Tech Predictions 2012

Co-authored by May Lynn Lee, Project Manager, Cybera

Not to toot our own horns, but Cybera's goals and activities seem to be much in line with where the world's tech trends are heading. That, at least, was the message we drew from last week's Deloitte TMT 2012 Predictions, held in Calgary, AB. This annual event tour, which draws from "the most accurate futurists in Canada", looks at what is in store for technology, media and telecommunications in the upcoming year.

The main takeaways this year are the continued rise of tablets and smart phones —€” and the possibilities (and bandwidth headaches) that comes with that; big data entering the public consciousness in a big way; and, in Alberta, new applications for conserving water as scarcities of this resource becomes more of an issue. (You can see a further breakdown of Deloitte's predictions below)

Presenter Duncan Stewart, Director, Deloitte Canada Research TMT, also touched on the growth of Cloud storage in 2012, as well as the "overblown" fanfare for 3D printing.

Now, aside from the last topic, all of these predictions tie directly into services and initiatives that Cybera offers or is participating in. (Although 3D printing remains a favoured topic for Robin Winsor, our President and CEO, despite others' dismissal of it). After all: we operate a high-bandwidth network for researchers (CyberaNet), and create Cloud platforms to aid in the sharing and storage of data both big and small (such as the Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research project, funded by CANARIE).

We are also participating in one of the BIGGEST big data projects out there: the Square Kilometre Array. This will constitute a vast clump of radio telescopes whose combined forces will be 100 times larger than the most powerful existing radio telescope array. The data expected to be collected from the Array will run in the many terrabits/second, creating novel demands for big data transmission and analysis.

Water is another particular interest of ours, with our involvement in the Water and Environmental Hub —€” one of the best online platforms for accessing and sharing open data on water, including fresh water scarcity levels.

These are all fascinating topics, some of which are just beginning to see their full potential. We envision further breakthroughs and game-changing discoveries in the fields of data management and the Cloud, and hope we can continue to play our part in fostering these developments to create an innovative and technology-driven Alberta. We await with eagerness what Deloitte will be saying in 2013.

Top 10 Canada Predictions
1. Big data becomes a big deal
2. Mobile devices with Near Field Communications (NFC) chips will double
3. The number of tablets per household will rise
4. Smart phones and tablet owners will use their devices at least once a month to catch up on TV viewing while commuting
5. The rise in smartphone, tablet, computer and TV purchases will far surpass gloomy general predictions of economic growth.
6. Online brand spending will grow 50% to $20 billion worldwide
7. Canadian consumers will continue to watch 95% of programs live or within 24 hours of broadcast in 2012
8. Solid-state drives for small devices will account for 90% of the market
9. Neuromarketing (analyzing consumer brain activity using electrical scanning equipment) will increase to alter packaging, flavours of products, etc by marketers looking for a competitive edge
10. With the demand for data increasing, bandwidth caps will become the norm

Worldwide Predictions
1. 3D printing is here, but the factory in every home isn't here yet
2. Revenue growth for the social games industry may slow to less than 20%