Hottest Consumer Trends For 2015: 'Mind Sharing,' Laundry Robots And Smart Plates

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MIND THOUGHTS
The Ericsson report gauged consumer interest, as well as expectations, in areas like connectivity, sharing property or equipment and domestic robots. | Andrew Rich via Getty Images
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In the future, you'll be able to stand in front of a bathroom mirror that tells you how terribly you slept, while holding a toothbrush that teaches you how to brush your teeth properly. You will send out messages about how self-righteous you think this toothbrush is to your friends and family — using your mind.

That's the future, at least according to participants in Ericsson ConsumerLab's 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2015 report, which is based on conclusions from the company's global research program that "statistically represent the views of 85 million frequent internet users."

The report gauged consumer interest, as well as expectations, in areas like connectivity, sharing property and domestic robots.

Check out the report's findings below:

  • Streaming rules
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    "Yes! I am no longer shackled by the time restraints and package woes of broadcast television!"

    Online streaming in 2014 caught up to broadcast TV in terms of popularity among those aged 16-45, according to the report. Eighty per cent of the sample population in the report watched streaming video, compared to 77 per cent who watched old fashioned broadcast TV. Next year "will be historic, as we will watch streamed content more often than broadcast TV."
  • Instructive toothbrushes?
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    "I would be nowhere without my toothbrush. Thanks, toothbrush."

    The report found that smartphone users aren't happy with regular, stupid homes and household appliances. More than half of those surveyed were "interested in water sensors that warn you if there is danger of flooding due to rain, a malfunctioning washing machine, a leaking water pipe or a clogged drain." Forty-eight per cent wanted a bathroom mirror that indicates how well they slept, as well as displaying the news and a calendar. "Forty-seven percent would even like their toothbrush to give advice on how to brush effectively."
  • "Mind sharing"
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    "Text mom: I am standing in front of a chalkboard."

    The report found that 40 per cent of surveyed smartphone users wanted to "communicate with others directly through thoughts," because our world is just not connected enough, and almost 70 per cent believe this form of communication will be the norm by 2020.
  • Smart cities
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    The report found that 76 per cent of those surveyed want maps that showed how crowded certain streets and areas are, and 70 per cent wanted the ability to easily "compare daily household use of gas, electricity and water with their neighbors." Because talking about the weather just isn't enough.
  • An expanded sharing economy
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    "Oh, you're from the Internet? Here are our house keys."

    Despite some horror stories from Airbnb users, Ericsson's report found that "more than half of smartphone owners are already open to renting other people’s leisure equipment, rooms and household appliances. ... Letting other people use our things when we don’t need them will save resources, but consumers are more motivated by the convenience of not having to own," the report states.
  • Pay with your phone
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    Forty-eight per cent of surveyed smartphone users said they prefer paying for stuff with their handheld devices, while 80 per cent believe that phones will replace wallets and purses entirely by 2020.
  • E-safety first
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    "With this lock on my keyboard, my digital fortress is impenetrable."

    The report found that more than half of those surveyed would like all email, chat and other internet communication to be encrypted. Fifty-three per cent said that using fingerprints is better than a password.
  • Stress-regulating wearable technology
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    In addition to wearable technology, the report found that consumers wanted equipment that can help prolong life, such as "cups and plates that measure the intake of calories, salt and unhealthy ingredients. ... Our research shows that smartphone owners see cloud-based services of various kinds giving them the potential to live healthier and longer lives – whether the technology can be worn or not."
  • Robots all over your home
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    "LaundroBot hopes you're enjoying the extra time you have for your phone, Susan."

    You can guess what kind of tasks consumers want robots to take care of. Fifty-seven per cent of those surveyed said they want a domestic robot to do their laundry, while 40 per cent wanted robots to help children with schoolwork. Let's hope their kids don't read this....
  • Kids on the Internet
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    "I can't believe the Pirate Bay got shut down again. How am I going to watch Yo Gabba Gabba?"

    Speaking of kids, the report found that 40 percent of smartphone owners say that the younger children are, "the more they rely on the internet for everything." Respondents expect that reliance will grow among kids, with 46 percent saying those who are exposed to tablets as babies will expect all objects to be connected when they are older.

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