Mobile payments, smart homes and more.
The latest GfK Tech Trends report highlights the five key technology trends that will have the potential to significantly impact consumers’ lives this year.
Mobile payment is making massive inroads in Southeast Asia as shopping apps are gaining popularity. In Singapore alone, there are 30,000 retail points accepting contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Android and Samsung Pay; while in Indonesia, the most populous country in the region with 250 million people, most of the big traditional retailers are unveiling e-commerce plans of their own.
Some contributing factors to this growth include affordable smartphones, a massive young and tech-savvy population, and efforts by governments and telco operators to expand and improve high-speed wireless networks.
Besides smart TVs, there is also a positive uptake of smart connected air conditioners globally with sales amounting to USD42 million in 2016, with Taiwan leading the market share in Asia, followed by Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam demonstrating sizeable growth.
China, with its exploding middle class and strong manufacturing and tech ecosystem will lead the mass adoption drive for smart homes. Japan is the other major player as it is not only amongst the world’s top five global markets in smart home penetration, but also has an aging population that is likely to drive growth in smart health and wellness solutions.
In a GfK study carried out across 16 countries, one third (33%) of respondents said they track or monitor their health or fitness via an online or mobile application, fitness band, clip or smartwatch, with China registering 45%, followed by 29% in both the US and Brazil, 28% in Germany, and 26% in France.
The wearables market is seeing a healthy double-digit growth, with an increase in 45% that reached a volume of 13 million devices from January to December 2016.
GfK Asia regional director, Karthik Venkatakrishnan said, “We have observed that out of the five trends identified, mobile payments, smart homes and wearables are the ones that are gaining significant traction across Southeast Asia.
“Recognising these technology enabled trends and with consumers becoming more digitally connected today, it is important for brands to fully understand the shopper’s purchase journey, touchpoints across omni-channels and usage experiences to win consumers effectively.”
In addition to the top three trends, the GfK report also identified virtual and augmented reality and autonomous vehicles as two key trends that are making inroads, with greater adoption expected in the coming years.