Industry-leading consulting firm Deloitte this week released its Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions report for 2019. Deloitte provides consulting, audit, tax and advisory services to over 85% of companies on the Fortune 500 rankings. Here are five of the company’s predictions for 2019.
1. 3D Printing will become mainstream
Deloitte predicts that global sales of 3D printers, and related materials and services, will reach US$2.7bn in 2019, and rise again to $3bn in 2020. The range of printable products on sites like Thingverse has doubled in the past year, and the industry is expected to grow at an average of 12.5% per year going forward. Dr. Jeff Loucks, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Technology, Media and Telecommunications, said “3D printing enables businesses to quickly design new products with innovative materials, in ways that weren't possible before.”
2. The arrival of 5G
With 72 operators worldwide currently product testing a 5G network experience, Deloitte predicts 2019 will see the widespread adoption of the technology. 25 companies are expected to launch 5G services next year, with the figure likely to double by 2020. Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. telecommunications, media and entertainment sector leader at Deloitte said “It won't happen overnight, but 5G will profoundly change our interactions and experiences, which is good news for consumers as they demand better performance and more access to content".
3. eSports moves towards a traditional sports model
2019 is expected to see the global eSports market continue to grow, as increased advertising, broadcast licensing and franchise sales bring further revenue and brand legitimization to the market. Deloitte predicts the North American market will grow by 35% next year, as the popularity of competitive eSports like Dota 2, Fortnite and Counter Strike: Global Offensive continue to build bigger fanbases. The growth of eSports is predicted to result in teams and franchises becoming tied to specific regions and cities, in an adoption of the traditional professional sports model.
4. China expands tech footprint
Beijing's influence over global tech manufacturing is expected to grow further in 2019, as Deloitte predicts 25% revenue growth for Chinese semiconductors, bringing the market to $110. Driven by the growing commercialization of AI, Deloitte reports a Chinese semiconductor chip manufacturing facility will begin operations next year.
5. Mass-adoption of Artificial Intelligence
Among companies currently using Artificial Intelligence technologies, Deloitte predicts over 70% will begin using AI in conjunction with its cloud-based enterprise software by 2019. Deloitte vice chairman, Paul Sallomi, said: "So far, AI's initial benefits have been predominantly accrued by 'tech giants' with extensive financial resources, strong IT infrastructure and highly-specialized human capital… However, the cloud will power increased efficiencies and better returns on investment, and we expect these benefits to rapidly extend beyond AI's pioneers to the wider enterprise."