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Why searches of the near future will be button-free

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In future, searching will be almost entirely button-free, according to Huawei’s new Global Industry Vision (GIV) report, which offers predictions for technology and industry development up to 2025.

Drawing from Huawei’s own quantitative data and real-world use cases of how intelligent technology is permeating every industry, this year’s report identifies 10 megatrends currently shaping how we live and work. GIV also predicts technology trends up until 2025, including 5G coverage, AI deployment, home robot adoption, and smart assistant use rates.

The 10 trends and examples of GIV’s key predictions for 2025 are as follows:

1. Living with Bots: Advances in material science, perceptual AI, and network technologies are powering the uptake of robotics in a variety of home and personal scenarios. GIV predicts a 14% global penetration rate of home robots.

2. Super Sight:  The convergence of 5G, VR/AR, machine learning, and other emerging technologies will let us see beyond distance, distortion, surface, and history, opening up new vistas for people, business, and culture. GIV predicts that the percentage of companies using AR/VR will increase to 10%.

3. Zero Search: As data-driven and sensor-equipped appliances and devices begin anticipating our needs, information will find us. Future searches will be button-free, personal social networks will be created effortlessly, and industry will benefit from “zero-search maintenance”. GIV predicts that 90% of smart device owners will use intelligent personal assistants.

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4. Tailored Streets: Intelligent transport systems will connect people, vehicles, and infrastructure, creating zero congestion, rapid emergency response, and other functions that will make life smoother. GIV predicts that 15% of vehicles will have Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything  technology.

5. Working with Bots: Already transforming many industries, smart automation will take on more hazardous, repetitive, and high-precision tasks – a boon for safety and productivity.

GIV predicts that there will be 103 robots in industry for every 10,000 employees.

6. Augmented Creativity: Cloud AI will cut the cost and barrier of entry to scientific experimentation, innovation, and art, opening up a goldmine of creative potential that’s available to all. GIV predicts that 97% of large companies will have deployed AI.

7. Frictionless Communication: AI and big data analytics will create seamless communication between companies and customers and break down language barriers. Accuracy, understanding, and trust will underpin tomorrow’s communications. GIV predicts that enterprises will fully use of 86% of the data that they produce.

8. Symbiotic Economy: Companies across the planet are adopting digital tech and smart applications on unified access platforms – that means greater collaboration, resource-sharing, stronger global ecosystems, and higher productivity. GIV predicts that every company everywhere will be using cloud technology and 85% of business applications will be cloud-based.

9. 5G’s rapid rollout: 5G is here and it’s landing far faster than any previous wireless generation – the potential for individuals, businesses, and society is enormous. GIV predicts that 58% of the world’s population will have access to 5G.

10. Global Digital Governance: Advancements in digital tech must be balanced by shared data standards and principles for data use. GIV predicts that the annual volume of global data will reach 180 ZB (1 ZB = 1 trillion GB).

According to the CMO of Huawei ICT Infrastructure Kevin Zhang, “Human exploration will never stop. We should set our sights beyond what we see now and look to the future, shifting from innovation to invention. We’re seeing rapid changes to life, work, and society as every industry adopts AI, 5G, cloud computing, and other emerging technologies. Huawei is committed to building digital platforms, user experiences, and intelligent technology that power ubiquitous connectivity in every scenario. It’s our mission to offer every person, home, and organization an intelligent future and the benefits of entirely new opportunities for growth.”

With the first report released in 2018, GIV @2025 is designed to analyze industry development trends and serve as a strategic guide for ICT deployment.

For more information about GIV@2025, please visit: www.huawei.com/minisite/giv/en

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ME and Africa Consumer tech spending to hit $149bn

Reaching $130bn this year, consumer spending on technology in the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow just 4% a year.

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Consumer spending on technology in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is forecast to total $130.8 billion this year, a year-on-year increase of 4.1%. According to the latest Worldwide Semiannual Connected Consumer Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), consumer purchases of traditional and emerging technologies will remain strong over the 2019–2023 forecast period, increasing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% to reach $149.4 billion in 2023.

86.3% of all consumer technology spending in 2019 will be on traditional technologies such as mobile phones, personal computing devices, and mobile telecom services. Mobile telecom services (voice and data) will account for 68.7% of this amount, followed by mobile phones which will account for 26.6%. Spending growth for traditional technologies will be relatively slow, with a CAGR of 2.4% for the 2019–2023 forecast period.

