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10 Hot Consumer Trends 2030

The Everyspace Plaza

Welcome to the hybrid future, where reality is networked

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The new predictions from consumers for 2030 have landed. Expect a hybrid mall just down the road from where you live – a place where AR glasses, haptic body suits, and tactile gloves are available at low cost. A place that can be programmed and adapted to an almost infinite number of activities. Welcome to the Everyspace Plaza.

The Everyspace Plaza

This year’s Ericsson 10 Hot Consumer Trends report outlines 10 high-tech facilities that consumers envisage in hybrid malls by 2030. At Ericsson Research, our vision is that over the next decade, these ideas will merge into a networked reality, where every space becomes the right place for next-generation experiences.

This future could see beauty salons that are programmed to apply make-up that adapts to your surroundings; swimming pools where you can use oxygenated VR headsets to experience zero gravity; and make-your-own factories where you can select customized designs for any product.

Any here is right here, in the Everyspace Plaza.

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Discover the plaza

Key findings from the report

1. The All-now Arena

You could be both actor and spectator, but will the immersion experience give you a thrill or a fright? Nearly 8 out of 10 consumers envisage event halls where telepresence technology allows artists to digitally perform as if they were there in person.

2. The Immersive Beauty Salon

Skipping the knife and needle is an attractive beauty option for many. Beauty salons that use volumetric modeling technology to digitally enhance looks are expected in malls by 7 out of 10 consumers.

3. The Meta Tailor

Fast fashion tailored just for you – and your avatar. More than 7 out of 10 AR/VR users foresee a tailor in the mall who uses fabrics that become waterproof or provide ventilation.

4. The Anyverse Pool

Many imagine the exploration of impossible worlds. Two-thirds of consumers believe there will be swimming pools where you can use an oxygenated VR headset to experience outer space in zero gravity.

5. The Hybrid Gym

For many, physical vigor and mental health are inextricably linked. Seven out of ten consumers expect mental fitness centers that have multisensory, personality-tailored AR/VR scenery to help improve mental health.

6. The Print-a-Wish Multifactory

On-demand repair and production are the future. Over half of consumers want to shop sustainably in a factory outlet that recycles their old products.

7. The Restaurant at the Node of the Universe

Distraction-free, virtual company is preferable for many. Half of consumers want to visit restaurants to virtually eat with friends in other restaurants, anywhere in the world.

8. The Neverending Store

Try before you buy – virtually, at least. Three-quarters of consumers expect to be able to project their home inside the store when trying out new products.

9. The Medical Multiplex Center

We’re used to everything being instant. Why wait when it comes to health? Seventy-seven percent of consumers foresee in-mall medical centers with drop-in AI health scanning that gives near-instant health status updates.

10. The Nature+ Park

For those stuck in cities, nature is what’s missing. Seventy-three percent of consumers expect an in-mall AR/VR zoo where you can interact with any animal, even those that are extinct.

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Welcome to the Everyspace Plaza: where your imagination is real

Imagine a futuristic place, close to where you live, where next-generation 6G connectivity makes the multiverse possible. We asked early adopters of AR, VR and digital assistants from 14 major cities to evaluate 15 hybrid shopping mall facilities that extend the physical consumer experience using digital technology. An astonishing 79 percent think that all 15 tested concepts will be available in some form by 2030.

Shopping malls have long been high-tech focal points, with many featuring cinemas, game arcades, concert halls, bowling alleys and more – and they likely will continue to play that role. In fact, 35 percent of surveyed consumers think shopping malls are more likely to feature next-generation technology than homes.

With major tech players now quickly staking out new ground, that next generation is getting very close. Towards the end of 2021, Facebook became Meta and positioned Horizon as their future social platform only months after Microsoft had announced Mesh as the volumetric heir to both Teams and their Office suite; and Niantic launched Lightship as a platform for building their Planet-Scale AR Alliance – to name a few, At Ericsson Research, our vision is that, by 2030, these kinds of initiatives will merge into a networked reality, where every space becomes the right place for next-generation experiences.

Concurrently, the idea that we have reached peak mobility is spreading among early adopters. Four out of ten AR/VR users equate increasing travel costs to carbon taxes and rising fuel costs to the growing interest in AR/VR technology. Instead, local surroundings will become more important, with almost 4 out of 10 consumers agreeing that a high-tech shopping mall would make their town more attractive to live in.

If all types of experiential consumption and shopping can be enjoyed nearby, why go anywhere else? Any here is right here, in the Everyspace Plaza.


