Deloitte: 10 technology predictions for 2015

Deloitte unveiled its annual list of trends to watch out for in the coming year at an invitation-only event held in the UKFast office in Manchester yesterday.

The rising importance of technology and data in everyday life is shaping the way occupiers behave, influencing the way places and buildings will be designed, used and managed in the future.

The Deloitte event was attended by more than 100 business people and media and featured a presentation by Paul Lee, Deloitte's head of technology media and telecoms research, based in London. There was a question-and-answer session following the presentation with Neil McArthur, head of innovation at Talk Talk in Manchester and Andrew Daniels, managing director of app developer Degree 53, based in the Sharp Project. The discussion was chaired by Jodi Birkett, head of TMT in the North at Deloitte.

Here is a selection of Deloitte's predictions for the year ahead. The full report can be viewed at

1: The Internet of Things really is things, not people

In 2015 one billion wireless Internet of Things devices (such as kettles that tell your phone when water has boiled or lights you can control via an app) will be shipped, contributing to an installed base of about three billion devices. IoT hardware sales will generate about £6.5bn and associated services will be worth around £45bn. This year Deloitte is predicting that 60% of all wireless IoT devices will be bought for enterprise and industry use, not consumers.

2. Short form video: a future, but not the future, of television

Online short-form video (under 20 minutes) should generate ten billion hours of viewing in 2015 – a spectacular achievement for a format that barely existed a decade ago. Deloitte predicts that this year global revenues from short online video clips will generate over £3bn, which is just over 1% of global TV advertising and subscription revenues.

3. Drones: high-profile and niche

Deoloitte predicts that the number of non-military drones in use globally is expected to surpass one million for the first time in 2015. Whilst understandably appealing to consumers – who can use them as remote-controlled high-definition photography vehicles and an upgrade to kite flying – the bigger opportunity this year may be for businesses. But where will the opportunity be if not in delivery to our homes?

4. One billion smartphone upgrades

The number of smartphones bought as upgrades is higher than for any other personal electrical device, with 24% of UK adults planning to upgrade their smartphone this year. We predict that one billion smartphone upgrades will be purchased globally for the first time in 2015, generating almost £200bn in sales. But why do we upgrade and how can loyalty be nurtured?

5. 3D printing is a revolution: just not the revolution you think

Deloitte predicts that in 2015 nearly 220,000 3D printers will be sold worldwide, with a value of just over £1 billion. 3D printing offers a factory in every home, and suggests a future in which we print to meet all our needs. But in 2015, the tangible 3D revolution is for enterprises and not consumers: enterprise will account for about 90% of the value of all 3D printers; over 95% of all printed objects by volume and 99% by economic value.

6. Broadband speed: the connectivity chasm deepens

Deloitte predicts that average broadband speed obtained in most markets should increase by between 15% and 25%, however this average obscures significant differences between households. The gulf in obtainable broadband speed across the country has widened over recent years, not just between the 'haves' and the 'have nots', but those with access to the fastest broadband and those on basic speeds.

7. Click and collect booms

Deloitte predicts that the number of click and collect locations in Europe will reach half a million in 2015, a 20% increase on 2014. With delivery having been the key friction point in e-commerce, many believe click and collect is the solution, offering a wealth of choice in selection and flexibility in collection. But will it really be win-win for retailers and consumers?

8. Contactless mobile payments gain momentum

Deloitte expects that 2015 will be an inflection point for NFC (near field communication) -enabled in-store payment: it will be the first year in which the pre-requisites for mainstream adoption are sufficiently addressed. The multiple components that enable NFC in-store payments have been falling into place over the last few years but what needs to be done to take them mainstream?

9. Batteries are better but no breakthrough

Battery life is becoming an increasingly primal anxiety among digital natives as a result of more frequent use of more power-hungry applications on larger devices. Deloitte predicts that although the standard battery technology used in all smartphones will improve marginally in 2015, the gains from new or larger batteries are likely to be balanced out by greater usage.

10. The re-enterprisation of the IT market

Deloitte predicts that in 2015 the impetus for IT adoption will swing back to the enterprise market following a decade of consumer-led technological change. The sweet spot for the wearable headset and handset market may be in industries such as security, medical, materials handling, warehousing. All are exploring the potential of devices that offer hands-free use, augmented reality display and easy-to-use video camera capability.

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Jevons Paradox still holding its own 150 years on in respect of battery life it seems……

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