Report: Connectivity key for next decade in technology

Deloitte report finds several technology developments playing a part in the interlacing of technology in the coming decade

Connectivity will be the key to unlocking the technology trends in the next decade, according to the Deloitte Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Predictions 2020 report.

This interconnectedness is expected to be a key driving force in shaping the impact and value of technology in the coming years. 

“Individual technologies are moving from siloed to interdependent, increasing their impact and distinct value in the process. Innovations that have been ‘just around the corner’ for years will finally come to life in 2020 with practical applications driving even more advances in the years to come,” the new report stated.

In addition, Deloitte predicted most of the technology, media and telecommunications industry’s revenue will come from the ‘Big Five’ family of devices - smartphones, computers, TVs, enterprise data centres and software, and the Internet of Things. 

The third trend anticipated to have a significant effect on the industry will be the many services and products reaching maturity in 2020, after having been ‘just around the corner’ for years.In particular, the report finds several key developments playing a part in the interlacing of technology from this point on. 

The first is 5G. While 5G launched commercially in Australia in 2019, Deloitte expected further uptake in 2020 will see a raft of new capabilities emerging over the course of the year. In the commercial sphere, businesses will also begin to look to private 5G networks to enable the next technological frontier, with cutting-edge use cases on the horizon such as Internet of Things, remote operations and self-driving cars.

Read more: What the 5G revolution will do to mobile marketing

Meanwhile, smartphones adoption is expected to peak, but growth will diversify into other areas, Deloitte said. These include as a platform for advertising, apps and the next consumer wave of wearable technologies. Running parallel to smartphone growth, this smartphone multiplier market is predicted to be worth around A$4.1 billion in Australia in 2020. Apps, mobile advertising, hardware and wearable accessories will dominate, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the multiplier market.

Then there's artificial intelligence (AI). Deloitte predicted that in 2020, more than 750 million edge AI chips will be sold globally. In Australia, the consulting giant expected 66 per cent of smartphones sold in 2020 will carry edge AI chips, up from just 20 per cent in 2018, bringing to life features such as facial recognition, voice-based interactions and translation, even in offline mode.

While this will open up new possibilities for consumer-grade AI use cases, the most exciting application of edge AI will most likely be in the enterprise, where it will power drone swarms, unmanned aerial vehicles and precision manufacturing.

And on the content front, podcasts are expected to continue to surge in popularity. The podcast has been with us for years and continues to develop its applications and grow audiences. Deloitte predicted podcasts will see double-digit growth through 2020 as consumers, creators, brands and media buyers become more familiar with the medium.

The Deloitte report noted these aren’t the only technologies converging and more interconnection is forecast as the decade unfolds. Yet understanding which devices are connected to others will help to unlock the effect overall.  

“Consider that edge AI chips, private 5G and robots are all interconnected, while ad-supported video and antenna TV are both affected by each other as well as by low-earth-orbit broadband satellites,” the report added.

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