The fifth Ericsson report on the top 10 trends for 2016 and beyond shows that consumers believe artificial intelligence will soon enable them to interact without the need for a smartphone screen.
The broadest trend in the study is representative of 1.1bn people in 24 countries, whereas the narrowest represents 46m urban smartphone users in 10 major cities.
It found that consumers believe that internal sensors that measure wellbeing in our bodies may become the new ‘wearables’.
Eight out of 10 people said they would like to use technology to enhance sensory perceptions and cognitive abilities such as vision, memory and hearing.
Consumers also want virtual technology for everyday activities such as watching sports and making video calls, with 44% stating they would like to be able to ‘print’ their own food in the future. Teenagers now watch more YouTube video content daily than other age groups. The report found that 46% of 16-19 year-olds spend an hour or more on the video streaming site every day.
More than a third believe blowing the whistle on a corrupt company online has greater impact than going to the police.
Social networks may become the preferred way to contact emergency services, with six out of 10 consumers stating they would be interested in a disaster information app.
Some 86% of people said they would use personalised commuting services if they were available.
Managing director Ericsson Ireland Traoloch Collins said that although the trends seem like they are some years away, consumers now expect more and more from technology.
“Ericsson’s latest research shows how we have become accustomed to the fast pace in technological change.
“Although some of these trends may seem futuristic, consumers are expecting more. They recognise the contradictory demands for smartphones with larger screens and a longer battery life and are looking for solutions,” he said.