By Jeff Unterreiner, President of Connected Living at Assurant

As the lines between devices, homes and vehicles blur, people are using connected technology with more urgency and more frequency. Today, 70% of connected products are accessed multiple times per week. And approximately one of every four U.S. consumers owns 16 connected products according to a recent consumer study by Assurant.

In this “connected now,” people are fixated with technology. And there’s no event that highlights that obsession like the annual CES in Las Vegas. Last year’s CES event celebrated self-driving vehicles, smart home innovations and television technology advancements. And, while those themes returned in 2020, there are three frontiers in technology this year that are steadily working to change the connected future.

1. Health-related technology is on the rise

69% of consumers believe connected technology makes life better according to our study. And, of those surveyed, the most tech-savvy group of individuals has the highest sense of personal wellbeing, with an 8.3 average rating on a 10-point scale. There’s an apparent connection here between technology and health. So what if technology could go beyond managing our smart homes to helping us manage our personal health and overall wellbeing?

CES 2020 introduced new ideas that will empower consumers to not just monitor, but also take control of their wellness and health. Historically, devices like smart watches and smartphone apps have collected data and monitored individual health metrics, giving users an overview of their activity. This year, wearables were on display that boasted the ability to analyze health-related data, making it easier for people to prevent healthcare concerns or illnesses before they even happen. Exciting innovations in digital health were on full display: from AI assistants that help diagnose diseases to smart watches that detect sleep apnea. We also saw a set of smart pajamas designed for the aging generation that’s equipped to monitor vital signs overnight, sending an alert to family members or healthcare providers if numbers spike to dangerous levels.

2. 5G continues to inspire cross-industry innovation

100 times faster than 4G, this next-generation connectivity technology is poised to usher in unprecedented speed, reliability and efficiency, touching virtually every industry. While most consumers aren’t using 5G on their smartphones yet, 5G is expected to bring exciting innovations to the mainstream faster.

For example, self-driving cars enabled with 5G technology will enable vehicles to talk to each other, communicating traffic patterns, driving maneuvers and road conditions to help keep drivers safe. There was even a prototype vehicle unveiled by an electronics company at CES 2020 demonstrating how a respected authority in the audio and camera industry is making a splash in the automotive market. This vehicle can detect a driver’s alertness level and even spot a nearby pedestrian before the driver can. It’s becoming clear that auto manufacturers are envisioning a new future for connected drivers.

3. Privacy and security is on everyone’s mind

Consumers are feeling the need for more control over their personal identity and information. Every consumer segment surveyed in our study expressed concern about identity theft, cyberattacks and the misuse of personal data. From privacy enhancements to voice assistants, updated checkup tools on social networks and a dedicated keynote session on the topic, privacy was one of the larger conversations at CES 2020.

One device that distinguished itself during the event works to reduce a consumer’s data footprint, scanning traffic to and from a consumer’s home, blocking ads, hiding a user’s internet address and warding off website fingerprinting.

Couldn’t make it to CES 2020? We’re here for you.

With over 4,500 exhibits at CES 2020, it can be tough to spot the trends that will really matter to your business. Assurant has been helping the world’s largest brands anticipate consumer needs for over a century. While startups come and go, Assurant continues to help our clients gain a competitive edge through insight, analysis and innovation. Take a look at our white paper on the Connected Consumer and see how Assurant can help your business see further.