Like every year around this time, we dare to anticipate the keys and technological trends that will mark the coming months. For this we have analyzed what happened during 2021, an atypical year where they exist, and consulted the most relevant sources in terms of technology and business. We make a list of the ten most significant knowing that there will be many more and that some of them have not yet appeared enough to be able to guess them. Disruption often comes suddenly and it is difficult to anticipate it, but knowing the emerging facts makes it easier to identify opportunities when they arrive. Therefore, this post is not about playing futuristic, but about collecting information and opinions, trying to make them inspiring.
The 10 technological keys for 2022
1. Metaverse and Mixed Reality
It has surely been the buzzword in 2021 and has led to one of the Big Tech companies changing its name . For some it is the great revolution they expected and for others it is a twist to virtual , augmented or mixed reality . A version 3.0 of Second Life , an evolution of Fortnite beyond the video game world to transfer that user experience in the new generations to the “adult world”, if today the game was only for children. Will this time be a reality or will it end in overpromise as with the first generation of Google Glasses ?
Some factors have changed since then that make us think that this time it will have more travel.
To begin with, not only has the software and hardware technology evolved since then, but today the platform on which that real meta world will run will be the 5G network , which is light years ahead of previous generations of networks, allowing with its low latency and cloud computing make the experience much more comfortable and real. But in addition, the other network, the social one on which the user communities will be generated, is promoted by the leader in his field, the renowned Meta , owner of three of the most popular channels. In addition, this time the rest of the technology companies and big brands such as Nike , Zara or Gucci have joined immediately.. It becomes the reality that its promoters expect, what is certain is that in the coming months it will be the most repeated word, and in The New Now we will dedicate more space to it. Meanwhile, we leave you with some articles of interest so that you can broaden your vision on the subject.
2. 5G network
With less echo than it would have gotten had it not been for the hoarding of information space that the pandemic has had, the most relevant fact of 2021 has undoubtedly been the rapid deployment of the 5G network that has occurred throughout the world, and especially in Spain, where Vodafone alone already provides coverage in more than 29 cities and nearly 80% of the population can now connect to it with their smartphone . The important thing about this new network is that it will be capable of enabling new business models and promoting a whole series of converging technologies that will transform the different industries and sectors .
We have already mentioned it in the creation of the Metaverse, but it will be decisive for practically the rest of the trends in the coming years.
There are already numerous real success stories beyond the first pilots, and different co-creation ecosystems such as the Vodafone Lab are favoring the development of new uses through open innovation and coopetition, which will speed up their definitive staging. You can go deeper in the following links:
The third trend for 2022, we dare to say, will be the world of gaming , as an industry and as a methodology. We have mentioned it when explaining the origin of the Metaverse , and like it, the world of online gaming will take an abysmal qualitative leap with the use of 5G devices. The latency will allow interaction in real time and will eliminate the famous virtual dizziness caused in some people by Mixed Reality glasses. For its part, thanks to the cloud computing of the new network, the devices will be smaller and smaller, with less weight as they do not need processors or much of their hardware, or large batteries because their consumption is infinitely lower.
The rest of the 5G capabilities, such as the possibility of connecting millions of devices per square kilometer, will make the gaming industry live one of its best years.
Phenomena such as the growing audience of Twitch —a social network whose origin is online gaming— or the expansion of eSports, which are capable of attracting thousands and thousands of spectators and fans, surpassing other traditional sports, are proof that we are facing something more than a fad. And not only in the world of leisure will gaming be important, but it will also gain presence in the business world and the need to generate work methodologies and personal relationships in remote work teams , as a substitute for interaction in old offices or to maintain productivity through gamification of production processes.
- Online game to study the work of the future
- Game algorithms in biology laboratories
- Virtual Reality Coach to foster leadership skills
The third word of 2021 was Telecommuting , for well-known reasons, and the imperative massive adoption of offshore work. A Digital Transformation of companies around the world that accelerated the medium-term plans of the vast majority of them. When not even a year has passed since that apparent disruption, we have been able to see how the adaptation to this new reality has not been the same for everyone.
