NEW YORK, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) industry group today announced its predictions for the global technology industry in 2005, forecasting a number of advances in technology, along with some serious challenges. Eric Openshaw, a Principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and Americas Group Leader, TMT industry group, commented, "In 2005 Internet use will continue to proliferate, with the web browser playing an increasingly important part in our lives. Nanotechnology will become increasingly mainstream, enabling a wide range of new and improved products. And ethanol-based fuel cells will hit the market, providing portable power that lasts for days, weeks or even months. "Robots will move into our homes to help us with household chores and other mundane tasks. Space exploration will shift toward the private sector. Wireless 'mesh' networks will appear, helping authorities in major cities track the status of equipment and assets over a wide area. And quantum computers, which will be exponentially faster than today's fastest supercomputers, will take a few important steps closer to reality. "Yet there will also be significant challenges. Electronic forms of personal identification will proliferate as a way to improve security, yet identify theft and other digital crimes will continue to run rampant. Meanwhile, viruses, worms and other malware will multiply and spread to connected mobile devices, frustrating the public and costing companies billions in lost data and downtime." Three key trends identified in the report are: 1. Nanotechnology becomes mainstream Nanotechnology -- one of the most talked about, yet least-understood technologies of the 21st century -- will become increasingly mainstream in 2005. Nanotechnology is already quietly revolutionizing a wide range of products -- from computer hard drives and sunblock cream to car tires -- and will soon become a cornerstone of every manufacturing industry. Advances will increasingly be driven by the world's largest companies and nanotech companies will generate substantial revenue for the very first time. Potential uses will include using nano-spheres to deliver a drug directly to its intended target; employing nano-scale manufacturing processes to make smaller and faster processors and storage devices; and using nano-scale properties to make stain resistant, crease-free fabrics, and garments that resist bacteria. 2. Electronic viruses run rampant Massive growth in connected technologies -- from PCs and mobile phones to PDAs and gaming consoles -- will cause a corresponding leap in electronic viruses and other malicious attacks. Nuisances such as unsolicited e-mail (SPAM) and unsolicited instant messages (SPIM) will continue to proliferate. More harmful intrusions, such as viruses, worms and malware (malicious software), blue-jacking (attacks on Bluetooth-enabled devices) and VoIP SPAM will become common, and increased use of mobile phones, remote working and WiFi will give hackers more access to private, corporate and government networks. The trend will cost businesses worldwide billions of dollars in lost data and downtime; at the same time, it will reveal vast opportunities for companies that sell IT security, and new lines of business will spring up from mobile operators, handset makers, service providers, and systems integrators. 3. Electronic identification vs. Digital crime Governments around the world will move to replace paper-based IDs with digital products. These new forms of electronic identification will be used in passports, ID cards, bank cards and credit cards, and will include information such as the individual's name, address, nationality, digital photo and even biometric data. Electronic identification will be principally designed to curb fraud and identity theft, but will also speed up the process of identification and authentication. In spite of these measures, identity theft will continue to rise dramatically -- particularly for people and organizations that do business online. It will be imperative for all companies doing business online to spend the money to create more secure methodologies to protect themselves and their customers. As used in this press release, the term "Deloitte" includes Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and its subsidiaries Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Tax LLP. Notes to editors Predictions Methodology These predictions have been compiled by Deloitte Research (a part of Deloitte Services LP) on behalf of Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Group. The major inputs used in writing the predictions were: input from the 5,000 strong TMT team around the world; discussions with leading industry and financial analysts; interaction and conversations with clients from the telecommunications and related sectors. These predictions do not claim to be fully comprehensive, but rather provide a commentary on major industry trends and developments. About Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Group The TMT Group is composed of service professionals who have a wealth of experience serving technology, media and telecommunications companies throughout the world in areas including cable, communications providers, computers and peripherals, entertainment, media and publishing, networking, semiconductors, software, wireless, and related industries. These specialists understand the challenges that these companies face throughout all stages of their business growth cycle and are committed to helping them succeed. Deloitte is a leader in providing strategic, financial and operational assistance to its technology, media and telecommunications clients About Deloitte Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms, and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. 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