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Month 26, 2004

Krannert School prof, MBA students issue bullish forecast for tech

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University Krannert School professor and his MBA students have published their second yearly book-length forecast on high-technology trends that will pay dividends for both businesses and consumers.

cover of The Krannert Technology Forecast
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Patrick Duparcq, a Krannert School of Management marketing professor, said the top three high-technology trends will be growth of broadband Internet access, an increased number of wireless networks and large-scale implementation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags for retail applications.

Duparcq, director of the Center for E-business Education and Research (CEER), said 35 percent of U.S. Internet users and 75 percent of Korean users have fast home Internet access through DSL or cable connections. The forecast predicts more than 50 percent of the world Internet population will have broadband access by 2008.

"This will cause other emerging technologies, such as digital media distribution, smart homes and Internet phone calls (voice over Internet protocols or VoIP), to take off," Duparcq said.

Duparcq and his students predict wireless networks, known as WiFi, will proliferate in both business and home settings.

"The technology is plug-and-play and costs less than $50 for an access point in the home," Duparcq said. "The demand created by multiple home personal computers will drive the acceptance of this technology. Currently, 75 percent of large corporations have wireless networks somewhere in the organization, if not company-wide. By 2008, we forecast that 50 percent of all private Internet users will have a wireless home network."

Duparcq said big retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target, and big government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, are demanding that their largest suppliers apply RFID tags, to pallets and cases by early 2005. RFIDs are microchips attached to an antenna that picks up signals from and sends signals to a reader. RFIDs will replace barcoding and provide retailers and suppliers better and more timely data stretching from the factory to the consumer.

By using RFID technology, Wal-Mart could potentially save up to $8 billion annually through streamlining its supply chain and reducing overstock and replacing products on its store shelves more quickly, he said.

"The bottom line on RFID is that lower costs for the retailer and increased levels of customer service will win over some lingering concerns about privacy," Duparcq said. "We forecast that by 2008, unit costs of RFID will fall below five cents, and the total market will be $5 billion annually."

Other trends Duparcq and his students foresee are growth in digital entertainment and media centers, VoIP, a continuing double-digit growth in online retailing, and online music and movies. The forecast also includes the effects of e-technologies on the health-care, automotive and airline industries, as well as considering e-enabled products, telecommuting and customer relationship management issues that have implications across industries.

"'The Krannert Technology Forecast 2004-2006' is the second forecast based on MBA student research we've published," said Duparcq. "We wanted to take the standard research paper and give it more meaning to students who can take this book to recruiting interviews. It's also an outreach vehicle for our center and the school that we distribute to our corporate partners and recruiters, guest speakers and the media."

Duparcq's Center for E-business Education and Research is part of the E-enterprise Center in Purdue's Discovery Park. CEER's mission is to enable students, faculty, government representatives and businesspeople to understand the effects of e-business and e-commerce on the business environment through cross-functional education, research and outreach initiatives and allow swift response to significant industry changes.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue edu

Sources: Patrick Duparcq, (765) 494-4461,

Gina Niemi, administrative assistant, (765) 494-4398

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to journalists: The Krannert Technology Forecast 2004-2006 is available to journalists and businesses by contacting Gina Niemi at Purdue's Center for E-business Education and Research at (765) 494-4398,

Purdue MBA students and their professor, Patrick Duparcq, in Purdue's Krannert School of Management have published the "Krannert Technology Forecast 2004-2006." They predict the top three high-tech trends are fast growth of broadband, increased use of wireless computer access and radio-frequency identification tags. The research is sponsored by the university's Center for E-business Education and Research. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

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