Consumer and technology trends in a climate-impacted future: Ericsson report

Today, Ericsson released its annual 10 Hot Consumer Trends report, Life in a climate-impacted future, highlighting the main consumer concerns, forecasts, and technology adoption regarding climate-related issues.

The research, conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab, draws on data from a November 2022 online survey of over 15,000 regular users and potential adopters of augmented reality, virtual reality, and digital assistants in 30 major cities in the world, including Toronto, Vancouver, Bangkok, Berlin, Madrid, New York, Delhi, Tokyo and more.

The vast majority of respondents affirm that climate change is happening, and 59 per cent think that innovation and technology will be crucial to address everyday challenges caused by global warming in the 2030s. Eighty-three per cent of respondents believe the world will have reached or surpassed the 1.5°C global warming mark by the end of 2030.

As a result of the challenges related to climate change, the respondents are concerned with increased cost of living, access to energy and material resources, and the need for safe and reliable connectivity in turbulent times and chaotic weather.

“While personal  economy and lifestyle interests will be the top service adoption drivers for the survey respondents in the 2030s, possible new large-scale collective behaviors may result in big changes from daily life as  we currently know it – in areas such as how we work, when we work and work-life balance,” said Magnus Frodigh, the head of Ericsson Research.

Here are the top ten trends in a climate-impacted future, as reported by Ericsson:

  1. Digital services will help consumers control food, energy and travel costs in unstable climate situations. For instance, over 80 per cent believe that personal electricity consumption monitors will be available to help cut unnecessary household energy consumption.
  2. With the increase in extreme weather events, reliable and resilient internet connections will be critical. Eighty per cent of respondents believe there will be smart signal locators  that show optimal coverage areas during natural disasters in the 2030s. 
  3.  A society organized around energy use peaks and troughs, rather than clock-time, could become common. Over 60 per cent of respondents would plan activities using schedulers that are optimized based on energy cost, not time efficiency.
  4. AI will power services in extreme weather conditions, and almost half of respondents affirmed that they will use personalized weather warning systems for their own safety. 
  5. Seven in ten foresee companies and workers using AI to plan commutes, tasks, and streamline resources to minimize work-related carbon footprints.
  6. Almost half of consumers anticipate they will use smart water services, such as rain water catchers, to conserve and reuse water. Sixty-four per cent of respondents also foresee digitally regulated monthly water allowances for all citizens by the 2030s.
  7. Digital energy sharing services can help alleviate the burden of rising energy costs. Interestingly, 65 per cent of respondents believe that energy would become a currency in the 2030s, with consumers paying for goods and services in kilowatt-hours, using mobile apps.
  8. One-third of respondents believe they will use shopping apps that offer digital alternatives to physical products, especially as overconsumption becomes expensive and socially criticized.
  9. Four in ten respondents want to use a virtual travel service that lets them experience nature reserves and mountain trails in real time, as if they were there. 
  10. Environmental restrictions due to higher prices and energy and water rationing will lead to consumers using online hacking apps to tap into neighbors’ water or electricity supplies illicitly.

Read the full report here.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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