Technological World for January 15: Deloitte's annual tech predictions, a standard for smarthome tech, tracking smartphones, InspiroBot to the rescue

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This week, the big tech companies have agreed to cooperate on a standard for smart home devices, the New York Times investigation into smartphone tracking, and InspiroBot’s attempts to make us feel better in these strange times. But first, a look at the predictions made by Deloitte tech analysts about what’s to come.

Deloitte’s annual tech predictions for 2020

It’s a new year, so time for Deloitte’s annual list of things that may be happening in the worlds of tech and media. The report that details the Canadian impact was co-authored by Duncan Stewart, who head’s up the research for Deloitte Canada’s technology and media department.

Among the ideas:

  • More low-Earth orbit satellites by companies looking to provide broadband connections.
  • Computer chips that can enable our devices to do the same kind of AI processing that is currently done on remote servers.
  • More testing of 5G networks.
  • Opportunity for ad-supported video networks as tolerance for advertising shifts.
  • More people riding bikes, in part because of safer routes and the advent of electric bikes.
  • Sales of smartphone apps and accessories will continue to soar, and by 2023 will be bigger than the market for smartphones themselves.
  • Service robots become more popular.
  • Podcasting market will increase globally by 30 percent.

Tech companies cooperate on connection standard for smart homes

Project Connected Home over IP is an initiative that wants to make smart homes easier to configure by getting all of the tech players together to talk about compatibility.

Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance (which includes IKEA, Samsung, and others) are all part of the working group, and have agreed that IP, or internet protocol, will be the language to be spoken by devices in the future.

All existing smart home products will be supported, but this approach means that future products will work with whatever you may have in your home.

Your location is available and being shared without you even realizing

An article published in the New York Times in mid December revealed that companies are using the location data of smartphones with little to no oversight.

There are three things that compose the rationale for collecting location data:

  • People have agreed to share the information
  • Data is anonymous
  • Data is secure

“None of those claims hold up,” write reporters Stuart Thompson and Charlie Warzel, “based on the file we’ve obtained and our review of company practices.”

The implications are profound. Read the full article to learn how Thompson and Warzel were able to identify specific people and learn incredible things about them just from the way their dots appear on a map.

The piece was part of the Times’ Privacy Project, a “project to explore technology and where it’s taking us.”

Feel better about yourself and the world with these meaningful quotes

“If you are not constantly talking about the irony you might just be a liar.”

These words of wisdom came to me courtesy of InspiroBot. The online project has a bot generating quotes that are designed to mimic those you find splattered all over Facebook and Twitter.

Complete with images that are often entirely incongruous. The quote above, for example, was presented in a faux handwriting script superimposed over an image of a night sky showing the Milky Way.

Here’s another one InspiroBot made for me:

Inspiring, right? The bloody hands are very fitting, I think.

You can get your favourite InspiroBot inspirational meme printed on a t-shirt, poster, or mug!

See some of the best, archived at Reddit.


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