Futurice logo

04Future of physical world

Intuitive zero UI, ambient computing experiences, new data-driven business value


As we work to make customer experiences more convenient through intuitive and natural interactions, we are paving the way for the digitalisation of the physical place. Every surface can - and will - become a digital touchpoint.

What will change
When digital and physical blend, it will change the definition of what is reality in a profound way, both for individuals and for society. It will also shape how we interact with data. In built environments, we will digitise the customers footprint on a large scale, opening up a world of untapped business opportunities for services and experiences.

Emerging technologies
Voice controlled wearables, smart windows, sensorised surfaces, mixed realities, biometric identification and access controls boosted with 5G, edge computing and cloud connected machine learning all will play their part in a digitised physical world.

Opportunities worth taking
The companies that focus on smooth and natural CX will have the power to define how people perceive the world. From digital native Millennials to seniors learning to use their first gadgets, everyone will benefit from having intelligence embedded in our office tables, home appliances, building walls and shop windows. With lowering technology prices, any surface can easily and affordably become digitally connected.

  • Built environment

    Digital experiences seamlessly embedded into physical environments will change the way we define data. Digitizing customer physical footprints on a large scale will create new solutions and revenue streams. The construction industry should focus on smart built environments to meet the connected demands of millennials and Gen Z. Increased digital touchpoints will also provide more data, helping to optimise and anticipate energy consumption.

  • Acquiring information

    Information acquired from AIs, crowdsourcing, and personal data sources could become as trusted by consumers as certified research, reports and traditional media.

  • Service business

    Multipersonal screens and recognition services provide a massive opportunity to personalise shared point-of-services. Shifting seamlessly from a digital touchpoint to physical one in a B2C setting can provide hyperpersonal customer experiences in shopping, healthcare and many more.

  • Materials & manufacturing

    A great example of material design is the smart glass from Seloy with interactive and augmented features.

Deep-dive into this bet

Total market 2024

Consumer electronics $ 1,2 trillion market where smart systems increasing, e.g. smart homes $ 180bn, with 18% CAGR. $ 936 billion with 33% CAGR. Gartner expected up to 75% of US households to own a smart speaker by 2020, while in reality, around 0,5 speakers per US citizen, were spread around 60million households by the end of 2019.

Read more

Look after these 2024

Methodology: A high-level view gathered from various openly available data sources on market size & compound annual growth rates. To simplify comparison between analysts sources, we’ve removed differences in market details by calculating an estimated average for total market size 2024 and average CAGR for selected time period. This allows us to gain “correct enough estimates”. Unless linked directly to one source, each of our market estimate has included 2-8 sources e.g. WEF, CB Insights, Mordor Intelligence, Markets & Markets, Research & Markets, Grand View Research, PWC, Allied Market Research, McKinsey, Market Watch

Access control $11,7bn + face rec $8,3 bn + voice rec $44,5 bn + artificial intelligence 43% CAGR (natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML) and computer vision $146 bn.

Top 18 unicorn sniffing smart money VCs, 1376 investments 2018-2020

Source: Crunchbase Pro, accessed: 03/20, research of company description terms between 01/2018-02/2020, investment types: early stage investments by top 18 unicorn sniffing smart money VCs, n=1376 investments

Artificial intelligence 14%, experience 9%, computer vision 3%, voice 2%.

Special focus

A ubiquitous, connected layer will force companies to cooperate to provide smooth CX, which will eventually lead to hyper connected business. According to Naked Approach, hyperconnected business will challenge the old business playbooks and shape competition in a way that challenges industrial forms of organisation.

Read more

Challenges achieving true zero UI

Current interoperability standards mean the creation of a cohesive and cooperative environment is a major challenge standing in the way of true zero UI.

Read more


The path from convenience to surveillance can be short.

Read more

Consumer trust

Service providers such as Alexa and Google Home have been found to be eavesdropping on users.

Read more

Increased power demand

Computing power and energy consumption may exceed what can be provided.

Read more

Loss of skill

The difference between supporting people as they move through the world - and dumbing down the world itself - is an important distinction. Over-reliance on a smart world may lead to skill and knowledge deterioration.


Interactive mirrors and windows enable blending of digital experiences into physical contexts

Read more


Sensors turning surfaces into digital experiences.

Read more


Computer vision platform for retail, healthcare and many other use cases.

Read more


turning your bath mat into a digital experience.

Read more

Canatu Sensors

Turning surfaces into digital experiences.

Read more

Ghost - feel it

Tactile user interfaces.

Read more

My Voice Ai

Speaker identificationspeaker identification, sentiment analysis, emotion detection and real-time evaluation of other speaker characteristics., sentiment analysis, emotion detection and real-time evaluation of other speaker characteristics.

Read more


Voice and conversational AI platform based on its own proprietary technologies.

Read more


Make any fridge smart to automate shopping and reduce your food waste.

Read more


The 5th generation of wireless technology that operates on a broader set of frequencies than 4G. This enables faster speed and latency in data transfer, as well as uninterrupted connectivity.

AI/ML Artificial intelligence (AI)

computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence by using a combination of Machine Learning (ML) toolbox of algorithms and learning rules from data.

Edge computing

A microcontroller unit (a small chip) is embedded with the ability to perform AI/ML computing offline based on sensor inputs without needing a cloud connection.

Sensor technology

Ultra thin,connected, printable, stretchable sensors have the potential to turn every physical surface into a digital experience by seamless tracking heat, pressure, touch.


The measurable, unique physical and/or behavioural characteristics of a person. These include the face, iris, voice and thumb print. Biometric recognition detects these objects and compares them with stored biometric data. This means an evaluated character such as a person’s identity, age or language of choice person can be identified.

Speech recognition

Using voice as a source for identifying, analysing and acting. (e.g. speech to text, identification, measuring, etc.)

Computer vision

Using video image as a source for identifying, analysing and acting (objects & faces to provide access, personalise, charge, recommend, etc.)

Indicators of change



03 New eyes in the skies05 Anticipatory tech
Get in touch with our team
  • Tuğberk Duman

    Head of Innovation



Get in touch

You can find individual contact details for the friendly folk above.

  • About
  • Services
  • Case Studies
  • Blog
  • Contact
  • Join us


© 2021 Futurice. All Rights Reserved | Legal disclaimer | Impressum

Futurice logo

Future. Co-created.