPad-style kiosk.”

However, these kiosks are extremely efficient and function in a very similar manner to any app on a cellphone might. On top of this, this reduces the rushes these employees once faced, as it makes it easier for cashiers to run food and makes it easier for cooks to know what the guests want likewise. Furthermore, with AI becoming a viable source for self-service technology as well, it is quite possible that, through big data, these machines could even make inferences and provide the personal touches these individuals find so lacking in current forms of self-service tech.

However, with the restaurant industry set aside, perhaps, one of the most significantly impacted industries will rather be the hospitality industry. In fact, a perfect example can be found at Japan’s Henn na Hotel where robots and self-service reign supreme. Granted, the technology is more comical at this point in time than anything else, but it is still a great way to see just how effective even the most ineffective technology can be in the hospitality industry, as the robots run the entire show themselves from check-in to check-out. With this being said, it is clear that self-service is a universal crowd-pleaser in the hotel industry. It makes it possible for guests to arrive later in the night, check themselves in so as to skip any lines, and get up to their room in a swift manner.

The main reason this is ideal is that it means that frequent travelers would finally be able to avoid some of the most annoying aspects of travel and simply be able to complete an automated process in order to get into their hotel rooms, finish their work, and head home. Furthermore, these kiosks can also help the hearing impaired as well as be programmed to know countless languages which can make the check-in process easy for far more individuals from across the globe. Because of these reasons, despite the fact that the kiosks could potentially take jobs away from individuals, the pros certainly outweigh cons, and, more than likely, it would actually mean less work for the same wages, based on the current market.

  1. Business Advancements

Although this may not come as a surprise to most individuals involved in the tech world, the business industry and convenient technology industry are two of the most perfectly intertwined industries. The idea that work can be easier through advancement is certainly not a new one but has rather been the precipice of business-related technology for quite some time, and any technology has been proven to be effective when manipulated into the business setting. From virtual reality data visualization like IViz  that allows us to take our big data to the next level all the way to user-friendly web development and design like magento development that helps create engaging sites such as Visit California, the advancements that have been made through the need for more convenient alternatives to everyday business tasks are immense.

In fact, according to Techvera, “CIO Magazine conducts an annual State of the CIO survey and gathers data to compile an average spending budget across numerous companies. For 2013, it found that the average IT budget, as percent of revenue, is 5.2%. This is a slight increase from the 2012 average, which was 4.7%. Overall, businesses seem to spend between 4-6% of their revenue on IT, and this range is recommended by CIO Magazine.”

Although autonomy in transportation and convenience in travel both significantly affect business in a positive way, one of the most affected aspects of the business industry is data analysis. Data analytics have not only evolved with the introduction of conveniences like virtual and augmented reality (in order to view and analyze large datasets), but also have been given multiple different ways to plug in data into various software and receive particular statistics and suggestions based on said data that would otherwise take days to analyze by hand. With this said, it is clear that the data analysis industry is one of the most affected by new convenience technologies.

  1. Remote and Secure Transactions

Businesses have always sought for better and faster ways to sell their products, and the internet has supplied them with just that for years now. By removing many of the variables that all too often lead to a no-sale situation, such as bad customer service, distance to the nearest store location, and time to think about said transaction when in the store and in line, you provide both the company and the user with a quick and efficient way to complete transactions.

However, recently, there has been a tremendous amount of identity theft cases leading to a certain consumer fear of relaying information on the web such as credit card details or home addresses. This, ultimately, has led to far less transactions being completed online and is rather absurd due to the fact that most modern companies understand how to have secure payment systems and provide their consumers with just that as they head to check-out.

Despite this, the need to create a remote and secure transaction process still remains, and, with technology constantly advancing, it may soon become possible for companies to use systems such as fully homomorphic encryption in order to not only provide security but sheer impenetrability as a whole. With this said, the opportunities to even further expand the online business market are practically endless. In fact, many companies, such as Gumtree, even market more heavily during Christmas time with articles such as “Quirky Christmas Gifts from Gumtree” due to the fact that Christmas shopping lines can be a complete and total pain, and online shopping completely eliminates these pain points whilst still retaining the deals and items the store provides. In the end, this online convenience not only provides consumers with an easier way to receive and purchase goods but also benefits the companies tremendously by making their products accessible to anyone and everyone.

  1. Social Interaction

With convenience technology playing such a vital role in our society, it is no surprise that even our social interactions are dictated by said tech. From a deep reliance on social media as well as a need for technology to be incorporated in every aspect of our lives, even the most bland parts of life have become heavily influenced by it. For instance, Instagram has become a major hub for people to share pictures of their meals with which, although it may seem normal to our modern society, is actually a fairly strange social interaction to have. After all, past generations did not share menial aspects of their lives in such a way, yet the ability to have a camera and a connection to the rest of the world at all times has made us want to share anything and everything.

