i3 | April 14, 2020

Embedded Technologies Equal Big Market Opportunities

Rick Kowalski

Each edition of CTA’s U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report highlights the emergence of new technologies that are driving growth and innovation in the industry. The Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon, which brought connectivity to everyday objects throughout the past decade, has laid the foundation for the new IoT: the Intelligence of Things. Connected devices are tapping the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, sensors and cloud computing, allowing for more personalized experiences and smarter services. These enhancements equate to big market opportunities, as CTA’s January forecast shows.

5G is Here

All eyes are on 5G to bring a new level of connectivity to devices. CTA expects 20.3 million 5G handsets to ship to the U.S. in 2020 as wireless providers expand their networks. Aside from phones, service providers are expected to begin to rollout home 5G internet service, which will raise demand for 5G broadband modems, of which 1.4 million will ship in 2020. The potential for 5G doesn’t stop there. Manufacturers are embedding 5G in cars, tablets, laptops, farm equipment and infrastructure. The industry expects that 5G devices will range from very simple data-gathering devices to software and services that manage vast networks of 5G equipment, meaning a world of possibilities to explore.

Connected Health Monitoring

As sensor technology has evolved over the past decade, the digital health industry is demonstrating new ways to address health concerns with connected health monitoring devices. These app-connected devices measure heart rhythm, blood pressure, blood glucose levels and other vital signs. They can help people with chronic diseases track their day-to-day health, alert them of major changes, and share the results with doctors. CTA predicts that connected health monitoring devices will generate nearly $1 billion in revenues in 2020, a healthy start for a new category.

Smart Home

The Internet of Things brought the smart home to the masses over the past decade. Devices such as smart doorbells and home security technologies allow homeowners to monitor activity or answer their front door while they are away. Consumers benefit from home automation tech like smart lighting and smart thermostats, which help manage home energy use. Smart home products are becoming more predictive and intelligent, with the ability to take actions based on a person’s daily activities and personal preferences. CTA forecasts over 35 million smart home devices will ship in 2020, a 15% increase over 2019.

Smart Audio

AI — specifically speech recognition — has changed the audio market forever. Wildly successful smart speakers sparked this trend with digital assistants found in virtually every audio product now. True

wireless earbuds are taking audio a step further, representing one of the best examples of how embedded technologies can lead to market success. Integrating Bluetooth, motion sensors, touch sensors, voice recognition, and wireless charging, true wireless earbuds are expected to generate $8 billion in revenues in 2020 (up 30% year-over-year).

As 2020 unfolds, new technology mashups will continue to push the envelope and open up new opportunities for the industry in 2020.

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