Trend 1: The All-now Arena

The 2022 virtual tour of Voyage, the latest album by Swedish pop group ABBA, features avatar performances – a hint of what could be to come in the next decade. Living in a main city may not be necessary to catch major artists on tour in the future. By 2030, almost 8 out of 10 respondents believe event halls will be equipped with telepresence technology that allows international artists or sports teams to perform digitally as if they were there in person.

Trend 1: The All-now Arena


But telepresence is also believed to encompass the audience. In fact, 77 percent expect these halls to be equipped with globally connected surround sound systems that let participants everywhere sing along with amazing depth and volume. Interactivity of this sort will be key for taking performances into a whole new type of reality. Forty-six percent of respondents want to frequent AR/VR event halls that can transform 360 degrees into any scenery, allowing them to actively participate in musicals, interactive films or even enter virtual pieces of art.

As digital technology starts making events truly interactive, borders between movies, games, sports, exhibitions and education will blur. The event experience that most respondents would like to participate in mixes all these elements. At least 55 percent want to visit a museum that uses advanced AR/VR technology to recreate historic events, making them feel like they are there in person. When reality is extended with technology, every historical era can come alive. Any point in time – be it past, present, or future – could be experienced here. In the All-now Arena, you will be both actor and spectator, hunter and prey, student and teacher.

Paradoxically, immersion is key to unlocking event experiences that go beyond the here and now – but it is also immersion that can scare consumers away. Almost one-quarter of those who do not want to visit multisensory-enabled event halls say it is because it could affect them negatively. Being able to digitally feel scorching heat, biting cold, soaking wetness, desert aridity or the smell of the intense action on stage could be both a blessing and a curse, as the same immersion that delights some could overwhelm the senses of others.


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Trend 2: The Immersive Beauty Salon

The current global market value for cosmetic surgery is estimated at well over USD 50 billion, according to Fortune Business Insights. But throughout the pandemic, beautifying treatments have gone digital. As working from home and video meetings became more commonplace, demand for improving one’s “lockdown face” surged globally. While medical treatments are invasive, the AR/VR-based world offers consumers a shortcut to a more “beautiful” self, which may be why 7 out of 10 consumers think beauty salons will use volumetric modeling to enhance the looks of their customers by 2030.

Interest in immersive beauty is greatest among those who are already inhabitants of the immersive world and is, in fact, higher than for other services. Of AR/VR users, 41 percent want to go to nail salons and embed tracking devices that will let them use their hands as AR/VR controllers, compared to 23 percent of non-users. In addition, 41 percent of AR/VR users also want beauty salons that apply make-up to fool face recognition technology in surveillance cameras – compared to 25 percent of non-users.

Trend 2: The Immersive Beauty Salon


Immersive beauty that adapts to your surroundings and social situations is also expected to be widely available in the future. Close to 7 out of 10 consumers think that by 2030, beauty salons that apply make-up programmed to adapt colors and patterns based on your surroundings and the time of day will be readily available. And 71 percent think that hairdressers will employ AI to analyze the hairstyles of all passersby, enabling them to offer the most fashionable haircut.

As people’s lives came further into public display through social media, so did filters and Insta-glam makeup looks. Recently, the negative effects of this selfie-centered lifestyle – particularly the effects on young people using social media – have come into focus. Correspondingly, the Immersive Beauty Salon is rated as having the highest likelihood for negative effects among all the shopping mall facilities studied. Of those who do not want to use the service, 4 out of 10 say cost is the main barrier – potentially creating a divide between the digitally bald and the virtually well-endowed. One-third also cite a loss of privacy and control as negative effects, along with giving high-tech companies too much influence, perhaps as a reaction to the debate about how young people are affected.

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Trend 3: The Meta Tailor

Since the beginning of time, humans have used clothing and accessories to mark status, cultural belonging and personality. This ancient human practice remains as strong as ever, but will fast shopping mall fashion be the way we cater to it in the 2030s? And with the rapid increase in video calls, AR filters, online game outfits and use of avatars, to what extent will we bring the need for stylistic self-expression to our hybrid selves?

Our research found that cheap clothing will remain attractive going forward, but consumers will choose unique, custom pieces to add flair to their personal style. More than three-quarters expect that there will be a tailor in the mall using robot sewing machines and 3D printing to produce low-cost, custom-made clothes, and half of them look forward to visiting a tailor that makes clothes for them this way. In addition, just as many want to use the services of a tailor that employs AI-controlled sewing robots to adjust, mend and repair their clothes at a low cost while they wait.

