Tech predictions for 2015: the end of consumer might

Deloitte has issued its Predictions 2015 report, detailing seven technology trends the group expects to take off this year.

Some of the headline predictions surrounding technology include wider adoption of non-military drones and 3D printing tech – but also a slow down in consumer adoption of these technologies.

According to the firm, last year signalled a shift away from a decade-long trend of consumerisation of Information Technology (IT), with a modest consumer uptake of wearable technology like smart glasses.

“In 2015, however, Deloitte Global predicts the pendulum to swing further toward enterprise led adoption with wearables, 3D printing, drones and the IoT meeting more needs and generating higher sales for business than consumers,” said Deloitte Consulting leader for TMT, Arun Babu.

Here are Deloitte’s seven technology predictions for 2015:

Drones: high-profile and niche

In 2015, drones will have multiple industrial and civil government applications. Deloitte Global predicts sales of non-military drones (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs), to be about 300,000 units, driving the installed base to over a million.

Although consumers or prosumers will buy the majority, most of the real value will come from enterprise use.

The end of the consumerisation of IT?

In 2015, the pendulum of technology adoption will begin to swing back to the enterprise market, reversing a decade long trend that went the other way – when mass adoption of technologies like large screen smartphones and tablets started with consumer adoption first.

The Internet of things really is things, not people

In 2015, over 60 percent of the one billion global wireless IoT devices will be bought, paid for and used by enterprises – despite media focus on consumers controlling their thermostats, lights, and appliances (ranging from washing machines to tea kettles).

The IoT-specific hardware is predicted to be worth $10 billion, but the big story is the enterprise services enabled by the devices: about $70 billion.

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

In 2015 nearly 220,000 3D printers will be sold worldwide, with a dollar value of $1.6 billion, but it is unlikely that there will be a “factory in every home.”

Deloitte Global estimates about 80 percent of the value of all 3D printers will be for companies instead of consumers, meaning the real revolution will be in the enterprise market.

Smartphone batteries: better but no breakthrough

Longer battery life is likely to remain a key factor for consumers choosing their next smartphone.

The rechargeable, lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery technology used in all smartphones will improve only modestly in 2015, with no more than 5 percent greater unit charge or milliampere hours (mAh) compared to a 2014 model of the same dimensions and voltage.

Click and collect booms: a boon for the consumer, a challenge for retailers

The number of click and collect locations in Europe will reach half a million in 2015, a 20 percent increase on the previous year.

Click and collect provides shoppers with the option to pick up items purchased online from locations such as a special section in a store, a shopping mall, or a secure locker located in a transit station.

Nanosats take off, but they don’t take over

By the end of 2015 over 500 nanosatellites (nanosats, under 10 kg in mass) will be in orbit. Nanosats are attractive for many reasons – they are cheaper than conventional satellites, lighter, easier to build and test, and easier to launch.

Although increasingly capable of more complex tasks, they are likely to be additive to the existing large satellite market, and not replace it.

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Tech predictions for 2015: the end of consumer might