It is ten years since the introduction of the first iPhone, a device that transformed how
we communicate, play, shop, bank, travel and organise our lives. Four out of five UK adults
now have a smartphone and collectively we look at our phones more than one billion
times a day.
The smartphone is a gateway technology to the future: it put the world at our fingertips,
introduced us to AI-powered virtual assistants and encouraged us to share data in return
for more connected, convenient experiences. Our comfort with the smartphone has
prepared the modern consumer for the next wave of transformation and disruption
which, when it breaks, will once again change how we live, work and play.
This time the disruptor will not be a single highly desirable consumer device but a
convergence of technologies that will be woven into the fabric of daily life to create an
ambience of intelligent computing that is with us 24/7.
We commissioned this research to understand the implications of a world where smart
machines speak to one another to minimise risk, disruption and inconvenience.
The results show a high degree of confidence that today’s emergent applications
of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will, in less than a decade, be
commonplace, radically changing our world forever.
Our findings also sound a health warning: delivering the highly personalised, friction-free
experiences craved by the connected consumer will require access to consumer and
network data, advanced algorithms and data scientists – and that access will tighten as
these technologies go mainstream and consumers become savvier about who they choose
to do business with. First mover advantage is likely to prove critical as consumers rapidly
switch to those organisations that can deliver a world centred around their convenience
and well-being. It doesn’t need an advanced algorithm to predict that successful
organisations will be those planning for this future now.