Trend 3: The Meta Tailor


However, new fashion technology is also believed to move beyond traditional wear. For example, digital work meetings and social events will also drive the need to dress up our avatars in the same way we would in base reality. Three-quarters of consumers foresee tailors who design digital fashion for personal avatars, based on 3D scans of their body.

If fast fashion goes digital, it could be sustainable too. And early adopters believe our clothes will become the very fabric of the virtual world. Seventy percent of AR/VR users expect to see tailors using advanced electrostatic materials with full-body touch feedback for games or even romantic encounters. This is compared to 40 percent of those who neither currently use nor plan to use AR/VR. Those who are already regular users of AR/VR find it much easier to envision our extended reality future in this way. Similarly, 72 percent of AR/VR users anticipate that there will be a tailor who uses programmable materials for clothes to become waterproof or provide ventilation, whereas only 43 percent of non-users see this happening by 2030.

But users and non-users are in agreement that AR/VR will be useful to try out new garments before they are produced. Of the consumers surveyed, 76 percent expect tailors to provide AI-controlled AR/VR fitting booths where they can try out clothes virtually in any environment before deciding – and that extends to 68 percent of AR/VR non-users too.

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Trend 4: The Anyverse Pool

Bezos, Musk, Branson – they all spend a fortune and burn rocket fuel to fly into space and experience a scant few minutes of weightlessness. But what if you could do the same for the price of a movie ticket, without increasing your CO2 footprint, and even remain in space for a full hour?

Of surveyed consumers, 66 percent believe that by 2030, malls will feature swimming pools where you can use an oxygenated VR headset that allows you to feel like you are in outer space in zero gravity. Although you will be physically swimming under water, the world around you will be digitally enhanced to be full of stars, spanning vast distances in a hybrid experience. In 2030, outer space might be just around the corner.

But you needn’t just float freely through the void. By wearing a pair of magnetized boots in addition to the oxygenated VR headset, you could become a space explorer and visit any planet in the universe. In reality, you’ll be walking on the bottom of an Anyverse Pool that uses programmable materials to simulate different types of terrain. The adjustable magnetic strength in your boots could even approximate variations in gravity. Does this sound too far out? Not to 45 percent of respondents, who say they would like to experience an Anyverse Pool in 2030.

Trend 4: The Anyverse Pool


As well as floating in space, you could also explore the uncharted depths of the deepest oceans. More than half of consumers would like to use an oxygenated VR headset to dive into amazing underwater worlds full of real or imagined creatures, and almost as many want to experience the sinking of the Titanic, as if they were there themselves.

However, submerging oneself in a swimming pool while strapped into virtual reality seems claustrophobic to some. While immersive underwater technologies are of high interest to many, the fear of losing one’s grip on reality might be the reason why experiencing the sinking of the Titanic is also seen as problematic. In fact, it is rated as having the highest risk for negative side effects among those who believe such experiences will be on offer by 2030, yet do not want to try them out for themselves.

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Trend 5: The Hybrid Gym

When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you primarily think about your health, or do you try to see yourself through the imagined eyes of others?

The gym as we know it today is a by-product of early 19th century industrialization, when rising affluence gradually turned the body into an improvement project. In the information age, step-counters and wearables have taken the idea of the body project one step further. But even though health is a key driver, social pressures have been part of the motivation all along. As people increasingly inhabit digital as well as physical realms, the body is increasingly set to become even more of a social construct.

However, just like in the early 19th century, affluence could remain key to future fitness, as cost is rated as the most negative aspect. This is especially true among non-users of AR/VR, with 46 percent concerned about high costs, compared to 35 percent of AR/VR users.

Trend 5: The Hybrid Gym


Social aspects of wellness also remain paramount in the Hybrid Gym – 8 out of 10 consumers think treadmills and exercise bikes that use AR/VR to immerse people with others in online environments will be available, and almost half want to use such facilities in a mall.

But only the best is good enough if you need to impress others. Hence, as many as 45 percent would like to attend workout classes by internationally renowned instructors who guide them via remote presence.

With such pressure, it is no wonder that 7 out of 10 consumers say there will also be mental fitness centers using multisensory AR/VR with individually AI-tailored scenery to help improve mental health. Slightly more also think gyms will have exercise equipment that takes AI-enhanced photos that can be used to make them look good on social media. But well over one-quarter of those who don’t want to use such machines say they are hesitant because it could affect them negatively, perhaps out of fear that, going forward, wellness will be just as much about social skill as it will be about affluence or health.

