Fairfax Tech Talk Column

Fairfax Tech Talk Column

03.1.2020 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 179


Data shows that 92 per cent of all resolutions made in the heady euphoria of 1 January are unsuccessful so I thought I may as well start the New Year by breaking my recurring resolution. Every year I tell my readers it is simply too hard to make one-year technology predictions so I promise that each year will be my last…yet here I am again making predictions that I know are going to make me look silly in 12 months.

Ripping that band-aid right off…

Electric vehicles: Global sales of pure Electric Vehicles (EV) hit 1.5 million for 2019 and even though this represents only 2 per cent of global car sales, it is a figure that has been doubling each year for three years. EVs in Norway accounted for 40 per cent of all sales in 2019.

Prediction: The world will hit the 3 million mark for EV sales this year representing approximately 4 per cent of all sales. The EV industry itself has a policy position of EV30@30 which states a target of 30 per cent of all sales by 2030.

Streaming services: Netflix is currently king of the castle with 139 million subscribers. Amazon Prime sits hot on the heels with 100 million. Saudi Arabia has an 86 per penetration rate followed by 80 per cent in the US. Australia sits in seventh place at 70 per cent.

Prediction. As king, Netflix may say that Disney+ and Apple TV+ are the dirty rascals but as new kids on the block, they will impact both Netflix and Amazon. I expect to see these two new streaming services with a combined subscriber base of 60 million by the end of the year. Netflix and Amazon numbers will stagnate and Australia will reach a 75 per cent penetration rate.

Internet traffic: Global data volume in 2019 sat at 167 exabytes (EB) per month. Netflix makes up 12 per cent of this volume!

Prediction: By year end, we will see global data volumes go past 210 EB per month. This figure will include 42 EB of mobile data which will be somewhat driven by the penetration of 5G around the world.

Cybercrime: In 2019, cybercrime was a US$1.6 trillion industry and the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. It is a complete coincidence that I happen to be travelling through Spain at the moment but this country was the hardest hit by cyberattacks with 93.7 per cent of all companies compromised at least once last year.

Prediction: The increase in Internet traffic volumes and speed of connections will see an increase in cybercrime this year of 20 per cent making it a US$2 trillion industry. That ranks cybercrime higher than the GDP of Australia!

Areas to watch in 2020: We have a range of voice assistants in our houses and smartphones but the one area where we could really use some handsfree assistance – in our cars – has been somewhat lacking. Expect to see better voice assistance in cars this year. While on cars, expect to see cars on the road delivering on the autonomous driving promise by the end of the year. The wearable markets exploded last year but there is still more potential there. I believe we will see some incredible breakthroughs with wearables and biometric data this year. Lastly, I hope, more than predict, that this is the year that work will be finally something that you do rather than a place you go to and remote work starts to solve traffic congestion across the world.

Tell me your number one technology prediction for this year at ask@techtalk.digital.

Mathew Dickerson