With 2022 right around the corner, it seems only fitting to talk about what the future may hold for technology. Most people alive today have never seen the unprecedented level of change come as quickly as it has, leading to a level of uncomfortableness for businesses and consumers alike.
As a company that develops technology for some of the world’s leading companies, we have our ear close to the ground and our sights set on the future. We’re excited for what the future holds, and these are some of our 2022 technology predictions.
1. Lines of Work from Home Continue to Blur
2020 started off the year with a massive transformation into Work From Home as many companies scrambled to deal with the fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the dust starts to settle and many countries are seeing impressive vaccine penetration rates, the lines of Work from Home will evolve and become even more complicated.
While some companies move to a Work from Anywhere model, others may move back to a hybrid model of part-time in the office and part-time remote. This is going to lead to a de-densification of historically crammed office towers and office space, leading to a growth of mixed-use real estate, with office towers converting some floors into apartments, condos, or hotel spaces.
To continue to deal with remote work situations, employers are going to need to pay special attention to security concerns in environments that are full of devices and equipment they do not control.
Will we see employer-provided Internet connections specific for work devices at home? Will we see services like Windows 365 and Flex1 become more mainstream so IT departments can keep higher control of security?
We bet on virtualization leading the way for environments that require a higher level of security for remote devices.
2. Augmented Reality & the Metaverse
10 years ago VR platforms like Oculus were just starting to emerge on the market, and it’s hard to believe that Google’s first attempt at augmented reality, Google Glass is almost 9 years old. Back in those early days, you needed to have a top-of-the-line desktop PC to run a VR headset and a heavy cable running out of the equipment, much like being jacked into the Matrix.
Today’s VR equipment is standalone and does not require a PC to act as a host. The cost of equipment is falling fast and is on par or better positioned than most smartphones with similar specs.
VR and AR wearables will continue to grow and reach a larger audience outside of core technophiles, gamers or enthusiasts.
Our prediction, these technologies will find a home in education and as assistive devices for those with physical or mental barriers. Companies like VRCity (Delphi Technologies) will find new and unique training opportunities when physical training is costly, dangerous, or otherwise prohibitive.
In addition, integrated augmented services will start showing up on other devices, like your TV or smartphone with companies like DroppTV building augmented and integrated shopping and e-commerce experiences.
3. Teleprofessional Services will continue to grow
As with Work from Anywhere, many health providers have learned that they do not need to be in their clinic full time anymore, and can comfortably deliver health advice from their PJ’s, their cottage, or anywhere with an Internet connection. Other professions are realizing the same thing and the shift towards remote service will continue to grow.
This is not without its problems as many health care providers have taken this remote healthcare position too far that is counterproductive towards providing quality health care to their patients.
We’ll likely see a course correction in 2022 where clinics begin encouraging more in-person appointments augmented by remote follow-ups for routine things like medication refills.
Remote health, in particular, requires a level of trust in technology to protect Doctor/Patient Confidentiality or Lawyer(Attorney)/Client privileged conversations. While end-to-end encryption is becoming more mainstream, not all technology is created equal. Some solutions are confusing to use creating frustration for the patient.
Many of the solutions we see today are a rush implementation to fill a need at a point in time. Our prediction, 2022 will lead to early maturity of remote health care solutions, including better video and audio integration, electronic medical records, and remote prescription refills.
4. The Rise of 5G, IoT and Beacons
With 5G penetration quickly rising and data-integrated devices like parking meters, cars, light switches and home appliances becoming more commonplace, we’re likely to start seeing everything coming with an internet connection built-in using WIFI, 5G or other UWB technologies.
In 2022, we’ll likely see greater control of our lives via smartphones and smartwatches for everything from access control of our houses and offices, but also remote control of our cars. Phones, like the Google Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S21 come with built-in UWB radios allowing the phone to be used as a remote key to unlock the owners car in proximity to the car without needing an internet connection.
With this, we’re likely to see greater machine-to-machine (M2M) integration, allowing our cars to talk to other cars on the road, our appliances to talk to our power meters to manage peak vs. off-peak usage, and nearby notifications, and ultra-integrated data services.
5. The Decline of Personal Computers
As I am writing this, I am reminded that I only really use a laptop or formal computer in the context of work. My primary method of communication, information sharing, and education is my smartphone.
Like many people, a full-sized desktop, laptop, convertible devices or tablet does not serve a material purpose other than watching videos or working.
2022 will likely be a year of decline of standalone devices with a potential increase in convertible or multi-function devices, foldout large-format phones, or deeper integration with smart TV’s to take the place of traditional computers.
6. The Great Disconnection
When COVID-19 first emerged, people were forced into their homes, to shy away from the public and become recluses within their own homes. With each wave of COVID passing and restrictions loosening up, we saw greater rates of people enjoying the outdoors. Campground reservation numbers sored beyond pre-pandemic levels creating shortages. The number of people outside walking, hiking, or playing recreational sports seemed to go leaps and bounds beyond anything we’ve seen in the last decade.
As people get bored of staying at home, we’ll see a great disconnect from home-based technologies as people set their sights on other forms of entertainment.
We’re also seeing attitudes shift on the usage and retention of persona data and calls for Surveillance Capitalism to fall. Users will expect greater transparency in how their data is used and how it is collected with a right to disconnect or delete their data at their request from any company they do business with.
This will likely lead to a continued slowing of growth or a decline in users on mainstream social media sites and a shift towards consumption-based payment models.