CEDIA’s Tech Council Predicts the Future, Part 5

Ed Wenck | Aug 22, 2016

A 17-member panel has made 100 predictions for 2020. Here are predictions 41-50.

Let’s continue with the predictions for 2020 from CEDIA Senior Director of Emerging Technologies Dave Pedigo and the 16 volunteers who make up CEDIA’s Tech Council. There are 100 in all, and links to the first 40 can be found at the bottom of this article.

This time we tackle Aging in Place, augmented memory, and attorneys.

Prediction 41. Aging in Place is becoming a profit center for our industry. Ric Johnson, who’s not a member of the Tech Council but blogs about CEDIA’s annual show as a “CEDIA Tweep,” is with a firm that already specializes in this segment, Right at Home Technologies. Ric brings the data in recent  post at cedia.net/show:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of residents 65 or older will grow from 35 million in 2000 to nearly 73 million by 2030. Right now, in 2016, nearly 54 million residents are at or nearing 65 years of age. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that over 70 percent of these homeowners are planning or making aging related improvements for themselves or their parents. This is an active, growing market. In this market, Home Automation requests are at about 49 percent, with assistive technologies around 14 percent and home health or activity monitoring tracking currently at 10 percent. As our population continues to age, requests for these services will continue to grow.

[W]e keep a detailed log of all product inquiries that our customers ask us about. While the number one question this past year has been about natural lighting and its control, number two has been "Personal Emergency Response" systems and number three has been about monitoring the movement of dementia patients inside the home -- and tracking those patients if they wander outside.

OK, now extend that concept to — everybody:

Prediction 42. Weight management, biometrics, and wellness management will be a fundamental block that is tied into all digital life aspects. The concept of “participatory health,” in which everybody’s monitored for maximum fitness and/or prevention, could extend well beyond the wearable fitness tracker and into implantables. And you better believe there will be a plethora of privacy questions that are about to come up — who can access that data? Employers? Insurance companies? Your spouse? There’s the potential here for everything from refrigerators that scold you to health monitoring chips that could even affect your credit score. Bottom line: Lawyers will be just as busy as integrators.


Prediction 43. The increasing prevalence of the “disconnect event.” Even the hyper-connected are learning to take one day — perhaps only as often as once a month, or even a quarter — and simply unplug. You know, go for a walk in the woods, right? Right.


OK, kidding aside, there’s a growing body of research that’s cautioning against the constant electronic stimulus we’re pumping into our skulls. We may be forgetting how to truly think (insert social media newsfeed joke HERE).

Prediction 44: Telecommuting is closer to the norm, which increases the demands placed on the modern home office. “Consumers nowadays — their internet connection in their home is faster than what they have in the office,” notes Mike Maniscalco, Tech Council member and founder of the remote management firm Ihiji. “But one of the things you lose in having that home office experience is social interaction — and those things are still invaluable in our culture.” Videoconferencing goes a long way to facilitating those interactions, and Maniscalco notes that some remote workers have “always-on” two-way video links enabled — thus destroying your caveman-like dreams of working in your boxers.

Prediction 45. Thinking becomes more powerful using memory prosthetics. Don’t get too creeped out by the phrase “memory prosthetics” — which could be as simple as a set of glasses that remembers the name of that dude you met that’s friends with your richest customer’s golf pro when you run into him at Happy Hour. (Face recognition + private heads-up display = zero embarrassment, especially when said golf pro knows YOUR handle.) Extend the notion further, though, and think about a personal augmented memory system that stores rote memorizations. Those mundane brain tasks aside, the brain of, say, a physicist might be freed up for quicker analytical thinking. And you’ll never need to make another grocery list, either.

Prediction 46. Anticipatory shipping becomes widespread. Yep, your online retailer just delivered that Black Sabbath vinyl box set before you even agreed to the updated Terms of Service. Heck, you only thought about buying it 15 seconds ago. Predictive algorithms? Or RETAIL NINJAS?

Prediction 47. Policy and technology will drive the security concerns over internet and voice connected devices. “When you add the complexity of ‘always on, always listening’ connected devices … keeping the consumer’s best interests in mind might not always be top of mind for corporations [producing these devices],” notes Maniscalco. “[A corporation’s] interest is usually in profits.” Maniscalco believes that a consumer push for legislation on the dissemination of the information a company can collect will be the “spark that ignites true security and privacy for the consumer.”

Prediction 48. Home tech pros will be increasingly licensed by government bodies. Cool! You’ll be all gummint-style official! However …

Prediction 49. Government legislation and regulation may significantly reduce the ability to pull low-voltage wires in a structure. There’s a cost to government licensing. Actually, two: money and time (time being spent in the form of apprenticeships). As devices become more and more efficient and POE is able to power more of those devices, there’ll be more heat than light on this issue — pun intended. (Note: This is why CEDIA’s Government Affairs group — mighty but small — needs state captains and grassroots volunteers.)

Prediction 50. Government legislation and regulation likely require a security license to install any device or system that touches a security system in the home. Sorry to end this on yet another potential legal bummer, but the word “liability” makes insurance adjusters twitch — and attorneys giggle like little children.