After Generations X, Y and Z, are we now up to generation L(azy)? The Internet and technology have become so smart that life is becoming very easy for us. And it will only get better, faster and smarter. Everything we do is more effective, requires less effort and as a result we have more free time. We are no longer used to difficult tasks. We don’t need to spend hours to get things done. All because of technology. People are so used to this fast and simple living that they get frustrated when things don’t go as quickly as expected. Does improved technology makes us lazier? Well, time will tell.
Hot tweetaway: Has #technology made us lazy? insit.es/2d1U8lD by @LynnGoossens1 via @CoolBrands #nextgen #coolbrands
Where are you now?
We no longer determine our physical appearance, our mobile devices do. It seems like if you forget your phone, you are not even there. A lot of different applications are based on your location. If you want to lock and unlock your bicycle, just push the button on the BitLock and it will connect with your phone and (un)lock it for you. No more need for keys or even to take your phone out of your pocket.
We don’t need to have a real-life conversation with each other anymore to know something. If you want to find a certain place, just use Google Maps instead of asking someone for instructions. Done with using a map that’s too big to handle and getting lost because you misread it. There is even an application that makes clear who wants to share his or her umbrella. Based on your location, umbrellas light up if the owner is up to sharing it with you. Or are you in for a cuddle? Just check the Spoonr app and discover who in your neighbourhood would also like to cuddle.
Being able to manage your electricity and energy consumption when you’re not even at home is already old news. You can change the settings from a distance. You can shut it off if you forgot to do so before you left your house. You can turn it on before you are home, so it’s nice and warm when you get there. Smart-house technologies makes this possible for every device that uses electricity. Imagine that you would like a coffee, but you don’t want to leave the cosy couch. Well, you have different options. It doesn’t matter if you give the command by voice, remote control, tablet or smartphone, your home reacts anyway. Without you leaving the couch.
What’s in it for marketing? Well, it’s just a matter of time before we all get spammed by advertisements when we enter a certain area around a shop. Marketers can target their advertisements better than ever before. They know where we are, what we do and where we go. Location-based marketing has a lot of opportunities and will only increase in importance. By using location-based services (like Foursquare and Swarm), companies can improve their relationship with their customers. For example, they can award their loyal customers. Ads become more personal, as marketers get to know you better. Due to these more specific advertisements, consumers get less annoyed by the ads. So it’s a win-win situation for both.
What do you say?
Voice recognition is an upcoming trend. Different companies are busy creating applications based on this technology. Paying something was never so easy. MasterCard and many other companies have developed voice-activated payments. You can pay with your mobile device, just by talking to it. You can even shop by telling your device what you want to buy and it will order it for you. E-commerce is upgraded. In combination with services like Collect&Go, this can generate a lot of time saving for consumers. Goodbye to stress in full supermarkets, waiting at the cash register and losing time by searching for a parking spot during rush hour. Shopping is done in few minutes now. If you have anything to say, that is, because the smart refrigerator lets your linked device know when something is missing and needs to be reordered. You don’t even need to check your food supplies anymore. The smart refrigerator lets you know when something has gone off.
Even the first prototypes of automated cars are a fact. Between now and a few years from now, people won’t need to get their driving license anymore. Saying “bring me home” will be sufficient. New generations will not even know how it is to drive a car. They don’t need to take a test for it, don’t need to know the traffic code and don’t need to drive the car anymore. While driving, they can use their time to do other things, like watching a movie, preparing for a presentation, having a meeting with a colleague.
The well-known Siri by Apple also gets smarter. You no longer need to touch your phone to get things done. Siri is like your personal assistant. “Hi Siri, send a message to my mum that I will be late for dinner”. And done. No need to type your message or to search for your mum’s number. And you can keep doing what you were doing before. Again no efforts, again so easy.
Speaking about personal assistants, what about those much-talked-of robots? Are they really going to take over the world? We all know that industry processes get more and more automated. But what about personal robots? They already exist, robots that do what you want them to do. They are still expensive, but they are on the market. It’s only a matter of time until having a robot becomes the new normal. Imagine not cleaning, cooking and gardening anymore… Is there anything left that we have to do ourselves? Something that really asks for concentration and effort?
These were only a few of the million possibilities that exist nowadays. And who knows what’s next… But what do people do with the time they save by doing things faster and more effectively?
Well, it seems like they are spending more and more time on their devices. How ironic. In 2008, the average adult spent 2.7 hours a day using the Internet. Nowadays, the usage has increased to 5.6 hours a day. According to different studies, consumers spend 85% of their time on mobile devices using applications. Approximately one fifth of the time using apps is accounted for by communication and social apps. This trend is already noticeable if we check the progress of the different existing generations. Generation Z are entirely dependent on IT, while generation X are only digital immigrants. In the past, watching television was one of the most popular leisure activities. According to recent data, mobile apps have overtaken. The time spent on watching television hasn’t decreased, it has stagnated. So, consumers nowadays fill their extra free time with mobile apps.
Hot tweetaway: Consumers spend 85% of their time on #mobile devices using #apps insit.es/2d1U8lD by @LynnGoossens1 via @CoolBrands #coolbrands #nextgen
Further, consumers want to enjoy their life more. They want to treat themselves and go out for dinner more. 27% percent says they want to go to an amusement park, museum or aquarium in the coming months. They feel like they have been holding back too long on having a fun time with friends and family. Is this a reaction to a lack of real social contact? Not sure, but possible. Maybe spending time on mobile devices does not fulfil our social needs, even if we use social and communication apps. Maybe it’s not enough for us to communicate via the Internet alone. Does spending more time on mobile devices give a feeling of not having enough fun anymore? Are we even getting too lazy to meet friends and family?
Due to all these effective applications and technologies, consumers become more dependent. What used to be seen as innovative, is now the new normal. People no longer need a lot of time to get things done. For almost every task, there is a technology that allows you to do it better, easier and faster. We save more time by using these improved technologies. And ironically, it seems that we use this time to spend more time on mobile applications. Despite our using communication and social apps, people feel like they are not spending enough time on doing fun things with friends and family. The next generation will not know time-intensive tasks.
Hot tweetaway: Technology helps us save time, which we then spend on… #technology insit.es/2d1U8lD by @LynnGoossens1 via @CoolBrands #nextgen
A wise man once said:
“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
So that begs for the question: will the day that Einstein feared a long time ago, arrive along with the Next Gen?