Snippets: Uncertain times

Uncertain times

People feel increasingly polarised by unrest, upheaval and other changes in the world, and more than 60 per cent adults globally say they feel overwhelmed by things happening around them. Ford’s 2018 Looking Further with Ford Trends Report examines the issues dividing the world as well as coping mechanisms that are emerging as a result.

Thirty-nine per cent adults say they do not mind sharing personal information with companies, but 60 per cent say they are frustrated by how much of their information has become public, while 76 per cent find it creepy when companies know too much about them. Fifty-two per cent adults believe artificial intelligence will do more harm than good, but 61 per cent are hopeful of a future of autonomous vehicles. Also, 54 per cent adults say they feel more stressed out than they did a year ago, and interestingly among 18- to 29-year-olds the number is even higher, at 65 per cent.

Smart audio revenues

A new report by Juniper Research found that revenues from smart audio devices like the Amazon Echo and Sonos One will grow from an estimated $2.5 billion in 2017 to over $10 billion by 2022, as more audio brands integrate voice assistants into their devices. With competition heating up in the smart speaker space, the new research, Smart Audio Devices: Strategies & Forecasts 2017-2022, explains that Amazon’s main challengers are currently: Google, Harman/Kardon, Sonos, Sony and Onkyo.

The report shows the smart speaker market is largely divided by sector and brand. Tech companies are building from a digital assistant perspective, while audio vendors see them as a way to make their products more relevant and feature rich. Only Apple is breaking this pattern, with the HomePod positioned as an intelligent audio device rather than a platform for Siri.