The study is complete and the final presentation took place at ESA headquarters on Feb. 27th, 2009. A very brief overview is offered below.
Our vision of the year 2020 is a more technologically advanced society, and one that adheres to economic laws and psychological realities that have governed the technologic revolutions to date, from industrialization to dot-com.
We anticipate efficiency and green technology to gain prevalence, and expect large connected bases of users to access rich media from mobile devices.
Towards 2020, we envision more of an emphasis on deploying existing solutions and bringing them to mass markets, much like we have seen in recent times but with more features or bundles of features that can be subscribed to, and with the following themes:
- Energy-efficient components
- ‘Cleantech‘, ‘greentech‘ positionings
- Location-based services
What we do not expect in this short time period are
- Significantly improved anything (at least in Europe) ,
- Far-fetched innovations like complete convergence of portable products – too complex, too costly, industries too diverse.
In general we do not expect a truly killer application to emerge from the unknown and expect that any high-impact technology is already with us in some form. Our study has shown that timelines for innovation to market are very long, and not getting shorter.
Satellite communication services have significant potential to continue to grow in the next decade. As video based service like HDTV, VOD and interactive TV become increasingly important in the overall multimedia world, satellite-based services are well positioned to profit from this evolution.
In the satellite sector, satellite manufacturing and satellite operations appear to be the most robust. The difficulties of the early 2000s forced consolidation, creating a smaller number of stronger entities. The recession will affect both domains and will see the demise of smaller players and new ventures, particularly up to around 2012.
The study concluded with a detailed look at ESA’s ARTES program in the light of the study findings. The various ARTES programs are essentially modern and well conceived, managing to cover the majority of applications that our study uncovered. Element ARTES 20 strengthens the framework of the ARTES declaration. The integrated and user-needs focus is consistent with our expected pattern of information evolution. We found three integrated areas that could be included in ARTES 20, roadway applications, tactical networks, and energy systems.
Finally the time to 2020 will in our findings be characterized by the following developments:
- Flight from commoditization. At a corporate level, telecom and internet services are turning into commodities and firms will fight this trend by turning to new services and taking risks
- Government enforced adoption. The pattern of adoption of technology to 2020 is likely to include governments pushing “clean and green” solutions, in power, efficiency, and communications
- Big buys little. Innovation is predicted to be outsourced by big companies, meaning they will buy ideas that will help them increase margins and utilize their infrastructure.
- Fashion moves markets. Fashion will be a leading driver of the ICT evolution, whether it’s the IPhone or solar panels.
- Simplicity vs. sophistication. Simplifying the complex and delivering it to mass markets via clever marketing should be successful across all sectors.
- Critical mass of information in developing world. Cheap communications and abundant information in populous countries is significant for business and democratization.