Most of us worry about the future, some of us plan for the future, and a very few select people make predictive models about the future. On January 11th, Deloitte put on their annual TMT predictions event, a platform where the Director of Research, Duncan Stewart, shares out his technology predictions for the future. He is a globally recognized speaker and expert on the forecasting of consumer and enterprise technology, media and telecommunications trends. He shared with us facts and figures about Smart Speakers, AI, and Quantum computing, all of which boasts a 93 percent accuracy to actual future trends.

What he shared:

  1. Hardware Sales
    Hardware Sales are down over the last 5 years. They peaked at $1.045 trillion in 2013 and are down to $870 billion in 2018.
  2. Top 3 Hardware Purchases
    87% of that $870 billion in sales are spent on: Smartphones, PC’s, and TV’s (in that order).
  3. Software
    What’s happening to the billions in leftover spend? People are spending less on hardware and more on: software, services, data and content.
  4. Advertising platforms
    Where are consumers getting their information?On those mediums.
  5. Radio
    Radio will surpass TV audiences in young Americans (18-35) by 2024. It’s also predicted that global radio revenue will reach US $40 billion in 2019.
  6. Voice Activated Commands
    The industry for smart speakers – internet-connected speakers with digital voice assistants – will be worth US$7 billion in 2019. Voice activated commands will mostly be used for Music, Weather, and general searches. Some routine shopping will be ordered through voice command (e.g. refilling Tide). But other shopping will still be done on visual platforms (on phones, computers, etc).
  7. 5G Coming Soon
    Currently between 47% and 53% of Wi-Fi users are on a 4G Wi-Fi network. The 5G (5th generation) Wi-Fi capabilities will be available in Canada with select providers starting in 2020/2021. This will not gain widespread usage for at least a decade afterwards. They predict that only 14% of Wi-Fi users will be on the 5G network in 2025.Article here.
  8. AI
    Companies will accelerate their usage of cloud-based AI software and services. By 2020, penetration rates of enterprise software with integrated AI and cloud-based AI platforms will reach an estimated 87 percent and 83 percent among companies that use AI software. Companies that do not use AI in some aspect of their business within the next 5 years will not be as competitive in the marketplace. Investing in AI capabilities is key.
  9. Quantum Computing
    The quantum computing market will stay small compared to current computers, but within the next 25-30 years, their capabilities will render all public security and cryptography insecure. Making sure that companies should stay aware of their cyber security plans and architectures.
  10. Geoffrey Hinton
    The godfather of deep learning, received the Order of Canada on Dec 27th 2018! Congrats Geoff. Article can be found here.

Regardless of the extreme technology development and changes to anticipate, Duncan always brings back the human element and grounds it in reality. Smart speakers may be cool and trendy (voice activated Amazon’s Alexa echo), but he pointed out that dumb speakers (last decades radio), are used for the exact same purpose. E.g. Finding out the weather, asking for the temperature, and listening to some news before tuning in for the music. The future has a cool factor, but all trends will be tied to human behavior, habits and likes.

For anyone who would like a more in depth look at Deloitte’s 2019 predictions, you can read and download their full TMT Prediction Report here.