The pandemic has accelerated technology adoption, especially in the home, said Steve Koenig, VP of research at the Consumer Technology Association.
“Consumers have been leveling up their tech,” he said during the CES 2022 Tech Trends to Watch presentation Jan. 3.
4K Ultra HD TV penetration has grown from 36% of U.S. households in 2020 to 52% in 2021, according to CTA data. Smart TVs have expanded to 71% of U.S. households from 65%.
Services are also in the spotlight, he said. Spending on video streaming services is expected to reach $47 billion in 2022, up 7% over 2021, according to CTA research.
“Services have become really important to the industry, but I would say important in all caps to the consumer,” Koenig said.
Citing the millions of subscribers who have flocked to Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+, he said, “Consumers’ zeal and enthusiasm for these services is illustrated by some of these global numbers.”
He cited research that found the average consumer is subscribed to eight services.
As for the overall technology market, demand remains strong around the world, he said.
In the United States, the CTA forecasts that the tech industry will grow to $505 billion, up 2.8% from $491 billion in 2021. U.S. software/services spending grew 11.4% in 2021 and is projected to grow 6% in 2022. Hardware spending grew 9% in 2021 and is projected to grow 1.8% in 2022.
Some of the key trends being showcased as CES 2022 include artificial intelligence and 5G, which is “gonna provide the connective tissue for a lot of innovation in this decade,” he said.
As for the buzzword in tech at the moment, “the metaverse,” he said, “The metaverse is closer than you think.”
He said all the components are available.
“It’s really just assembling them,” he said. This next-generation, immersive version of the internet will become “inextricably linked with our physical reality,” he said.
Attendees will see the “first steps of the metaverse” at CES 2022, he said.
“It’s one of these trends that we’ll be talking about for the next 20 years,” he said.