We have written quite a lot about disruptive technology in new cars, whether they are production models, prototypes, or drawing board concepts. As each new feature is unveiled, we usually hear some “WOWS” and also some skepticism until the feature is proven and accepted. Once accepted, the new feature can quickly move into the “must have” category. One current feature that is not well known is the “inward facing” camera, an innovation being considered by Cadillac, Tesla, Audi, and Volvo. At this point, no car has this feature activated. Clearly there are two sides to how this innovation will be viewed, and those two sides are becoming very familiar:
- this innovation is great because it gets to know me, help me, and make my life easier and more convenient
- this innovation is bad as it intrudes into my private space to discover, and potentially share or reveal, information that I consider to be private
By now, we should all be aware of the trade-offs that technology can often introduce into our lives. Given the success of products like GOOGLE Home and AMAZON Alexa, it’s very clear that the masses are buying the “convenience” aspects of technology, even though there are many who caution us about the loss of personal privacy and the dangers of your personal information being used against you, such as Identity Theft. There are ongoing developments in the “information privacy” arena, and those technologies could also provide investment opportunities which we will assess carefully. To get a sense of where we might be headed, click here.
So, what is it that an inward facing camera can possibly do, as it observes you and passes info along to all the vehicle systems? For starters it can positively identify who is in the vehicle, especially in the driver’s seat, and activate all the preferred settings of this driver. It could monitor the mood of the driver, and monitor health indicators, like glucose levels indicated in eye pupils. For mood alteration the system could activate appropriate settings for the drive to work, like music or podcasts to motivate and energize, and on the drive home from work, activate calming music or meditative mantras. If your health indicators go off the charts, the vehicle systems could notify your family, your doctor, the hospital, or 911 emergency services. There are also some simple convenience issues that a camera could help with, like notifying you that items such as your wallet, computer, or phone are being left behind as you exit the vehicle.
As ever, the driving force behind many of these innovations is to discover and collect information about you, and of course there are all those Privacy Policies that each privacy invader wants you to agree to. As mentioned above, the trade off is that they will give you some level of “convenience” and you will give them many personal insights about you and everyone else riding in your vehicle. Those personal insights will help them to advertise effectively and very soon try to sell you even more of the stuff they have designed, and will design, to make your life even more convenient.
If you want to see what vehicle technology may look like very soon, take a peek at the BYTON electric vehicle on display at the global technology conference in Las Vegas – a dashboard screen that is the size of seven I-Pads, a floating steering column screen for the driver, and a consul mounted screen for the passenger. EV interiors have never looked as dazzling as this.
Let Trend Disruptors be your guide to the future, as we continue to identify technology investment opportunities that can lead to financial success. Contact us at www.thetrendletter.com to find out more.