Within ten years we’ll be controlling smart devices with our thoughts, according to Vodafone report

Connected Consumer sq

Connectivity and smart technology will fundamentally transform our experience of the world within the next decade, according to a new report by Newbury-based telecommunications giant Vodafone.

The Connected Consumer 2030 (CC2030) report explores five key trends that will drive the future of connectivity, challenging head-on the impact of climate change, depleting natural resources and ageing populations.

The report, released in partnership with The Future Laboratory, predicts how innovation in connected care, smart cities and transport, ethical connectivity, sustainability and future technology will help solve once-in-a-generation challenges and improve everyday life.

The main findings include:

  • A connectivity revolution will see the average person interact with a smart device every 18 seconds – 4,800 times a day
  • Smart devices will prove vital for the healthcare sector by detecting, monitoring and preventing disease
  • Connected trees, grasslands and oceans could help reduce global emissions by up to a third and support sustainability targets
  • Immersive holograms and in-vehicle AI will turn passenger journeys into retail experiences
  • Wearable devices could receive commands through an individual’s thoughts

While it sounds more science fiction than science fact, the report suggests that by 2030 wearable devices will be able to move beyond voice control and interact directly with a user’s thoughts.

With the number of connected devices expected to reach 125 billion globally by 2030, and accelerated digital adoption due to the pandemic, smart solutions that effortlessly blend into people’s lives will be a key trend within the next decade.

Instead of responding to sound, these brain-computer interfaces will detect signals the brain automatically sends to the mouth when we ‘say’ words in our heads, enabling users to give commands to their smart assistants without having to speak aloud.

This opens up the possibility of a future without screens or a ‘metaverse’, where communication with devices happens through neural networks allowing users to take mental notes or silently communicate with their devices.

Lutfu Kitapci, managing director of Vodafone Smart Tech, said: “Over the past two years connectivity has become part of the fabric of our daily lives, helping people stay close to the people and things that matter most to them and solve everyday challenges.

“The findings within The Connected Consumer 2030 report highlight just how the pace of transformation is growing, and how we will sit at the heart of it with our connectivity solutions to help governments, businesses and consumers tackle major societal challenges.”

Chris Sanderson, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, added: “A decade of exponential change awaits us.

“Connectivity represents the key to this transformation, helping us to disrupt differently and redefine what society is capable of.”