While those who had already taken the first steps before the pandemic have taken it to the next level, for many it has been traumatic trying to maintain face-to-face processes and methodologies from home.
A massive experiment like the one that has occurred has served to understand that something more than technology is required in this new environment, and that a cultural transformation is needed. Moving from occasional offshoring to smart work — Smartworking — that organizes resources and teams so that each person performs their function where it is most efficient at all times. Sometimes it will be in the corporate office, sometimes at home, sometimes as a digital nomad while traveling and sometimes on-site visiting customers, suppliers or facilities. Telework has more scenarios than that of an administrative task and today we can see it in technical assistance, telemedicine, education, etc. Once again, the arrival of 5G will facilitate this new vision of work, which, on the other hand, experts are beginning to agree will be hybrid and not exclusively as a dilemma between distance or in offices. Workspaces will also be transformed by other technologies and will be places for personal interaction and brand experience. Without forgetting that, thanks to it, they will also be safer in the event of new pandemics.
- Study of Digitization of Companies and Public Administrations in 2020
- Future Ready Companies demonstrate their resilience during the COVID-19 crisis
- Telecommuting: tips and tools for your company
5. Health Care and Wellness
Another of the sectors and trends that will star in 2022 will be that related to health and well-being. Many are still not aware of the scientific and technological milestone that has been for pharmaceutical companies to develop not one but several effective vaccines in less than a year. Probably most have not been aware of how other technologies such as 5G, Big Data , Artificial Intelligence , Facial Recognition or telemedicine have helped in this fight against the coronavirus.
What is easy to detect is that what was already a trend, personal care and health, has become a priority for the majority.
And it will be here that many companies of all sizes invest, from new startups to Big Tech that have not only that advanced technology but also Big Data that, as the movie Don’t Look Up! It would allow your social network to know your state of health and pathologies before and better than your doctor. Without going into debates or exaggerations, the truth is that simply with search trends, Google is able to know when the seasonal flu is going to arrive in each country, among other things.
Here too we will see the boost of 5G for these new developments, thanks to the massive sensorization of wearables and millions of Internet of Everything devices .
- Smart Healthcare in Public and Private Health
- Drugs designed with a machine learning algorithm
- Keys to technology in Health eHealth [infographic]
The worrying aspect of all these points seen so far is the security of those millions of devices connected in a ubiquitous and permanent way . If in recent years cybersecurity was already a priority for any large corporation and it allocated more and more human and financial resources to achieve it, in the coming months it will be even more important at all levels. The authorities have detected an exponential increase in cyberattacks and criminal actions on the network and the security departments of companies warn that factors such as teleworking or the Internet of Things open new fronts every day, gateways to systems, difficult to cover.
The pandemic has also boosted other types of activities such as eCommerce and has given rise to fraud based on social engineering that feed on fear.
Faced with these threats, security requirements have also been strengthened in payment gateways , or in online collaborative work tools, and operators offer outsourced cybersecurity services . However, the vast majority of network security flaws still depend on the human factor, through phishing or allowing the entry of Trojans and malware through a simple email, so the awareness of each one of us continues being the best defense, in the opinion of those responsible for company security. Without a doubt, 2022 will be the year in which we hear about the subject day in and day out.
- Cybersecurity Shock Plan, key to protecting the Public Administration
- Expert solutions to cybersecurity challenges in 2021
- Five cybersecurity pain points to check
7. WEB 3
Web3, also known as Web 3.0, is an idea for a new version of the World Wide Web that incorporates blockchain-based decentralization. The term was coined in 2014 by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, and the idea grew throughout 2021 among cryptocurrency enthusiasts , big tech companies, and venture capital firms. While in the current network, user data is on the servers of the main Big Tech such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google, “web3 seeks to return to the initial idea of the internet, when it was decentralized, open source and based on nodes” as indicated to Cinco Días by Ursula O’Kuinghttons , spokesperson and participant of Parity, the subsidiary ofWeb3 Foundation that develops one of the softwares to make this possible. Beyond understanding Blockchain technology , the important thing is to know how the user experience will change. For example, the expert Bertrand Pérez explains in El Confidencial that “In this ecosystem, transferring data and value is the same thing, information that goes from one point to another. Whether it’s your date of birth or an asset that is ultimately valued in euros, it’s the same thing”. In other words, as Samuel Gil , investor and partner at JME Ventures in Newtral , says, “it has the best of the previous two. Users create, developers create and they are the ones who monetize”.