In fact, according to a recent study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, although the vast majority of our society utilizes social media primarily to talk with other people including our loved ones, we are actually incredibly lonely. Perhaps, the reason for this is due to the fact that humans crave human connection and touch, and technology simply cannot provide this — no matter how hard it tries. However, social media has also made it possible for us to share current affairs, become a more informed society, and even know about events as they are happening which, in the past, was practically impossible without the news reporting about it.

In this sense, social media has significantly affected our world in a positive way and made us a more connected society as a whole. However, it is important that we don’t forget our primal needs for human connection.

Furthermore, with such a dependence on technology in every aspect of our lives, it has even become quite common for technology to not only be taught in curriculum such as STEM programs but also be used to teach students various difficult subjects in a far more fun and engaging way. A perfect example of this is game-based online learning that takes classes which many students fail each and every year in college and turns them into fun, interactive games. These games reward students for correct answers and make both the testing and the learning process far more engaging overall.

In the end, there are multiple trends currently expanding upon the convenient technology market, but these five are certainly at the forefront and contenders for the best advancements our generation will have to offer our world. After all, technology is a way for us to bridge gaps and create paths that are easier and quicker than ever before. Why not take this concept and fly with it, so we can see what kind of a future our world has in store?

Smart Home Trends And Statistics

Up until recently, all the hype surrounding the smart home movement was just that – publicity driven by technology companies in an effort to entice consumers. For years it seemed as though something were missing from the equation.

Now the field lies at the intersection of several high-tech trends, which finally appear to have reached a level of maturity and sophistication that they lacked in the past. As demonstrated at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held in January in Las Vegas, many of the products now on the market represent a big step up from what was possible before.

The home automation arena is expected to be one of the largest tech growth sectors for the next five years. The website Statista has compiled some of the market statistics. Currently, Americans spend an average of $350 per year on smart home devices and services. At the beginning of 2017, 32.5 percent of US homes had voice-activated smart devices. That number is expected to double by 2021. Reports estimate that a total of $14.649 million in revenue can be expected for smart home products before the end of 2017.

At the heart of the newest “smart” goods are improvements in speech recognition technology. They enable a more natural interface than touchscreens or keypads and are widely deployed in today’s digital assistants, like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. This is important because a new study from Coldwell Banker shows that 72 percent of Americans want to use voice control to interact with their smart home equipment. Perhaps they’ve become familiar with this means of operating their gadgets after trying it out with their cellphones. Parks Associates has found that 39 percent of those with smartphones use voice recognition technology.

While computer hardware and software providers were the initial leaders in popularizing voice-enabled digital assistants, the crown now sits atop the head of e-retailer Amazon. Its Echo speaker and Alexa assistant have proven especially popular with the public, selling more than 5 million units since introduction in 2014. What makes the Echo so enviable is that it’s designed to play nicely with other automated home equipment, offering users a single platform from which they can access all their smart devices. Moreover, Amazon has opened the architecture up to third-party developers, who have released thousands of “skills” for Alexa, expanding “her” capabilities. With a large installed user base and the ability to add more features going forward, Amazon is a key player to watch in 2017 and beyond.

Voice recognition systems use advanced artificial intelligence principles to try to understand what users want based on conversational context cues and the history of previous commands. AI has evolved to the point where it’s capable of using sophisticated algorithms and vast troves of data to communicate and solve problems. In software like the Vivint Sky app, an algorithmically-driven agent is able to ask the user questions and thereby learn his or her behavioral patterns. For homeowners and business professionals alike, this type of AI will soon add a layer of functionality and intelligence to connected devices that enhances all aspects of everyday life. In fact, Gartner analysts estimate that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human.

Now that cloud computing allows thousands or millions of devices to communicate with each other, they can share their data and experiences to act even smarter than when they first came out of the box. Gartner Research foresees more than 20 billion devices connected through the IoT by 2020. This much quantity becomes itself a kind of quality as large databases of data empower cutting-edge analysis and learning protocols.

Security cameras are some of the electronic systems that stand to benefit the most from advances in artificial intelligence. Several models shown at CES incorporate facial recognition features, allowing them to differentiate between residents and intruders. The momentum this year is toward combining multiple elements into one camera, like integration with lighting systems and motion sensors. Anything that allows a camera to better focus in on and capture events as they unfold has applications in security monitoring. 360-degree fields of view are another compelling reason to invest in the current crop of all-knowing surveillance cameras.

Smart lights mean no more stumbling around in the dark. Bulbs from Lifx produce normal, visible illumination as well as infrared light, which allows cameras to see clearly even at nighttime. Other units contain motion detectors so that your outdoor lights will brighten if you’re moving around your property. Smart thermostats meanwhile keep tabs on the home environment, tracking and informing users of temperature, humidity, air quality and other metrics that contribute to human comfort and well-being. Although there’s little hard data yet on just how effective smart thermostats are, findings seem promising – residents who use them report energy savings of approximately $135 per year.

The best innovations from multiple areas of research are coming together to make the smart home dream a reality. This fact is perhaps nowhere as evident as it is at major trade shows, like the 2017 CES. After reviewing the exciting innovations on display, it becomes clearer than ever before that home automation systems and products will continue to grow significantly in popularity, flexibility, and convenience.