2019 tech forecast: From 5G and 3D printing to smart speakers

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 31 Jan 2019

Sales of enterprise 3D printers, materials and services from large public companies are predicted to surpass US$2.7bil (RM11.1bil) in 2019. — AFP Relaxnews

5G, AI, 3D printing, radio, TV and smart speakers are just some of the trends tipped for the coming year by Deloitte in its "TMT Predictions 2019" report on what's in store in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors.

1. The 5G network arrives
2019 will be the year of 5G. According to Deloitte, around 25 operators are expected to launch 5G services in 2019, with that figure expected to double by 2020. The report states that 5G will bring faster communications and will provide hundredfold increases in traffic capacity and network efficiency compared with 4G, paving the way for new uses to go mainstream, such as streaming in very high resolutions or connected and autonomous vehicle technology.

2. AI comes to business
Deloitte forecasts that in 2019, companies will accelerate their use of cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) software and services. The report predicts that the implementation of solutions integrating artificial intelligence will spread quickly and progressively to a majority of companies via cloud-based solutions.

3. Betting on sports broadcasting
Despite tough competition from the likes of Netflix, regular TV still has plenty of appeal, particularly thanks to sports broadcasting, buoyed by the success of online betting platforms. Indeed, Deloitte predicts that 60% of North American men age 18-34 who watch sports on TV will also bet on sports in 2019.

4. 3D printing breaks through
The number of 3D-printable materials has more than doubled in the last five years, which has helped contribute to growth in the sector. Sales of enterprise 3D printers, materials and services from large public companies are predicted to exceed US$2.7bil (RM11.09bil) in 2019 and top US$3bil (RM12bil) in 2020, growing 12.5% annually each year.

5. Radio is still relevant
According to Deloitte, over 85% of the adult population will listen to the radio at least weekly in the developed world. Combined, nearly three billion people worldwide will listen to radio weekly. Long term, Deloitte predicts that 18 to 34-year-olds will likely spend more time listening to radio than watching traditional TV by 2025.

6. Smart speakers go mainstream
Deloitte predicts that the smart speaker market will be worth US$7bil (RM28.75bil) in 2019, becoming the market's fastest-growing connected device category. Voice recognition technologies continue to improve, but wider language support will be needed for the technology to be truly inclusive and to experience global uptake.

Deloitte's annual Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) predictions are based on international research, supported by in-depth interviews with several thousand industry professionals. – AFP Relaxnews
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