Technology continues to play a critical role in the evolution of society, with such advances set to continue to reshape the world as we know it. Technology also plays a powerful role in driving the most influential megatrends impacting consumer markets. These megatrends include healthy living, ethical living, connected consumers, shopping reinvented, middle class retreat, premiumisation, experience more, and shifting market frontiers.
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Technology continues to play a critical role in the evolution of society, including theupheaval of consumer-facing industries. In particular, the internet has been one of themodern era’s most transformative innovations, and underpins up-and-comingtechnologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality/virtual reality and theInternet of Things.
While AI technologies were commercially available by the 1980s, it was not until theturn of this century that the cognitive capabilities that comprise the emerging machineintelligence trend truly took off. Now the confluence of three powerful drivers, includingexponential data growth, more sophisticated distributed networks and smarteralgorithms, have propelled artificial intelligence to the centre stage.
From a consumer perspective, gaming has been the main avenue for exploration foraugmented reality and virtual reality, but commerce brands are starting to experimentwith how these technologies could be leveraged to enhance the consumer journey.
The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) will lead to more internet-enabled thingsbecoming digitalized, giving way to more use cases derived from this ubiquitousconnectivity. Thus far, many of the IoT applications have been used to automate aprocess or remove friction from another. In time, IoT could be leveraged to improvefulfilment or automate certain purchases.
The technological advances examined in this report have the potential to drivetremendous opportunities with the transformative force of technology generating andshaping the eight megatrends impacting consumer markets.