Deloitte & Touche’s Technology Predictions for 2007

Complexity Minimizes: Reinventing the user interface

More than half of all consumer electronic devices returned to retailers are not broken they have just confounded their owners with their complexity. Consumers’ tolerance is limited to 20 minutes, after which they tend to give up, assume the product is faulty and return it to the store. Devices will need to get simpler.

Biometrics on the Cusp: The business case for biometrics

Historically, a combination of passwords, PINs, signatures and keys have been the principal means of providing digital security. In 2007, biometric-based security, whereby a physical characteristic of the individual is used as the key, may well be used to provide additional layers of security.

The Last Days of Free: The rising cost of free technology

During the course of 2007, technology companies will likely continue to promote free offers as a central marketing tool, but this approach may become increasingly costly for consumers and suppliers alike.

Evolution of Evolution: Arise the bionic human

Today, technology remains at the forefront of the evolution of human existence. In 2007, combinations of humans and technology are likely to be taken to new levels, addressing a widening range of applications, tasks and challenges. One of the most interesting applications of technology in 2007 may be the increasing enhancement of the human body using technology.

For example, artificial red blood cells, up to 200 times more efficient, could allow humans to hold their breath underwater for hours. The evolution of evolution may have begun.

Telecommunications Predictions 2007

Cells as Primary Phones: It’s mobile, but not as we know it

During 2007, mobile is likely to consolidate its position as the primary network for voice calls. As a result, many of the fixed voice services used in homes and offices are expected to undergo sharp decline.

Free Telecom: The rising cost of free

In 2007, telecommunications operators will need to take a more discriminatory approach to offering consumers and businesses ‘free’ products and services, with this technique becoming a liability. Instead, there will be a focus on value and quality, which consumers will be willing to pay for, and by definition will represent the best target revenue growth for all telecommunications companies.

Plug in Without a PC: The broadband appliance unlocks the Internet

Internet penetration via PCs has reached saturation point. Future penetration is likely to be driven by innovation in the technology industry that does not center on the PC, but instead on a range of small, specialist, simple and relatively inexpensive devices focused on driving demand for services and applications, e.g. email portable devices, portable media players. Hasn’t this been tried?

The Next Killer App: Long Live Mobile Video (just forget the television)

With over 2 billion customers, the mobile industry has been looking for the new killer application. One of the latest great hopes is mobile television; however so far its commercial impact has been muted, and this is unlikely to change in 2007.

Reinvention of TV: The case for innovation, not imitation, in IPTV

When it comes to profiting from convergence, many telecommunications operators often miss out. Broadband-based IPTV is one of the major opportunities for operators to position themselves in the value chain where they can command a better share of revenues. For IPTV to be commercially viable, fixed-network operators need to improve both the reach and richness of IPTV services.

Small Apps Deliver Revenues: The killer kilobyte

In the telecommunications sector, the biggest revenues and best margins often come from services based on the smallest files and narrowest bandwidth (text messaging, mobile ringbones, voice). However, the telecommunications industry focus is still likely to remain on high-bandwidth applications based around large files (e.g. IPTV, mobile music downloads).

Net Neutrality Issues Persist

The debate around net neutrality is likely to become increasingly vocal and global in 2007. At issue is whether additional government regulation is necessary to protect the vibrancy and potential of the Internet.

Triple Play Options: The double-edged sword of triple play

In 2007, extending the service portfolio will be one of the best opportunities to generate growth while reducing customer churn. As a consequence, 2007 will see a raft of new triple- and quadruple-play offerings taken to market.

Connectivity Chasm

There is a growing chasm between those that have access to broadband connectivity (5% of the world’s population) and those without this privilege. 2007 will see the emergence of a connectivity elite with access to e-commerce’s lower prices and greater information; VoIP’s lower tariffs; government planning; video-based security etc.