CEDIA Tech Council Predictions for the future of Home Technology
Prediction 1: Mixed reality rooms will begin to replace home theater. You’re probably familiar with virtual reality headsets that envelop the eyes and provide a view that’s closed off — a movie with you as the camera, to oversimplify. There’s also “augmented reality,” technology that overlays some kind of digital information over your real-life experience. Combine those two concepts and you get a buzz-term called “mixed reality.” Prediction 2: Contact lenses will include displays — and even cameras. These are extensions of the “augmented reality” above, but they’ll be wonderfully interactive: In addition to adding data in the most heads-up display conceivable, imagine literally wearing a lens-sized video camera to capture your daughter’s recital. Prediction 3: We’ll see media with high-resolution video glasses. The hi-res tech that’s getting ever more complex on your home screens will be quite wearable in the near future. Prediction 4: Implantables will become the new wearables. The term “implantable” can easily mean something as removable as the aforementioned contact lens.
Prediction 5: Predictive algorithms will replace conditional logic. It's already happening, of course: How do you think Facebook knows who you’re looking at when it asks you if you want to tag your brother-in-law in that backyard barbecue photo? Prediction 6: The intelligent kitchen will ensure you never burn another burger. Robotic arms will stir your sauce. Your countertops will become touch screens. Sensors will shut off burners the moment internal meat temps hit the desired doneness.
Prediction 7: AI and machine learning will monitor — and fix — your home. Imagine artificially intelligent plumbing. Imagine that plumbing develops a leak, which triggers a moisture sensor, which tracks the failed pipe or coupling, which orders a small machine loaded with high-tech sealant to close the leak — and orders a second machine to mop up.
Prediction 8: 16K 16-bit high-frame-rate content is emerging. The shades of red, blue, and green you can see now on a state-of-the art screen? It’s in the hundreds. Shortly it’ll be in the tens — then hundreds — of thousands. Prediction 9: Copper wire is coming to the end of its useful application. Soon there will simply be too much data coming down the line for that metal conduit to handle. If your fortunes were made from copper mining, it might be a good time to invest in fiber-optics. Prediction 10: Video will be decoded and rendered at its device. We could get super-wonky with this explanation, but we’ll leave it here — everything you stream is about to get a lot more efficient, not to mention higher-def.
Prediction 11: Projection mapping will begin to appear on surfaces throughout the home. Think hardly-visible projectors displayed images across kitchen surfaces. In addition to providing ingredient lists and recipe instructions projected onto cabinets, images were flashed “onto a countertop, which could become hot pads on command.
Prediction 12: All media and games will stream directly to smart displays which become apps on walls. Sending the kids chasing a virtual Pikachu all over the house sounds like a pretty good way to wear ‘em out on a rainy day.
Prediction 13: Full-wall video with multiscreens will appear in the home. This one will allow the user to have access to a wall that includes a weather app, a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, the latest episode of Chopped, a football game, and literally anything else a member — or members — of the family are interested in.
Prediction 14: Adaptable and movable surfaces for video will appear. Now suppose you had a screen in your home that simply adapted its physical shape to the aspect ratio of whatever you’re watching.
Prediction 15: Television screens could also take the form of movable tiles. Tile TV 2.0 will be a screen that doesn’t fog up in the shower.
Prediction 16: High-res immersive video will become standard. The home theater will soon become a 360-degree experience for both the eyes and the ears.
Prediction 17: Immersive audio will require fewer speakers. Gone are the days where you really need seven surround-sound speakers for 7.1 systems.
Prediction 18: Immersive personal audio will soon follow suit. Yep, headphones that create an illusion that sound is occurring at a point in a virtual sphere surrounding the user’s head is coming.
Prediction 19: Physical media will be analog only. As digital streaming services and platforms begin to satisfy even the pickiest audiophiles, you’ll see pricier vinyl.
Prediction 20: The end of (most) free TV: linear TV will be reduced to news and sports. On-demand TV content producers have proven that consumers will pay for the privilege of watching whatever whenever you please.
Prediction 21: We’ll see the resurgence of high performance audio and video. As bitstreams get ever higher, the ability to deliver digital content will soon reach a quality level that’ll satisfy the senses of the most discerning of audiophiles and cinephiles alike.
