Consumers' reliance on personal cloud-driven devices has marked the coming of a new era of "cognisant computing" according to Gartner, which claims that the trend will drive innovation in sensor-enabled devices.
The analyst says the move from PCs to personal cloud devices will create a boom in applications and services, and not necessarily hardware.
"While cognisant computing is not a new concept, it is the natural evolution of a world driven not by devices but rather collections of applications and services that extend across multiple platforms and exist outside the realm of connected screens, such as phones, tablets, PCs or televisions," claims Gartner in its Market Insight: Consumer Apps and Services Will Become More Aware and Less Visible report.
The number cruncher added that while similar cognisant technologies, such as smart watches, have not taken off in the past due to cost, the new shift towards the trend could see a boom in sensor-enabled devices such as key fobs, thermostats and even shoes.
The report added: "[They] are the digital equivalent of undeveloped property that can become extraordinarily valuable to the user when linked to the appropriate services to extend their use.
"Although the ideas behind today's cognisant devices have been around for more than a decade, wearable technology such as smart watches have, for the most part, failed to gain any traction with the consumer due to high costs, little perceived value, and an emphasis on technology over form," it added.
The growth of cognisant computing could drive new opportunities for personal cloud services, according to Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner.
She said: "In practice, consumers will forget the devices are being carried, worn or used until they need to interact with them for control or to obtain feedback in terms of data or information.
"Personal cloud services and ecosystems are now the centre of the digital consumer experience."
CEO Graeme Watt admits the trading climate is becoming a little more uncertain as he and CFO Graham Charlton reflect on the reseller's £1bn year
Security vendor appoints Infinigate as part of strategy to grow channel business
As the trade war between the US and China ramps up, Marian McHugh investigates what impact this will have on UK prices and how partners are adapting to higher costs
CRN quizzes Avaya CEO Jim Chirico on the firm's progress after exiting Chapter 11 earlier this year, and listing on the stock exchange