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Trend 6: The Print-a-Wish Multifactory

Will we see the end of mass consumption and the era of cheap throwaway goods produced with little care for working conditions and the environment? Sustainability and the climate crisis have long worried consumers. While there have been fewer options for those on a budget, the increasing cost efficiency of automated, on-demand 3D printing could perhaps finally provide affordable and attractive solutions that solve the need for renewal and repair in local and sustainable ways.

Consumers agree that this future could happen. Almost 8 out of 10 foresee make-your-own factories that allow visitors to select customized designs for any product – such as furniture, kitchen items or toys – in shopping malls by 2030. To help know exactly how their dream product will turn out before it is produced, just as many also believe AR/VR will let them experience their designs first.

The desire for sustainable solutions in combination with shopping for new and exciting items is clear. The most highly rated Print-a-Wish Multifactory service is the ability to recycle old products while shopping for new ones. Not only do 54 percent of consumers want to use this service, 8 out of 10 think it will exist in hybrid malls by 2030.

Trend 6: The Print-a-Wish Multifactory


Half of respondents would like to use a repair shop that analyzes broken parts – from furniture to household appliances – and produces replacement parts on demand. Interestingly, local automated repair is slightly more attractive to those who are not AR/VR users. Exactly half want to have an on-demand repair and production facility in the shopping mall, compared to 48 percent of AR/VR users. Perhaps AR/VR users believe they will already have virtualized much of their consumption by then, or maybe they are skeptical of how the repair data will be used. Almost one out of four believe that having a company analyze their home appliances to diagnose repairs could affect them negatively. Furthermore, 27 percent worry that products made with a digital twin that enables remote-controlled operations could be harmful.

Overall, consumers rate the future factory as a well-rounded concept and it could be circular too!

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Trend 7: The Restaurant at the Node of the Universe

In a striking scene from the classic science-fiction book series, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the last minutes of the universe are played back every night to awe-struck guests who have travelled through the time-space continuum to enjoy a literal last supper. Our reality is less dazzling, with the dinner table having become a battleground where parents fight with children to keep meals social, face-to-face, and free of devices. But what if the digital world offered the opportunity to socialize without compromise and distraction?

Nearly three-quarters of consumers think that, by 2030, there will be restaurant chains that connect you virtually to friends in other restaurants, making it feel like you are eating together. And consumers really want to do that without distraction. Three-quarters also think that restaurants will let us edit out disturbing noise, and just over half see themselves enjoying a meal this way.

Although half of respondents want to visit a restaurant to virtually eat with friends, the same feature is mentioned as potentially having negative effects by nearly one-quarter of those who do not want to eat such meals. One-quarter also see themselves potentially being negatively affected by a restaurant with AI avatars that enable them to enjoy a meal with company, even if they are alone – maybe fearing that the digital companions will replace real social relationships with humans. Furthermore, 28 percent also mention being served 3D-printed food in such restaurants as something negative, extending the slippery slope of restaurant digitalization beyond the social dimension.

Trend 7: The Restaurant at the Node of the Universe


However, the opportunity for customization is a big draw for many. Half of consumers want to eat in restaurants that use AI to analyze their tastes and health and then serve personalized meals. In addition, 7 out of 10 believe future restaurants will be able to place them and their friends in any scenery for a totally immersive experience, including smells and sounds. This would mean dining at the end of the universe would become just one of any number of possibilities. If you can eat in any location – while connecting to anyone, anywhere – in a fully immersive manner, that restaurant could become a center of quality time, and a node for social connectivity across (rather than at the end of) space and time.

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Trend 8: The Neverending Store

High street and mall retail have been struggling ever since the take-off of online shopping. But with pandemic lockdowns on a global scale, online retail has accelerated to become an unstoppable force. In China for example, 2021 was the year when online retail was predicted to surpass in-store sales for the first time.

Infinite scrolling and clicking might not provide the joy and inspiration you once felt when strolling through the mall, but neither do stores with limited selections, as consumers become conditioned to personalized stimulation and near-instant, delivered-to-your-home gratification. But retailers that digitally extend their physical store into a hybrid brick-and-portal experience could fare much better.

Three-quarters of all respondents believe that, by 2030, retailers will use AR/VR to provide an unlimited range of items for customers to try out in-store, almost as if they were real. As many expect personalized inspiration to help you buy the right product, such as being able to project a digital copy of their own home onto the shop floor, and physically try out new products as if at home. Stores are also expected to do much more than just sell products. Nearly 8 out of 10 consumers assume that retailers in hybrid malls will provide AR/VR classes on how to best use the products you buy.