Prediction 22: Intelligent glass will be used as a control interface, entertainment platform, comfort control, and communication screen. Obviously the phone is the preeminent example — what if all the glass that’s around you in the house could have some level of projection so that shower doors, windows, and mirrors could be practical interfaces. Extend that smart concept to surfaces that don’t just respond to touch, but to gesture and voice — and now extend that to surfaces outside the home. Prediction 23: Autonomous vehicles become more ubiquitous.
Prediction 24: All new cars will be internet connected.
Prediction 25: Always-on high-bandwidth connections will make everything virtualized and/or stored in the clouds.
Prediction 26: Big data will continue to drive innovation at a pace never seen before.
Prediction 27: Moore’s law will come to an end, and we’ll move on to the next paradigm. Moore’s Law is named after Intel cofounder Gordon Moore. He observed in 1965 that transistors were shrinking so fast that every year twice as many could fit onto a chip, and in 1975 adjusted the pace to a doubling every two years. It appears that silicon chips can only keep shrinking for five more years.
Prediction 28: User-programmable platforms based on interoperable systems will be the new control and integration paradigm. YOU: “Alexa, please find Casablanca on Apple TV and send it to my Android phone. And order up a pizza.” IT: “Deep-Dish Deluxe from Patsy’s in Hoboken?” YOU: “You know me too well, darling.” Prediction 29-32: IoT platforms will retain their brand identity — but become interoperable. We will have the same level of interoperability as we do today. We’ll have a seamless technology experience between devices and locations. Interoperability stays the same or becomes more complex. The more logos, the more ‘standards,’ more devices that come into the home, the more complicated it’s going to become. Only home technology integrators will be able to support that. Prediction 33: Connected door locks will be hacked, heck, EVERYTHING WILL BE HACKED.
Prediction 34: Consumer sensors will increase in sensitivity and function. The Internet of Things will become a lot like Santa: “IoT sees you when you’re sleeping/IoT knows when you’re awake/IoT knows if you’ve been bad or good…”
Prediction 35: Energy consumption will diminish, making energy management less important. “The growth of energy consumption is declining — not energy consumption itself, but the growth — due to more energy efficient appliances. Prediction 36: Some places will require new buildings to have net-zero energy consumption. A structure that creates as much power as it uses (or more) can easily exist with no diminishment in comfort or quality of life. Prediction 37: Solar power embedded into glass for energy harvesting is emerging. Why are your windows just sitting there when they could be recharging your phone? Prediction 38: Energy harvesting is going to replace the need for batteries in some wireless devices. Prediction 39: Alternative energy systems will leverage POE (Power over Ethernet) lighting systems. Why is your Ethernet cable only carrying power to your entertainment systems and not your low-voltage LED lights? Prediction 40: Demand response will be an opt-out for most energy tariffs. Because everything ultimately comes down to money, devices that react to peak power usage moments on the grid are using nominal amounts of power to begin with will allow consumers to dodge time-variant rates.
Prediction 41: Aging in Place is becoming a profit center for our industry.
Prediction 42: Weight management, biometrics, and wellness management will be a fundamental block that is tied into all digital life aspects.
Prediction 43: The increasing prevalence of the “disconnect event.” Even the hyper-connected are learning to take one day — perhaps only as often as once a month, or even a quarter — and simply unplug.
Prediction 44: Telecommuting is closer to the norm, which increases the demands placed on the modern home office.
Prediction 45: Thinking becomes more powerful using memory prosthetics. For example a set of glasses that remembers the name of that man you met a few ears ago.
Prediction 46: Anticipatory shipping becomes widespread.
Prediction 47: Policy and technology will drive the security concerns over internet and voice connected devices. When you add the complexity of ‘always on, always listening’ connected devices … keeping the consumer’s best interests in mind might not always be top of mind for corporations businesses.
Prediction 48: Home tech pros will be increasingly licensed by government bodies.
Prediction 49: Government legislation and regulation may significantly reduce the ability to pull low-voltage wires in a structure
Prediction 50: Government legislation and regulation likely require a security license to install any device or system that touches a security system in the home.
Prediction 51: We’ll see the “Uberization” of technology product delivery and continuing support services. In the CEDIA universe, there’s an opening for an app that will send the nearest home tech pro out to the consumer’s place on an as-needed basis. Consumers will pay more when demand is high — or choose to wait a while, since the inverse is also true.
Prediction 52: The nomenclature of the home technology professional will continue to change. Because it has to. Are you still measuring frequency response in cycles per second?
