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Machine learning set to be 2017’s megatrend

Holly Morgan | Jan. 25, 2017
The integrator predicts that more than 300 million smartphones will have machine learning capabilities

Forecasting a year of industry breakthroughs in spaces such as indoor GPS navigation, self-driving vehicles and biometric security, Deloitte leader of TMT practice, Stuart Johnston, predicts no other phenomenon to be as widespread as machine learning.

According to Johnston, the 84 per cent of Australians who own a smartphone, are unawares to the fact that they now have a 'super computer' in their hands, equating to more computing power than they realise.

"Machine learning is the megatrend: its application and influence, particularly on our mobiles, will be improving all parts of our lives in 2017," he said.

Deloitte predicts that globally, more than 300 million smartphones will have machine learning capabilities, allowing computers and mobiles to adapt services according to new data without being explicitly programmed.

"Machine learning is paving the way for a unique era in functionality, personalisation, and connectivity with other devices through our smartphones," said Johnston.

"It is enabling us to have a personalised computer in the form of a smartphone in our hands, with individualised services provided with or without connectivity."

For example, Johnston pointed to machine learning programs currently existing within smartphones, such as predictive text, suggestions for the application you want next, and increasingly enhanced biometrics such as voice and facial recognition.

"Emerging technologies powered by machine learning that are likely to shape the 2017 landscape include programs that determine users' moods and emotions through pressure sensors, make health and life predictions using health data, and detect surrounding objects; all using the computing power that is native to the device," he added.

Whilst machine learning reigns as the supreme megatrend - a result of high smartphone ownership - Deloitte also predicts the phenomenon of "the great indoors" to be a new frontier in 2017.

According to Johnston, "the great indoors" encompasses indoor connectivity, personalising the experience and navigation.

In turn, he predicts GPS technology to present significant economic benefits for those in commercial property, retail, workplace, healthcare, manufacturing, and supply chain logistic industries.

"Given that we spend 90 per cent of our time indoors and collectively use billions of objects under a roof, Deloitte predicts that the impact of indoor navigation is expected to be similar or greater to the impact of outdoor digital navigation," he said.

According to Deloitte, improvements in the accuracy of indoor navigation technology, an array of positioning data, improved analytical tools, indoor Wi-Fi routers, and supporting beacons are all technologies contributing to growth.

The analyst said that Australian retailers and shopping centre owners have been quick to adopt such technologies and will continue to do so.

"Indoor technology is helping to redefine the shopper experience to find goods, remove the need for a check-out, improve real-time logistics, and receive broadcast messages as they walk past shops," said Johnston.

 

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