Technology Trends 2023

2023 Will See Post-Pandemic-Fueled Growth Continue for Wearables, But Not With 5G Connectivity

As 2023 kicks off, predictions abound on the technology innovations expected in the year ahead. In its new whitepaper, 74 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2023, analysts from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research identify 41 trends that will shape the technology market and 33 others that, although attracting huge amounts of speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle over the next twelve months. Technology Trends 2023

SIM card e SIM shop

In the wearable space, growth will continue, but not with 5G connectivity.

“War, inflation, political upheaval, energy shortages, and the ongoing fallout from a global pandemic are still creating a persistent sense of uncertainty. Labor shortages, supply chain issues, falling consumer sentiment, and rising input costs are squeezing many markets. However, the common aspect between all of these is that technology can either be the anchor dragging down operations or the mainsail powering companies forward. The devil is in the detail of the how, who, what, and when of technology investment and implementation. This whitepaper serves as a helpful blueprint for building realistic expectations of key technology markets and verticals,” says Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer at ABI Research.

Here are just a few trends, most interesting for us.

What Will Happen in 2023:

Growth in Wearables Will Continue Post-Pandemic Technology Trends 2023

The wearables market is poised to grow as the latest technologies and use cases are introduced every now and then. ABI Research forecasts that the total wearables market will reach around ~700 million by 2027 with a CAGR of 12.8% calculated from 2022 to 2027. Wearables that were once treated as “nice to have” devices have now become a necessity for consumers due to the increased adoption of the IoT and the increased use of technology by the population. ABI Research expects growing demand for connected devices in the wearables industry (especially healthcare), which will take the wearables market to a new level in the coming years. Also, the OEMs will play an instrumental role in providing portable and simple form factors that will help the wearables industry grow in the years to come.

The Beginning of the End for the Classical Removable SIM Card

The market dynamics in the United States arguably provide a perfect testing ground for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module (eSIM)-only devices, due to high levels of eSIM readiness, maturity, and the fact that the United States is a market of significant size, making the creation of a specific smartphone model for the U.S. market more economically viable. With that said, in the Fall of 2022, Apple announced its first range of eSIM-only smartphone devices, for launch within the U.S. market.
Although Apple will first limit the deployment of its Apple 14 eSIM-only devices to the United States, it clearly outlines Apple’s intentions for an eSIM-only handset portfolio. Although becoming available in 4Q 2022, the impact on the U.S. market will be clear and more evident in 2023 with the first full year of Apple’s eSIM-only device shipments into the region.
Apple has now made its intent clear and it is inevitable that Apple will eventually migrate all its smartphone devices to eSIM-only variants. It’s now not a case of if, but when, and the impact on the classical removable SIM cards market in the United States will be clear and swift. The rate of classical removable SIM card shipment decline over the next few years will ultimately be defined by Apple’s planned eSIM-only smartphone device expansion plans, alongside other OEMs, which may look toward Apple as an example to replicate.

Smart Home Will Have to Pay Its Way Technology Trends 2023

There will be a growing drive from vendors and consumers alike for the smart home to pay its way. Scaling back smart home voice control teams at both Amazon and Google toward the end of 2022, in part, reflects a new emphasis on revenue streams, over underwriting development and devices for potential exploitation further out. Samsung recently expanded its summer of 2022 launch of its SmartThings Energy service, an application supporting whole home and individual device energy monitoring, to support partnerships with real-time energy monitoring management and energy switching players. The end of 2022 also saw Vivint, a major U.S. smart home player based around subscription-monitored security provision, set to be acquired by Texas-based utility NRG Energy, as the latter sees the ability to leverage smart homes among its customer bases and beyond. On the consumer side, energy management is an application that may support greater investment in smart home adoption. The ability to monitor and reduce energy spending is of increasing value, and smart
home abilities to enable that will help consumers see an ROI in smart home capabilities over and above the convenience, with technical curiosity having led much of their engagement, so far.

An Enterprise VR Renaissance

The year 2022 saw companies looking toward Virtual Reality (VR) increasingly often. Training, far and away, was the leading use case both discussed and implemented. The year 2022 also saw the confirmation and/or release of a handful of notable enterprise VR devices to spice up the competitive environment, including the Meta Quest Pro, Lenovo VRX, and Pico 4 Enterprise. These devices all improve the visual experience with pancake optics, as well as enhance the camera passthrough experience. VR training offers infinite adjustment and repetition, which cannot be met with other training methods. Academic studies universally show positive knowledge retention and recall impact
with VR training—always moderate, sometimes substantial. There is also the remote/off-site element for VR training that shows similar value to remote assistance: cost and downtime reduction.

What Won’t Happen in 2023: Technology Trends 2023

5G Will Not Appear in Consumer Wearables Technology Trends 2023

While wearables can benefit from cellular connectivity, giving them greater freedom from being tethered to smartphones and allowing wearers to use them on the go, 5G wearables are still not expected to be seen in 2023. Component manufacturers have yet to announce any 5G chipsets for wearables and are not expected to do so any time soon, as the market potential is small with few device shipments compared to other mobile devices. For the time being, market demand for cellular connectivity in wearables can be served adequately by 4G, while there is added complexity of fitting the required 5G components in a small form factor.

A Competitive Consumer Smart Glasses Market Will Not Happen

While VR will see a handful of notable releases and enterprise adoption, the consumer AR ecosystem still needs more time to develop. Apple and Google alone dictate when consumer AR glasses will become desirable, with both companies targeting 2024 (tentatively) for smart glasses. Competitors, of course, will both beat these companies to market and follow afterward, but none can offer the same sway and impact. Apple will hit the broader XR market first with its high-end VR device in 2023, but that is a different device class than consumer smart glasses both in capability and price.



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