Prediction 53: The flexible use of the light socket: Lighting becomes more than lighting. Think about the amount of coverage — powered coverage — that the footprint of a home’s network of light sockets provides. Track humidity, people’s movements, change patterns based on what’s happening in that room.” Prediction 54: Connected luminaires will significantly affect the lighting control industry. “Dad, Mom says there used to be a thing on the wall called a ‘light switch.’ Is she kidding around again?” Prediction 55: PoE lighting will significantly affect the lighting control industry. There’s a real synergy among these last few predictions: As home tech pros start pulling much more Cat 6 cable for PoE devices of all kinds there’s going to be impact on all aspects of the lighting, from bulbs to controls.
Prediction 56: Enterprise-grade network monitoring and maintenance will become a service that integrators offer.
Prediction 57: Full deployment of 5G networks and expanded wireless broadband access will level the playing field. The consumer will be able to download movies in seconds! Connect their coffeepot to the toaster via the IoT!
Prediction 58: There’ll be reduced dependence on the LAN. That goes hand-in-hand with the preponderance of 5G networks. Prediction 59: Internet service providers will expand implementing bandwidth caps.
Prediction 60: Increased computing power in smaller spaces and smaller chips and with lower power consumption will allow more IoT device reliability, security, and deployment.
Prediction 61: Devices will self-register themselves on a system. Prediction 62: Phone networks become IP only. Yep, all your calls will be handled over Wi-Fi connections.
Prediction 63: THE LAN IS DEAD, long live the LAN. The first half of this one expresses the notion that we’ll figure out how to have everything wired up to the Big Internet. For the second half of this contradiction the LAN provides a firewall for safety and security away from the Mothership of Connected Stuff. So what exactly are we predicting here? An argument that’ll go on for the rest of the decade, that’s what. Prediction 64: Voice and face recognition and authentication services become more ubiquitous. Yes, your front door will recognize your face — other people’s, too.
Prediction 65: Far-field natural voice interaction becomes pervasive in home, car, and office. Simply put, there will soon be microphone and processing technology that allows the user to speak normally and have his or her voice recognized above road noise, HVAC or the television on in the corner.
Prediction 66: Social robots become prevalent in the home. Yep, C3PO will be a thing.
Prediction 67: Integrated real-time voice translation. It’d be pretty cool if your phone recognized everything you said, no matter the inflection. It’d be even cooler if it could translate your order to your Parisian waiter accurately and with zero latency. Prediction 68: 10Gbps networking becomes common in the home. Get your orders ready for Cat 6a cables (and up). Prediction 69: Increased rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber to the home will bring 100Gbps to some areas globally.
Prediction 70: IP Delivery from Multi-Channel Video Platform Distributors (MVPD).
Prediction 71: USB-C will be the dominant carrier between devices regardless of media. Because it’s twice as fast as USB 3.0
Prediction 72: ATSC 3.0 will bring 4K as well as immersive and interactive audio into the home, distributed via Wi-Fi.
Prediction 73: Embedded microphones will be in most surfaces.
Prediction 74: Gesture recognition complements voice control. If I say ‘Open that,’ and I point at a shade or say ‘Turn that on,’ and point a TV or a light, the camera coupled with the voice is going to make that just really natural.” Prediction 75: We’ll see ubiquitous sensorization. The expected growth is expected to come from the ‘sensorization’ of people's lives in wearables, the Internet of Things, medical electronics and in the automotive industry with autonomous vehicles as a target.
Prediction 76: Wireless charging without the need for a base will be pervasive — but it will require a tower.
Prediction 77: Dedicated tablet and touch-screen-as-control devices decrease within the home. The key word in this one is “dedicated.”
Prediction 78: We’ll see the rise of people-learning automation. The system’s going to learn my preferences versus the kids’ preferences versus a guest’s preferences versus whoever
Prediction 79: There will be a proliferation of new companies coming into the CEDIA channel Prediction 80: Crowd funding will be the primary source of funding for startups.
