Imagine this scenario for a moment. A 16-year-old teen in Tampa drops her iPod in front of an oncoming truck. Thinking about it for a split second, she decides to save her iPod. Luckily, she only breaks a leg. This on human behavior. Imagine her thought-stream: “My iPod or my life…iPod or life…iPod it is!”
Luckily, she only broke a leg. It’s shocking example reveals a blind devotion to technology that has made the Digital Lifestyle Ubertrend the most powerful wave the world has ever encountered. It is the mother of invention, and some of its offspring include:
- Digital gadgetry – Here’s a startling statistic: 49% of Americans have reduced spending on travel, food and healthcare in order to afford their technology. Welcome to the Digital Lifestyle Ubertrend — the marriage of man and machine.
- Digital natives – Today’s children, appropriately named “Digital Natives,” are more proficient with technology than any generation before. The British communication authority Ofcom found that six-year-olds understand digital technology better than adults.
- Artificial intelligence/Machine learning – Kai-Fu Lee told 60 Minutes that “[AI] will change the world more than anything in the history of mankind, more than electricity.” Machine learning will quadruple the speed of bringing innovations to market by revolutionizing data-driven and process-oriented fields. Digital marketing, for example, is ripe for reinvention. One day, artificial intelligence will become so adept at crunching data that it will no longer be necessary to hire “experts” of any kind. Many will say hooray to that.
- Robots – Statista estimates that worldwide shipments of industrial robots reached 373,000 units in 2019, up from around 249,000 in 2015. Since the average industrial robot costs north of $100,000, this suggests a 2019 global market of about $37 billion. While industrial robots have already revolutionized factories, white-collar jobs are next, due to Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the automation of formerly laborious office tasks. RPA is forecast to reach $1.9 billion in sales in 2019.
- Smart homes – The centerpiece of today’s connected home is Alexa. Canalysis predicts that the global smart speaker market will hit 163 million units in 2021, marking a 21% growth overall. Other smart home trends and innovation are covered in Smart Home (Home Automation).
- Wearables – The “quantified self” refers to the science of self-knowledge gained through data generated by technology. And the platform of choice for producing this type of data is “wearables” — activity trackers by Fitbit or Garmin; smartwatches like the Apple Watch; or devices like the Oura ring sleep tracker — that can be worn to measure pulse and other bodily vitals. IDC reports that worldwide shipments of wearables reached 445 million units in 2020 due to a “surge in consumer spending for electronics as disposable income was reallocated from leisure activities during the pandemic.”
Then there are emojis, how social media is transforming the beauty market, digital banking and cryptocurrencies, simply too many trends to list here, that are being propelled by the tsunami of the Digital Lifestyle. 😮
“Digital Lifestyle” was originally identified by author Michael Tchong. To learn more about this Ubertrend, read “Ubertrends — How Trends And Innovation Are Transforming Our Future.”