Another incredible year for Deloitte at the 2018 Technology Media Telecommunications Predictions Launch in Toronto earlier this week. Duncan Stewart brought forth immense energy as he relayed the future of the market as it pertains to smartphones, machine learning, augmented reality, live broadcast, and wireless home internet.
Key points below for my top verticals of interest:
Smartphones - Global sales will be $1.85B+/year, +19% from 2018. By late 2023, penetration of smartphone usage among adults in developing countries will surpass 90% and 3/4+ of all smartphone owners will utilize some form of biometric authentication, compared to 29% in 2018. Companies that learn how to best harness invisible innovations (better AR, etc.) are likely to profit.
Machine Learning - Chips are changing ML by an order of magnitude. In 2018, ML apps will double and overall use of ML will intensify in SME's. ML has had slow adoption due to business regulations, few users, barriers to access data, and evolving tools - however are expecting $57.6B in expenditure by 2021. ML will soon become a mainstream technology as we collectively progress in data science automation, reducing the need for training data, accelerating training, explaining results, and deploying locally.
Augmented Reality - 1B+ users will develop AR content at least once in 2018. By late 2018, 800M+ smartphones will have an OS with AR support and hardware to power them (CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, and neural chips). As the hardware gets more power efficient, AR content creation will no longer be limited to the latest devices with the best technology and ultimately remove some of the existing barriers to entry. Enterprises should experiment with possible AR applications in 2018, aside from just marketing (i.e. sales, technical guidance, and aftermarket support) to stay ahead of the curve.
Live Broadcasts - Live broadcasts and events are expected to generate $545B in direct revenue in 2018. Live broadcasting has remained relatively vibrant in an age when uses have improved capability to stream content on demand. Live content will remain relevant and lucrative in 2018 as a result of: convenience and inertia from users, fear of missing out in social groups, indulging in a shared experience with peers, and exclusivity of events.
Wireless Home Internet - In 2018, 20% of North Americans with internet access will get all of their home data access via mobile networks making the notion of wired access obsolete (similar to the discontinued use of the wired home phone). This in effect has a direct short term implication to B2C companies who we found were unaware that a large subset of their customers had access to the internet only via mobile. Any company application rendered that has images of videos may not be feasible to the user due to slow speeds, poor quality, and data limits looming. This phenomenon is peaking the interest of regulators who are already working towards initiatives that aim to provide internet access to as much of the population as possible (with a focus on rural areas and low income households).
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