Prediction 81: Crowd funding + 3D printing + social media = Industrial Revolution 4.0. This is a biggie. Some background: As Revolution 1.0 and its steam power morphed into 2.0 with the arrival of fossil fuels and electricity, entrepreneurs from Henry Ford to the Wright Brothers took their tinkering to some next-level places. The globe chugged along through two World Wars, one very scary Cold War and “The Space Age” until the age of computing arrived: Hello, 3.0. Now, the dawning of the 3D printer, coupled with the crowdsourcing of both capital and knowledge, creates a kind of high-tech rebirth of the Wrights’ bicycle garage: 4.0 means that the Better Mousetrap will be prototyped in a connected, automated shop; financed, designed, and marketed by hundreds, thousands — maybe millions — of silent partners. Prediction 82: A DIY IoT backlash may set the adoption of IoT back five years. Back in April, a survey noted worries over a lack of standards and the accompanying interoperability concerns were only mentioned by less than 30 percent of respondents, it’s easy to see average consumer will get pretty peeved when Thing One and Thing Two can’t talk to each other after he’s plugged everything in. Multiply that times a whole bunch of do-it-yourselfers, and we’ve got a problem and/or opportunity. Prediction 83: We’ll also see an IoT 2.0 DIY backlash. Once we’ve established at least some standards for IoT 1.0, here comes our average consumer believing that all his smart home issues have been solved. Technology triggers a societal “Oh, wow!” moment that drives expectations through the roof. Before anyone can implement said tech truly effectively, there’s a dip called “The Trough” — and before the bugs and glitches are ironed out (a stretch called “The Slope of Enlightenment,” which would’ve been a fantastic title for a Grateful Dead album), our consumer has already unplugged everything and jammed it in his closet — while other members of the family are hopefully calling an actual professional.
Prediction 84: Flexible and rollable displays will enter the market. Prediction 85: We’ll see widespread adoption of fabric-based connected wearables. Imagine your Nana wearing a sweater full of sensors — sensors that can tell her doctor about her heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, what have you, and then alert the doc if something’s awry.
Prediction 86: We’ll see significant reduction in SIDS in developed nations through infant wearables. An alert if an infant is in some manner of distress or diminishment in respiration will be a lifesaver for many, many kids.
Prediction 87: Sensors will be embedded in fixtures everywhere. Wherever you go, you’ll be in contact with a sensor, and Big Data will — hopefully — be mining info for max efficiency and human comfort.
Prediction 88: Luminaires (light bulbs) are becoming intelligent devices. Imagine sensors tracking everything from humidity to motion, and there’s another option: bio-adaptive automation right at the light source. Changing color to ease you into sleep or wake you gently, brightening across a certain portion of the spectrum to assist someone’s eyesight. Prediction 89: PoE lighting will NOT happen in the home anytime soon, but will be very viable in commercial spaces.
Prediction 90: The end of the circuit for lighting control — but long live the circuit! You’re likely very familiar with wireless controls for light switches — but what if that dimmer or control panel was able to bypass that switch on the wall and talk directly to that “smart bulb” in the socket?
Prediction 91: Over-the-air antennas make a strong comeback. Imagine a lot of data pouring into the home via that antenna, funneled through a gateway and then delivered to a myriad of devices.
Prediction 92: Residential networks will become completely multi-access-point unified.
Prediction 93: Many homes will eclipse a Class C network requiring VLAN configuration or IPv6 adoption. “Technically, you can have 255 devices communicating with each other on what they call a Class C network,” notes Holmes — but immediately points out that when only one device is talking at a time — which is what happens — there’s a ton of latency that suddenly pops up. The Internet of Things means that All Your Stuff trying to communicate and be communicated with will render that Class C network about as stable as train trestle made out of balsa wood. Of course, that all becomes moot anyway when a home’s devices simply run out of addresses. Solution 1: Divide the network into smaller groups — VLANs. Solution 2: Help us find more addresses, IPv6 — you’re our only hope.
Prediction 94: The new wireless spectrum allocation will impact the U.S. market. Prediction 95: NBASE-T connectivity will allow significantly greater speeds over copper cabling in the home. Prediction 96: Cat 5e is insufficient for new home construction; Cat 6a is the de facto. This one’s really simple: IoT = lots of data. Prediction 97: Your OS will travel with you wherever you go (in your car, your home, your office — even places you’re just visiting). The “ubiquitous OS” was imagined in a recent, critically acclaimed film: Prediction 98: CEDIA members will curate an individual’s technology interactions 24/7/365 regardless of physical location (as in, beyond the home). Which means: Prediction 99: Virtual tech support becomes the norm in homes.
Prediction 100: The integrator is more valuable than they’ve ever been.