Trend 8: The Neverending Store


Almost half also want to use these different services by 2030, indicating that consumers think adoption of in-store technology, combined with needs-based retail strategies, would lead to a strong rebound for physical stores, paving the way for brick-and-portal experiences that are still out of reach to online retailers.

However, not all are thrilled by Neverending Stores. Concerns around over-consumption and too much choice resonate with respondents. Of those who do not want a shop that connects to their homes to make customized suggestions for products that go well with what they already have, 25 percent believe this would affect them negatively. Plus, 1 out of 5 of those who want to avoid shops that use AR/VR to provide an unlimited range of items that can be tried out almost as if they were real, fear the negative effects of such shopping opportunities.

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Trend 9: The Medical Multiplex Center

“Oh – you’re a doctor? I have a problem with my X, Y, Z – what do you suggest?” This is the question many doctors dread when at dinner parties. And yet, many of us take the chance to ask it in such situations. Our newsfeeds are brimming over with a never-ending flood of posts guiding us on health. The advice given is often conflicting, and we are left to ask ourselves who to trust and who to dismiss. We are more engaged in our health than ever and consequently want to eliminate sickness entirely.

Perhaps then, it is not surprising that 77 percent of consumers expect local medical centers in malls to have drop-in AI health-scanning equipment by 2030, which will give them an accurate health status update within minutes. At least as many expect such a center to have fully connected equipment that can calculate uniquely personalized medicine doses. Furthermore, 8 in 10 expect the Multiplex Medical Center to have a lot more information about patients and their habits. It would connect step-counters, smartphones, televisions, and even cooking appliances and exercise equipment to improve health monitoring by tracking patients’ health status throughout the day. Half of respondents also say they would want to use such a medical center.

Trend 9: The Medical Multiplex Center


If health services really could improve to the level where they are quick and hassle-free, maybe you could pop into that medical center every day in the future? Half of consumers say they would like to use a local AI-based doctor daily to check for viruses, bacteria, blood oxygen levels and antibodies. But having world-class treatment near your home may not always be what you dream about if you are not sure you can trust it. Given that this report focuses on extending reality with immersive services, it is no surprise that AR/VR users who already have some experience with this are generally more interested. But when it comes to the Medical Multiplex Center, the picture is not so clear. Fifty-eight percent of non-AR/VR users want to use the drop-in AI health-scanning service mentioned above, compared to only 51 percent of AR/VR users. Maybe they also have a better understanding of what can go wrong if that data falls into the wrong hands?

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Trend 10: The Nature+ Park

Imagine that by 2030, society has reached peak mobility and the need to reduce CO2 emissions has meant adopting a lifestyle more focused on activities close to where you live. What would you miss the most?

If you are an urbanite, the answer might well be nature. However, the rising threat of extreme weather implies not only positive associations to nature, but those of danger too. Consequently, nature needs to be tamed, controlled by technology, and packaged in piecemeal fashion like Japanese bonsai trees. As a result, the idea of a Nature+ Park was the top-rated concept for personal use by consumers, with 42 percent wanting to visit one in their local shopping mall by 2030.

Trend 10: The Nature+ Park


An AR/VR zoo where you can interact with amazing animals in their habitat, even if they are extinct, is the highest-ranked feature of the Nature+ Park. Seventy-three percent of respondents believe it will be available by 2030 and as many as 55 percent want to visit it. An obvious advantage would be that the danger of meeting these animals is only imaginary. Visitors could seamlessly switch AR/VR scenery to track these animals down, experience another type of adventure or just take a romantic stroll, all of which 7 out of 10 believe will be on offer by 2030.

Since there will most likely be room for a single park in your local shopping mall, variety will be an important draw, with 62 percent thinking these parks will be built out of programmable materials that reconfigure the layout every night so that every visit is different.

The social aspect that the park offers is not only important when it comes to romance. Two-thirds of consumers want their own hybrid park experience to connect to other parks so that they can walk together with friends using telepresence technology, while feeling that they are physically together.

However, with the need to control nature, many also feel a need to limit the level of immersion. Hence the AR/VR zoo experience is not only the highest rated, but also the one most believed to cause negative effects. While 6 out of 10 believe there will be multisensory body suits so that visitors can feel heat, cold, rain and wind within the park, this is also rated as the second most likely experience to cause issues.

Finally, nature should not only be convenient, but productive too. Half of respondents want to visit a park that uses automated urban farming so that they can pick produce for a reasonable fee and take it home as food.

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This report is based on an online survey of 7,115 residents aged 15–69, in 14 major cities, who currently are either regular users of AR, VR or virtual assistants, or who intend to use these technologies in the future.

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