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Prepare for machine-learning capable smartphones: Deloitte TMT predictions
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Prepare for machine-learning capable smartphones: Deloitte TMT predictions 

“Machine learning will see everyday tasks become even faster and more effortless – so simple, that Canadians may not even realize their mobile devices have in fact learned these new capabilities,” said Anders McKenzie, partner and national TMT leader for Deloitte in Canada. “Not only will machine learning revolutionize how we conduct simple tasks through our mobile devices, but it will also improve the safety of Canadians through other platforms, such as better autonomous vehicles, responding to disasters and more resilient to cyber attacks.” 

These capabilities will find their way into tablets, drones, cars, virtual and augmented-relative devices, medical tools, as well as Internet of things devices.

Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions typically identifies key trends in the technology, media and telecommunication industry sectors that will have a significant impact over the next 12-18 months. However for its 16th year, the report sets sights farther ahead past the coming year and into the coming decade. 

AEB and autonomous vehicles

Looking five years ahead, Deloitte predicts that by 2022, fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in Canada will have dropped by more than 300 annually, a 16 per cent decline from levels seen in 2017.

Deloitte believes the biggest factor behind this decline will be automatic emergency braking (AEB) technologies. AEB systems feature onboard sensors that scan the road ahead and can hit the brakes faster than a human driver can. D

Deloitte notes that AEB will be so widely adopted, affordable, preferred by consumers, and successful at saving lives that it may even slow down the movement towards full self-driving cars. 

“This year will mark the beginning of a significant uptake in automatic braking technologies – a trend with an unparalleled potential effect – saving the lives of Canadians,” said Duncan Stewart, director of TMT Research at Deloitte in Canada and co-author of the global report. “We could see the adoption of autonomous vehicles occur more slowly than expected, as automatic braking technologies provide an alternative option for Canadians who are attracted to the increased safety that they offer, but also still desire to control and operate their own vehicles.” 

 IT-as-a-Service to become 35 per cent of IT spend – by the end of 2018

Deloitte predicts that spending on IT-as-a-Service for data centers, software, and services will surpass US$547 billion worldwide, up from US$361 billion in 2016. Although flexible consumption-based business models will not be ubiquitous by 2018, over a third of all IT spending (35  per cent), they will exceed half a trillion dollars and be growing rapidly. This shift will begin to evolve how the IT industry markets, sells and buys technology across businesses worldwide. 

Cyberattacks enter the Terabit Era

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, a form of cyberattack, will become larger in scale, harder to mitigate, and more frequent. There will be on average a terabit/s (Tbit/s) scale attack per month, over 10 million attacks in total, and an average attack size of between 1.25 and 1.5 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). This escalation in the DDoS threat is largely due to the growing number of IoT devices, online availability of malware methodologies which allow relatively unskilled attackers to corral insecure IoT devices and use them to launch attacks and access to ever higher bandwidth speeds.

Biometric security

The active base of fingerprint reader-equipped devices will top one billion for the first time in early 2017 (10 million in Canada), with each active sensor used an average of 30 times a day, implying over 10 trillion aggregate presses globally over the year. With the rapid pace of access and adoption of this technology, the challenge is to determine which additional applications could use fingerprint readers and other biometric inputs to provide rapid and secure authentication.

Tablet sales slump

Sales of tablets will be fewer than 165 million units, down by approximately 10  per cent from the 182 million units sold in 2016, suggesting we have passed the peak demand for these devices. While the numbers vary by country, there are three consumer devices that are at present leading tablets in terms of being the preferred devices for various activities by a large margin: computers, smartphones, and TVs.

Vinyl approaches billion-dollar sales

Vinyl records will continue its resurgence, approaching US$1 billion globally in revenues for the first time this millennium. New vinyl revenues and units are likely to enjoy a seventh consecutive year of double-digit growth in 2017, comprising seven per cent of forecast global music revenues of about US$15 billion in 2017. However, vinyl is unlikely to ever be music’s major growth or profit engine, with the future of music squarely focused on digital. 

 The final frontier for indoor digital navigation

As of 2022, at least a quarter of all human and machine uses of precision digital navigation will include an indoor portion or be an entirely indoor journey, compared to less than 10  per cent of all uses in 2017. Being able to locate people and objects when indoors will be transformative, and is likely to benefit most vertical sectors, and have impacts on government, business, and consumers alike.

5G revolution in 2017

Significant, tangible steps towards the deployment of 5G, the fifth generation of cellular networks, will take place in 2017. Planned upgrades to 4G networks, as well as the performance of the first limited 5G deployments, should acquaint users and operators with several of the most important features of 5G networks, including significantly higher speeds, lower latency, and support for low-power low-bitrate IoT devices and sensors.

TV ads remain flat

While US TV advertising revenue in 2017 will be flat with 2016, this forecast is a positive outlook for an industry that too often is declared a vanishing business – flat is the new up. Spending will remain steady due to several factors including daily TV viewing remaining robust, ad skipping is relatively limited, older Americans are watching slightly more TV, and streaming continues to lack TV’s mass appeal for certain kinds of advertisers. Canadian TV advertising is expected to follow roughly the same trend.

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