Consumer technology is taking off with ArtificiaI Intelligence

Recently, I attended CES, the world’s largest annual trade fair for consumer technologies. With nearly 4,000 exhibitors present from around the world, current and emerging technologies and trends were on display. This enabled the 170,000 attendees to get a view of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. One thing is clear: It’s the year of Artificial Intelligence (or AI.) Where everything was once “data-driven”, everything now will be AI-powered or driven in some way. This is not marketing speak; you can apply AI to any technology. With a well-defined focus it can enable more dynamic, flexible and autonomous systems.

Virtual Reality

Already in the pipeline for a few years, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence seem to have finally got into their stride. The combination of AR/VR/MR with AI will create a connected world and enable intelligent digital, dynamic and independent systems. 

While legitimate concerns have been raised about security, health and ethics of these products, they are very much at the forefront of some exciting development trends.


In January 2017, Bitcoin was 3000AED. As of today, it is hovering around 37000 AED. Why has it risen so high so quickly? In part, it is due to speculation on the price of Bitcoin itself. The higher it rises, the more people want to buy it – or bet against it. In turn, companies in China, where over 70% of bitcoins are mined, become more valuable. (There, it is seen as a commodity, not a currency). As it is mined, the cryptocurrency is invested back into itself, which drives the price higher up.

On a related note are the non-cryptocurrency uses of the technology underlying Bitcoin, ie, blockchain. In one of the best uses of the blockchain, Kodak has announced their own platform for media digital rights management. 

Meanwhile, digital cash management functions, such as automated savings and expenditure control, will likely become the tool of choice for banks to attract a younger clientele. Expect to see more financial institutions adding AI features like real-time personalised advice, automating finance decisions and simplifying money management, with the aim of increasing positive financial habits and loyalty among their customers.

Targeted Marketing 

Thanks to recent advances in consumer insight analysis, retailers and designers are able to better anticipate customer behaviour. This enables them to provide targeted marketing messages from purchases at the product level, and even create products designed for them. Innovative solutions allow you to capture your customers’ data in one place and personalise the marketing to them in real time, on any media channel. 

Thanks to these insights, in one of the more low-key but inclusive product releases of last year, Nike released the Nike Pro Hijab. Made of special anti-wicking material, this innovation gives Islamic women the ability to compete on equal footing in sporting events like the upcoming Winter Olympics.

To Infinity…

But, most importantly, the biggest innovation trend coming from Artificial Intelligence is its ability to take us to places we’ve never dreamed of before. Imagine lying on a beach in the Maldives without even leaving home?

Etisalat will soon offer groundbreaking new 5G wireless to feed coming demands for high bandwidth, 4k VR Video Streaming. With AR devices capable of offering both real-time facial recognition and AI language translation, language will no longer be a barrier to doing business.

Overall, to take advantage of the coming trends, companies need to determine how they can best take advantage of AI. By using advanced analytics, smarter processes, or better user experiences, businesses have more tools than ever to keep up and stay in the game.