Lot, drone, smart car become next big things

By Monica Youn-S00 Chung (monica@koreatimes.com): Technologies making use of artificial intelligence -- Internet of Things, drones, smart cars and robots -- will be next big things in the information communications technology industry this year, according to the recent report published by state-run Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion(IITP). The information technology agency presented 10 key issues in this year’s IT industry in its latest report: battle for supremacy in IoT eco-system, smart cars, fintech industry, commercial drones, artificial intelligence, IoT security, intelligent robots, China's ICT, battery and mobile healthcare. The reported stated that tech companies would jockey for a dominant position in the IoT eco-system and the competition to vie for the leadership will be accelerating in 2016. Global ICT companies will competitively jump into platforms such as operating system to create new value by connecting existing ones. The smart car technologies will also be fast developing. Apple's infotainment platform and driverless cars are predicted to draw much attention from auto companies.
The fintech market is also a rising issue, expanding its fields from current mobile payment into diverse areas including mobile loan, investment, asset management, crowd funding, bank and securities. With the birth of Internet bank next year, the fintech industry is expected to see further growth, the report said. The use of commercial drones is also expected to see a boost. Drones were initially developed for military purpose but its usage is now expanding into diverse areas including image shooting, agriculture and logistics. Some advanced nations including the U.S. are currently organizing regulations related to drones. With the price continuing to drop and the demand on leisure drones has been on the rise. Chinese companies are currently accounting for around 70 percent of the commercial drone market with their advanced hardware and software technologies. In South Korea, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has been investing in original technologies of drones and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport is pushing ahead with security tests of commercial drones. The artificial intelligence technologies is also expected to evolve further. Recently, global tech firms including Google and Facebook have set up AI research labs and spurred the development of the technology. With the development of AI, IoT security technology is also rising accordingly. Security accidents in the IoT eco-system also have a possibility of causing privacy infringement and even further threatening a life.
As technologies used for IoT such as micro-controller, sensor and semiconductor for communications are expected to see fast growth, there will be more investment opportunities, the report said. Especially, as the wearable market is predicted to replace the saturated smartphone market, companies are expected to vie for the leadership in the corresponding semiconductor market. Intelligent robots are also becoming more common sights, evolving from manufacturing robots to service robots. The service robot market is expected to grow by 10 percent down the road and it would grow to the same level to the manufacturing robots by 2018. China's ICT industry, which has fast evolved from emulation to creativity, is also expected to play a bigger role in the global tech market. Chinese ICT companies are set to come to the front based on the expansion of R&D investment and the technology competitiveness. The battery market is also forecast to grow further next year. The market, which used to see a prolonged recession, is set to see a boost with the demand on electronics cars seeing a rise recently. Commercialization of boosting charge and new material batteries and the price drop of battery are expected to be keywords in the industry in 2016.
Mobile health care is also set to hit the stride next year. With the population is aging and the medical cost rising, the wearable devices equipped with health care functions are spreading into the market. Chinese tech companies including Alibaba and Xiaomi predict that wearable devices will be the next big thing in the global ICT market in 2016. Apart from the 10 issues stated above, virtual reality, the crisis of global ICT companies, the fast rise of cloud market and the industry regulation on ICT will issues down the road, according to the tech report. Source: http://www.koreaittimes.com/