Revealed: Top 10 trends of tech-savvy UAE consumers in 2016

With a finger on the pulse of the fast-paced consumer electronics industry, GITEX Shopper tracks top 10 trends for tech savvy consumers looking to update devices and tap into the latest developments in the industry. Visitors to the Middle East’s largest consumer IT and electronic show, which will take place from 1-8 October at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), should lookout for:

Wearables: With connectivity already an everyday part of consumers’ lives thanks to the smartphone, it’s now the turn of wearable tech to take it to the next level. According to a recent CCS Insight study[1], the wearables market indicates strong growth over the next five years, with revenue poised to reach US$14 billion in 2016. Wrist-worn devices continue to be the trailblazers in the wearables market, with fitness, activity and sports trackers accounting for almost half of the sales.

Purushotham, Head of Marketing (Smartphones & Tablets), IT & Mobile Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics said: “We are bringing to GITEX Shopper the entire Samsung mobile ecosystem, including the latest smartphones, wearables and tablets, among other world-class consumer appliances. The growth in our wearables segment has been remarkable, with strong sales for the recently launched Gear Fit2 and IconX.”

Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence (AI), similar to the tech that powers Windows’ Cortana and iOS’s Siri, and machine learning technology which powers Google’s search engine, will continue to be incorporated into technology products, services and software in 2016 as mobility remains front and centre.

3D-Printing Materials: This year will see continued advances in 3D printing with a wide range of materials, including advanced nickel alloys, carbon fibre, glass, conductive ink, electronics, pharmaceuticals and biological materials for practical applications expanding into aerospace, medical, automotive, energy and the military. Recent advances make it possible to mix multiple materials together with traditional 3D printing in one build. Among the exhibitors that will showcase the latest in 3D printers for home and office at GITEX Shopper 2016 is Jacky’s Electronics.

Live Video Streaming: Video streaming has become one of the most engaging trends as well as the most popular methods to view content across the web today. The increasing use of mobile devices is also driving video views, and this trend is set to continue in 2016. The demand on smartphones is expected to increase, as companies – such as YouTube and Facebook – are adding livestreaming features on their mobile apps.

Ultra-HD (UHD) TVs: With their exceptional picture quality, ultra high definition (UHD) TVs have quickly gained market share since their introduction just a few years ago. UHD TVs feature four times the pixels per inch compared to Full HD and offer far greater contrast than previous displays, especially if they are equipped with OLED technology. In addition, high dynamic range (HDR) brings huge advances in colour, contrast, and brightness, which has to be seen to be believed. Among the world’s top rating UHD TVs are LG’s E6 HDR 4K TV, Samsung KS9000 SUHD 4K Ultra HD TV and Sony X940D 4K HDR Ultra HD TV.

Virtual Reality: This year is definitely the year of Virtual Reality, with increased Virtual Reality content in the gaming industry, as well as the development of 360° cameras. Intel recently introduced its newest VR headset Project Alloy which introduces the concept of merged reality. Instead of a headset cord and controllers, people will experience VR at its finest by using their own hands.

Regional power retailer Sharaf DG will showcase the latest VR headsets including the HTC Vive, which received 22 awards from Consumer Technology Association (CES) 2016. According to Nilesh Khalkho, CEO of Sharaf DG, the Vive headset includes a standout feature called “room scale” that allows the headset to utilise technology to turn a room into a 3D space within the virtual reality environment: “Visitors will be able to try out the new HTC Vive VR headset during the show – it’s quite sensational in immersing the user into a room-scale VR gameplay experience by using 360 motion tracking and natural controller gestures.”

According to Purushotham, Samsung’s new Gear VR is a joy to wear, and is even more immersive than before: “Samsung is largely responsible for bringing virtual reality to the mass consumer market with the revolutionary Gear VR.  VR will continue to be a strong focus area for Samsung, with a significant presence at GITEX Shopper. With the launch of the Galaxy Note7, the latest Gear VR and the Gear 360, we are setting off the next phase of the technology, giving consumers a wider selection of tools to not just experience VR but also generate content themselves.”

Smart Drones: Drones have taken the world by storm and new features are being introduced to the market almost daily. The Typhoon H, for example, is capable of capturing 4k video footage as well as vivid 12-megapixel stills in 360 degrees. Another popular drone this year is the Phantom 4, which comes equipped with automatic collision control and features Active Track technology that allows the person to select any moving object and it will automatically follow it.

Electric Skateboards: Last year the world went crazy for hoverboards, and now electric skateboards are making moves to gain market share, primarily due to their relative safety for users. The Yuneec E-Go, available in the regional market, boasts a battery capacity of more than 28km and a top speed of 19km. The battery charges within 5 hours.

Smart Appliances: As home appliances come equipped with cutting-edge technology, this means they save more water, energy, time and money for their owners. Samsung has recently revealed their futuristic fridge, the Samsung Family Hub Fridge that comes attached with a 1080p touchscreen, which means that you can freely scroll through apps and browse the internet while standing in the kitchen. It also comes with a feature that enables you to order groceries for home delivery.

Information of Everything: The next evolution on from Internet of Everything, and one of the top trends in tech for 2016 according to Gartner[2], is Information of Everything. This heralds a new era in which people, businesses and devices become increasingly more connected, creating the potential to revolutionise the way companies interact with customers and how we live and work in the world.

GITEX Shopper 2016 takes place from 1 – 8 October and will open from 11:00am – 11:00pm every day. This year, tickets for GITEX Shopper will be priced at AED 30 for the weekdays and AED 35 for the weekend. Entry is free for children below the age of five

Dubai Gazette