If you’ve ever been a first-time parent, you’ll know how hard it is. It’s the one job in the world that no one prepares you for.
There are plenty of books, websites, and people to give you ‘advice’. But until you experience it firsthand, much of that info is irrelevant.
That’s because we’re all incredibly unique individuals. And that means as soon as we exit the womb, we begin our lives as unique individuals.
No single baby is the same as another. The world would be a bloody weird place if they were. And because every baby is unique, every parent’s experience is unique. What one book might guide you on is completely irrelevant to your baby. What your parents might tell you about their experience with you, might also be completely irrelevant.
There is simply no guide to parenthood. You’ve just got to figure it out for yourself with the only info at hand…the actions of your own child in any given moment.
And as any parent will attest, it’s bloody hard. Trying to figure out what different cries mean is a nightmare. Trying to decide when to nap them, put them to sleep, what to dress them in for sleep…all just trial and error.
And then there’s the poo. As a reasonably new parent, I never expected so much insight would be needed as to what different shades of poo mean. You know what I mean. I didn’t realise it until recently, but every parent could arguably classify themselves as a ‘poo expert’.
I bet no one taught you that in sex ed at school.
Anyway, the point is that life as a parent is hard graft. But there are some companies that want to try and make the process a little easier, a little more personalised.
One of those is Procter & Gamble Co [NYSE:PG], through their Pampers brand.
At CES Unveiled last night I spoke with the team at P&G (Pampers) about their latest innovation. It is an all-new platform designed to help parents through the first year of life with their new baby.
The platform is designed to provide you with personalised data about your baby. This data comes from a new high-definition nursery camera from Logitech, a mobile app that analyses data for your child and a nappy sensor that attaches to pampers nappies.
Source: Editor’s own photo
Now you might think a nappy sensor that analyses your baby’s excrement is overkill. But I think you’ll be surprised at how many parents could end up with this tech. For a start, it’s simple, unobtrusive, and easy to use.
Second, it gives you information about your baby and what different data points mean. No more going onto Google or WebMD or worse…Mumsnet to try and get info on your baby. It’s all contained within the Pampers platform specific to you.
Having gone through this process, I was hugely impressed. And should another baby come our way, I’ll be getting my hands on this kit. I expect this kind of thing soon becomes the kind of baby tech that every new parent ends up with.
This is also a look at how everything in your life is progressing to some form of data analysis and connected nature. I don’t say this flippantly. I mean everything in your life being connected.
Everything is going ‘smart’
Do you have a sliding door in your house? Well there’s smart technology for that. What about your plumbing? Every house has plumbing, well there’s smart technology to tell you if there’s a leak.
There are smart mirrors that implement augmented reality to make brushing teeth a game for kids. There are smart locks for your doors, smart ovens to guide you through a recipe, and smart water systems to purify and deliver vitamins into your water supply.
This is on top of all the wearable technology, smart speakers, TVs, and other devices that proliferate our lives right now.
Everything is going ‘smart’. Even the things you least expect, like your baby’s poo.
Now this is all well and great. But there’s an underlying story here that I’m not sure investors really believe yet. They know about it. You know about it, but I’m not sure you really know about it.
This smart technology is coming. It will be innocuous. It will be standard in our future lives. We won’t even think about it or notice it most of the time. Now it’s a novelty, tomorrow it’s a normal part of everyday life.
But there are two key aspects to it all working…
One is connectivity, the other is power.
One of the best long-term tech trends for 2020 and beyond
All these smart devices collect data. But they all need to send it somewhere. They need to send it to a central database. And there the information is processed and delivered to the end user as actionable information.
But without the connectivity, none of it works the way it should. It’s the companies that build the connectivity hardware in all these smart devices that are critical. Typically, these kinds of companies are the bigger semiconductor companies in the world.
The likes of QUALCOMM, Inc [NASDAQ:QCOM], NXP Semiconductors [NASDAQ:NXP], Broadcom Inc [NASDAQ:AVGO], Micron Technology, Inc [NASDAQ:MU], and Intel Corporation [NASDAQ:INTC] are the staples of this industry.
But they’re not the only ones in this space. This move to ‘smart everything’ involves these kinds of companies that build the hardware in the devices. But you also need to look to the companies that help move the data around from place to place.
Companies involved in wireless networks, 5G, data centres, data analysis etc. all fit into this trend. And the ASX is chock-full of small-cap companies deeply involved in this space. I think it’s an investment story that people see, but don’t understand the longevity and significance of.
If you’re looking for one of the best long-term tech trends for 2020 and beyond, I think the place to start is connectivity. The movement and migration of data from A to B is going to be one of the most important technologies of the decade and it’s an opportunity that’s only going to get bigger as the years roll by.
This is just one of the stories I’ve seen from CES after just one evening at the world’s biggest tech event. Today there’s even more I’m off to see and investigate. And things only ramp up as the week draws on.
Make sure to check out tomorrow’s Money Morning for more, live from CES in Las Vegas.
Editor, Money Morning
PS: Our publication Money Morning is a fantastic place to start on your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the most innovative stocks on the ASX, in particular tech stocks. Learn all about it here.