The Ethereum website, one of the main cryptocurrencies and promoters of web3, details the main advantages of this new, more open network, compared to web 2.0, for example:
- Web3 tweets would not be objectionable because control is decentralized.
- web3 payment applications do not require personal data and cannot prevent payments.
- Web3 servers cannot go down, they use Ethereum, a decentralized network of thousands of computers as a backend.
- Although it also cites some current limitations such as slower scalability precisely because it is decentralized, a less accessible UX for non-expert users, and the high cost of developing new apps.
Be that as it may, we are sure that it will be one of the most repeated terms in 2022 and that we will see its importance grow day by day, thanks to Open Innovation , as well as to organizations that work to promote it such as the Web3Foundation
8. Quantum Computing
If at a domestic level and office environments it seems that the evolution of computers has slowed down for a long time and we are no longer witnessing great revolutions with the launch of new equipment that changes everything, reducing the size of the CPUs, eliminating ports or peripherals, or with new operating systems, quantum computing is indeed achieving those milestones that are unknown to the general public. Today that most people use powerful computers without knowing it housed in a smartwatch or at the wheel of your car, and that the transfer of those processors to the cloud with 5G is announced, computing tries to break all the barriers of capacity and speed. Surely quantum computing will continue to be a great unknown to the general population, no matter how much experts ask that programming be part of the curricula from kindergarten , since the youngest already see the desktop computer itself as something obsolete and seek do the same through an app or let the algorithm do it for them. However, thanks to these supercomputers, science will advance in months, perhaps days, that would otherwise take decades.
This is a strategic issue for many countries, which see this technology as a form of clear industrial and scientific superiority, but also for the companies that build them.
Thus, IBM announced that at the beginning of 2022 it will launch the first quantum computer for commercial use that ” will allow applications with a higher level of complexity to be executed than those that can be reliably simulated by a classical computer (the one with 127 qubits) and that it will be available to its customers in the cloud.” and that, as El Confidencial reports , it will be available to the CSIC among 170 other institutions.
- Hybrid quantum computing will also enhance classical
- Future of quantum, neuromorphic and nanotechnological computing
- Simplest Quantum Computers
The penultimate trend for the coming months will be the evolution of a business model unimaginable for many until very recently. The economy of Non-Fungibles, or what is the same, converting the non-existent into merchandise. A foretaste of the metaverse that we speak of as one of the first technological trends that we are going to experience. A non-fungible token ( NFT ) is a special type of cryptographic token that represents something unique. Non -fungible tokens are not mutually exchangeable like bitcoin -like cryptocurrencies.. The four main characteristics of NFTs are that they are unique, indivisible, transferable and capable of proving their scarcity. Be that as it may, we are talking about code, about something immaterial or physical, but that is capable of awakening as an object of desire and that in 2021 has been front page news on many occasions.
If we compare how Xataka does Michelangelo’s David with a Non-Fungible good, we can understand that in a virtual world or metaverse, there are those who want to buy this type of unique “objects”, works of art or not
The important thing about NFTs as a trend, in addition to business models, is to associate them with others already analyzed above such as Web 3.0 , Cybersecurity or Gaming , and get down to work to imagine new applications of these phenomena and the tools that will be developed in parallel.
So much paradigm shift in all aspects of daily life and business models will result in a cascade of new regulations, laws and control bodies , local or supranational, that try to maintain that control of the situation, or at less look like it. We do not know how doors can be opened to a decentralized virtual field such as web 3.0, or what kind of laws will be applicable in metaverse-type virtual worlds. Legislation is always one or two steps slower than social change and is usually reactive.