In my previous post, I talked about the predictions and recommendations for brand content and digital design as laid out in the recently published Fjord Trends 2017 report. In this second part, I will continue with Fjord’s predictions on augmented reality, self-driving cars and the connected home.

Blurred reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) were among the biggest trends of 2016. Although consumers gained access to a wide variety of devices that made use of the advances in VR applications, these applications remained limited to the closed nature of the technology itself. Many organizations maintained siloed approaches to developing VR and AR experiences, and many of these experiences still lack integration into a larger, experiential context.

In 2017, businesses will continue to focus on combining VR and AR to create mixed reality (MR), and on integrating these experiences seamlessly into daily life. Fjord recommends creating singular experiential platforms on which to build integrated blurred reality experiences. As users interact with virtual 3D environments, new paradigms of interface designs are required.

World on Wheels

Self-driving vehicles are close to becoming a part of daily life. In 2016, high-profile testing of self-driving cars was conducted, autonomous capability levels were defined, and government agencies began assessing the potential implications on public services and urban planning.

For 2017, Fjord expects traditional car buying to slow down, and business models and the car service landscape to change. Autonomous vehicles will also open up new opportunities for business sectors to capitalize on the time consumers will gain from not having to focus on driving.

Looking ahead, Fjord recommends thinking of the car not as an end unto itself, but as a node in an ecosystem. A new generation of connected and interconnected digital services will focus on in-car experiences delivered via multiple devices. At the same time, design focus must switch from designing digital experiences that fit the car to designing physical experiences that fit the digital experience.

Homes without boundaries

The connected home has become a reality, even if it doesn’t quite feel smart yet. In 2016, it became evident that simple automation enabled by connected devices was not enough. And while the focus has been on the smartphone as the single device to control connected services, multiple connected devices will be integrated to optimize the home environment in the coming decade. As a result, the helpful home of the future will provide services built around and for humans rather than technology and objects.

For 2017, Fjord encourages digital service companies to focus on seamless, highly personalized experiences across traditional boundaries. Organizations should shift away from gimmickry toward tangible areas of value to attract the average homeowner, not just the tech-savvy.

In my next post, I will look at Fjord’s 2017 predictions on the polarization of the brand landscape, artificial intelligence and the unintended consequences of digital technologies.

To learn more, access the complete Fjord Trends 2017 report from Accenture Digital.

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