Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

At a time when it becomes harder to forecast trends in an environment where the pace of change is so great, Deloitte Global has published the 16th edition of its technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) predictions.

The predictions  represent a combination of Deloitte Global’s thinking together with original and secondary research, as well as conversations with industry leaders and consumers across the globe, and show where growth opportunities lie in technology, media and telecommunications.

Deloitte Global’s first prediction concerns biometric security and the fact that it is likely to become accessible to millions of people. It is predicted that the active base of fingerprint reader-equipped devices will reach more than 1bn early this year.

The next prediction is that 2017 will be the year when a form of cyber attack  known as distributed denial of service will not only become more frequent but  also grow in scale and be harder to rectify once it has occurred. Deloitte Global says the reason for this is that there many insecure Internet of Things devices that and large-scale attacks that exploit the vulnerability of these devices have become easier to execute.

By 2022, Deloitte Global predicts that deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents in the US will fall by 6,000/year. The greatest cause of this reduction will be automatic emergency-breaking technologies, though other motor vehicle safety technologies will also play a role.

5G  is predicted to have a major impact and the technology for the building blocks of 5G readiness will already come into play in 2017, Deloitte Global predicts. 5G is more complex than 4G, but the report points out that it is not a single-step technology but rather a cumulative result of years of upgrades to 4G networks.

It is predicted that this year over 300m smartphones will incorporate on-board neural network machine-learning capabilities. This will improve applications such as image classification, speech recognition, augmented reality, language translation and indoor navigation, even when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor.

Indoor navigation is also a space to watch, and Deloitte Global predicts that by 2022 a quarter of all precision digital navigation will include an indoor component, or even take place entirely indoors.

Traditional television advertising in the US is the subject of Deloitte Global’s seventh prediction, which states that advertising revenue in the country will remain the same as it was in 2016. The report says that “flat is the new up” –  though TV advertising is not showing the same growth it has in the past, TV remains an important medium.

Sales of tablets seem to have passed their peak in terms of demand and in 2017, sales are expected to be fewer than 160m units. Deloitte Global adds that there is no compelling case for the use of these devices and across a range of online activities there is not a single one where tablets are the preferred device.

On the other hand, vinyl will continue its resurgence and may reach the US$1bn mark across the world for the first time this millennium. Records are seen by consumers as collectables and an expression of uniqueness in a digital world.

Deloitte Global’s final prediction states that by the end of 2018, spend on IT as a service will reach just under $55bn globally.

The big take-out: Deloitte Global’s 2017 predicts 10 top trends that will shape the TMT industry and provide growth opportunities for the next 12 to 18 months.

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