This year has been one hell of a challenge for all types of businesses around the world. We’ve seen entire industries, like the travel and hospitality sector, pushed to the brink and many other businesses wondering if they can weather the storm left by the devastating impact from this seemingly never-ending global pandemic. Investors worldwide have not been as bullish, instead, focussed on protecting their assets and helping their portfolio members form defensive strategies to get through this period of uncertainty or reducing the number of rounds they’re involved in until things settle down. But amidst the chaos, there are of course some winners. This is our technology trend predictions in Asia for the turbulent but exciting year ahead.
5G Will Revolutionise IOT
If there’s one thing the pandemic can’t stop this year, that’s the roll-out of 5G networks. The battleground in Southeast Asia between China’s Huawei, LTE and Europe’s Ericsson and Nokia, is still raging on. In Vietnam, major telecom provider Viettel has even partnered with Ericsson in order to remain independent of Huawei supplied devices. But what does this mean for technology?
5G technology will undoubtedly enhance IOT connectivity and data transmission speeds, fuelling advances in digital transformation. This means we are likely to see a major boost in capabilities in areas such as telematics and autonomous-vehicles, with 5G being the major catalyst for advancing new technologies such as Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and the wider mobility-as-a-service sector.
Allied Market Research has estimated the ‘automotive telematics industry to reach $320.6 Billion by 2026, at 26.8% CAGR:AMR.’
The New Era of Consumers
Never before have we seen such a demand for constant improvements to user-experience and personalization. Data-driven recommendations based on user-behaviour analytics will continue to grow more relevant in the coming years. How we manage, store and use data will continue to be scrutinised, with privacy driving new legislation. When 5G and Artificial Intelligence combine, this is where things start to get interesting. Machine learning thrives off large data sets and with 5G set to increase the amount of data it receives whilst potentially reducing latency, we should in theory be able to advance data propagation and get a whole lot smarter.
Grand View Research, is predicting the global Artificial Intelligence Market to grow 42.2% (CAGR) between 2020-2027, already being valued at a staggering $39.9 Billion in 2019.
Humanisation of Pets Advances Need for Tech
It’s official. Pets are now considered part of the family. This humanization of beloved pets has swept across Southeast Asia in recent years and we are starting to see new platforms, services and technology that aims to simplify the way we care for pets. The pet-care market in Asia is the fastest growing in the world with more and more people willing to spend time and money buying premium pet food and making sure their pet’s health and well-being are as good as their own children.
Spire Research have noted;
‘Asia’s pet industry is expected to grow at 14.3% annually from 2016 to 2021.’
With this level of growth, we expect both new technology and investment to follow. We predict a rise in tele-vet services, where pet owners can connect with local veterinary clinics for some level of diagnosis without the need to travel to a physical clinic. With many countries still on some degree of lockdown, and the rise of Zoom calls over the recent months, this industry is poised for success.
Another key space we expect to see grow in Asia is the pet wearable market. Global Market Insights specify;
‘Pet Wearable Market size exceeded USD 3 billion in 2019 and is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 23% between 2020 and 2026.’
Interestingly, the projected global shipments of pet-tracking wearable devices is expected to reach ‘70 million units by 2026.’
Due to the advancement of AI and user-behaviour analytics, we expect to see a huge pet-tech boom across the entire region, with many exciting companies developing ground-breaking technology and catering to pet owners who want to track the activity of their pets, get real-time alerts and notifications when health deteriorates and source premium food, toys and treats to improve both nutrition and general pet well-being. We are also predicting a change of mentality towards insurance across the whole region. We foresee insurance companies working hard on improving the way they engage with their customers and we hope to see a rise in pet owners taking out policies to protect against costly medical bills and unexpected trips to the vets.
Travel Sector Set To Take Off Again
For those well-traveled jet-setters, 2020 has been a catastrophe. Whilst locked-down or prohibited from flying, do spare a thought for the many local businesses across Southeast Asia that rely so heavily on tourism. For every empty beach in Thailand, that’s one more empty hotel room, one more empty restaurant and one more family struggling to make ends meet.
The travel sector really has taken a battering. Air Asia’s share prices fell 77% this year, with the firm riddled in debt ($15.3bn) and scrambling to find a restructuring plan to cope with the liquidity.
Statista has estimated, ‘revenue loss of airlines worldwide in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak at ‘-$314 Billion.’
We believe there will be an incentive on a local and global scale to kick-start the travel economy again, as soon as possible. The road to recovery will be tough for many but we foresee a huge boom in travel-tech companies, looking to capitalise as the borders start to re-open and travel bubbles are created between neighbours to help stimulate the economy. We believe that travel-tech companies focused on money-saving and curated, sustainable low cost travel will be on the rise in the year to come.
Asia Will Lead Recovery Through Innovation
During The Great Depression of the 30’s, more entrepreneurs became millionaires than any other time in America’s history. It was at this time when 2 sparky electrical engineers, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard rented a small garage and became business partners and those brave enough to seek opportunities capitalised on acquiring failing businesses and low property rates. It’s this type of resilience and determination that we will see again in today’s climate. Those who plan well, focus on customer experience and leverage the plethora of new technology advancements will prosper. We expect Asia to produce some world-beating Rhinos in the year to come and our goal is lead to the way. Watch this space!