“Faster connectivity, combined with declining data service costs from telecom service providers and the need for end users to use telecom services for an increasing number of devices, will ensure that consumer spending on traditional technologies will continue to grow,” says Fouad Charakla, IDC’s senior research manager for client devices in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

Emerging technologies, including AR/VR headsets, drones, on-demand services, robotic systems, smart home devices, and wearables, will deliver strong growth with a five-year CAGR of 10.2%. This growth will see emerging technologies account for 17.1% of overall consumer spending in 2023, up from 13.7% in 2019. Smart home devices and on-demand services will account for around 93% of consumer spending on emerging technologies by the end of the forecast period.

“The low penetration of smart home devices in the region, combined with growing efforts from market players to educate home users on the benefits and usage of these devices, will serve as an engine of growth for consumer spending on emerging technologies,” says Charakla. “A large portion of end users are already looking to invest in devices that will improve their productivity and quality of life, two key demands that smart home devices can be positioned to fulfil.”

On-demand services represent a new addition to IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Connected Consumer Spending Guide. “On-demand services enable access to networks, marketplaces, content, and other resources in the form of subscription-based services and includes platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify, among others,” says Charakla. “As connected consumers juggle multiple services across their devices, it is essential for technology providers to understand how the adoption of these various technologies and services will impact their customers’ experiences in the future.”

Communication and entertainment will be the two largest use case categories for consumer technology, representing more than 79% of all spending throughout the forecast. More than 70% of all communication spending will go toward traditional voice and messaging services in 2019. Entertainment spending will be dominated by watching or downloading TV, videos and movies, as well as listening to music and downloading and playing online games. The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the forecast period are augmented reality games (49.5% CAGR).

The Worldwide Semiannual Connected Consumer Spending Guide quantifies consumer spending for 22 technologies in ten categories across nine geographic regions. The guide also provides spending details for 23 consumer use cases. Unlike any other research in the industry, the Connected Consumer Spending Guide was designed to help business and IT decision makers to better understand the scope and direction of consumer investments in technology over the next five years.

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Could robots replace human tennis players?

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While steeped in tradition, tennis has embraced technology on multiple fronts: coaching, umpiring and fan experiences. Since the early 2000s, the Sony-owned Hawk-Eye system has been assisting tennis umpires in making close calls. At Wimbledon, IBM’s Watson AI analyses fan and player reactions in real-time video footage from matches to create highlight reels just minutes after the end of a match.

Meanwhile, at the ATP Finals in London, similar data analysis is being carried out by digital services and consulting firm Infosys.

GlobalData’s Verdict deputy editor Rob Scammell hears the future of tennis discussed at a recent panel discussion about the use of data analytics and technology in the game.

Scammel writes: “Infosys has been partnered with ATP for five years, providing features such as its cloud-based platform, which leverages artificial intelligence to analyse millions of data points to gain insights into the game.

“Players and coaches can also make use of the Infosys’ Players and Coaches Portal, allowing them to “slice and dice” matches on an iPad with 1,000 data analytics combinations. This is data crunching is vital according to Craig O’Shannessy, strategy analyst for the ATP World Tour and a coach for 20 years – including for the likes of Novak Djokovic. 

O’Shannessy says: “Video and data analytics is crucial for giving players an edge. It’s about finding out of 100 points, the 10 or 15 that matter the most, and explaining that these are the patterns of play that you want to repeat in these upcoming games to win those matches.”

However, although Chris Brauer, director of innovation at the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, asked whether the “inevitable conclusion” of technological innovations in tennis was removing humans from the game entirely. ATP chair umpire and manager Ali Nili suggested that while there could one day be robot players adjudicated by robot umpires, it would be an entirely different sport.

Nili told GlobalData: “At ATP, we’re most proud of our athletes. It’s our athletes which make the tennis exciting. It’s how fast they are, how strong they are being. As humanbeings, we compare them to us and we’re fascinated by the things that they’re able to do. They’re the number one attraction for anyone who comes in, watches tennis, and everything else is secondary, you know, all the data and everything else, because we try to make our athletes more appealing.”

Could robots replace human tennis players?

Raghavan Subramanian, associate vice president and head of Infosys Tennis Platform, says it’s a “very philosophical question” and that we can look to the precedent set by other ‘man vs machine’ face-offs.

“In chess, we had [Garry] Kasparov play against the computer. So I think the natural first transition will not be two robots playing against each other, but one robot, possibly playing against the best player today. That’s the first possible bridge before two robots play.”

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