Deloitte Research talks TVs, hackers, and telecommunications

Facing a brutal cold front, 250 bundled up Calgarians trekked to Flames Central on Jan. 29 as Deloitte Research made its second Canadian stop to share their 2013 Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions.

Despite the frigid 40-degree-below-zero weather, Deloitte’s Director of Research, Duncan Stewart presented his Deloitte’s esteemed predictions to those who braved the cold.

In 2012, Deloitte, an Ontario based research company, predicted in its yearly report that Near Field Communications (NFC) chips would dominate the industry, and as we watched the launch of the iPhone 5 containing this technology it was easy to see how right their predictions were.

Among the issues discussed at the 2013 conference may directly affect students at post-secondary institutions such as SAIT Polytechnic.

Deloitte’s prediction for 2013 that “over 90 per cent of user-generated passwords – even the ‘strong’ ones – will be vulnerable to hacking in seconds” will be among the top predictions for students to fret over.

What this means is that with technology growing at alarming rates, simple passwords and even ones some consider to be strong may be very easily hacked through machines that will try every single combination of letters and number and symbols possible until it cracks one’s code.

“There have been advances in password-cracking hardware and software and hackers can now band together (crowd hacking) using thousands of relatively slow machines to each attack a different part of the puzzle,” explained Deloitte on their PDF predictions download.

They suggest that in order to protect yourself and your personal information from these crowd hackers and others who wish to access your personal information, to never store passwords anywhere and move away from commonly used passwords such as “password” or “123456”.

“Multi-factor authentication using tokens, cellphones, credit cards or even biometrics are likely solutions,” said Stewart during the conference.

Following announcements from the Electronic Consumer Show in Las Vegas this year, Deloitte also shed light on the impending switch in 2013 of regular HD TVs to the newest form of high resolution known as 4K or “ultra-HD”.

“If you want a 4K TV, you can buy that or two Jettas,” explained Stewart on the shortcomings of 4K during the conference.

“From any distance over six to eight feet, the human eye can’t tell the difference between a $30,000 TV and a thousand dollar one.”

Stewart went on to explain that Canadian networks are not expected to switch to the new 4k systems, due to the cost associated with switching a network to 4K equipment.

He predicted that these sorts of change in broadcast standards are next expected in Canada for years or possibly even decades.

“It took 25 years for HD to receive 50 per cent market penetration,” said Stewart.

“So 4K is cool and it’s interesting for medical usage. Imagine looking at a CAT scan on something with this kind of resolution.”

Although the sets are expensive and start at a $30,000 price range, Deloitte predicts that the new technology will set the trend for future developments in high resolution television watching.

In 2012, Deloitte predicted the entrance of the “multi-tablet owner” would lead to a decrease in PC sales, however as the research from the year shows “we’re not in the post-PC era” but rather the era of “PC plus”.

According to Deloitte’s research, over 90 per cent of young people still consider their laptop their most important device as it is more difficult to create content, game, and view large files on their smart phones and tablets.

“I own a tablet,” said first-year University of Calgary student, John Anderson.

“But I can’t do everything that I need to on it, especially anything that involves Microsoft Office is a pain because editing on a tablet is difficult.”

So while tablets may be replacing paper, books, and PCs for the older generation, young people still prefer to work on laptop to accessibility and power.

About Jenna Swan 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Jenna Swan worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.