Consumer technology includes new technologies disrupting everyday life, such as virtual reality / augmented reality, self-driving cars and IoT.
As our devices gain more computing power thanks to advancement in cloud computing and invention of better CPUs, GPUs and algorithms, more and more technologies envisioned in sci-fi movies and novels are becoming a reality. Recent innovations such as voice-controlled robots that can help take care of our households, self-driving cars that take us from point A to point B without us ever laying a finger on the steering wheel and billions of connected everyday items with chips embedded in them will gradually be known as ‘consumer technology’ as they become as ubiquitous and essential as water and electricity. Therefore, consumer technology is also closely linked to fintech.
Consumer electronics is a huge part of consumer technology. In the 2010s, most consumer electronics have become based on digital technologies, and have largely merged with the computer industry in what is increasingly referred to as the consumerization of information technology. Consumer electronics include devices used for entertainment (flatscreen TVs, DVD players, DVD movies, iPods, video games, remote control cars, etc.), communications (telephones, cell phones, e-mail-capable laptops, etc.), and home-office activities (e.g., desktop computers, printers, paper shredders, etc.).
In the foreseeable future, the Internet of Things (IoT) is predicted to be the most important consumer technology. The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices“), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data. The IoT allows objects to be sensed or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention. When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids, virtual power plants, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of about 30 billion objects by 2020.(Wikipedia)
At the moment, the companies that make up the list of the 5 most valuable companies in the world are Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook and they are all focused on consumer technology.