Where did 2021 go? By rights, it should still be August, but here we are. December is here and 2022 is fast approaching. Tech is a rapidly changing beast. 2020 and 2021 saw the emerging tech revolving around AI and machine learning. Cyber security and cloud technologies were also heavily featured.
And while the big hitters of the last two years still feature on the 2022 tech trends list – there has been a move on. These technologies are ever evolving; improving steadily, ready to make our everyday experiences more accessible, convenient, and sustainable.
Here are 8 of the top tech trends to watch out for in 2022.
Augmented reality in online shopping.
We have never been more reliant on online shopping than over the last 2 years. This convenient, 24/7 solution has become so ingrained in our shopping habits, that traditional bricks and mortar stores are everyday fatalities of the digital revolution. Online shopping has been a rapidly growing beast; just a decade ago shopping online was a radical concept.
It has not been without its shortcomings though. If there is one area where it falls short, it is in the management of customer expectations.
The solution? Augmented Reality.
Using AR, vendors can create realistic 3D models of a product. Customers can visualise the item before they part with their cash, allowing them to see a more realistic representation of the product. A definite plus for the customer, but it has added benefits for the seller too. Not only is there scope for a great, interactive exciting shopping experience, it also is persuasive. This level of detail encourages the customer to buy those items they weren’t so sure about.
In other online ‘shopping’ news, we can expect to see high-end fashion becoming a reality for everyone. As AR technology improves, social media use increases, and “Influencer” becomes even more of an aspirational job title, people are willing to spend more on every social post.
Now, instead of spending thousands on the latest designer piece of clothing, companies are starting to sell luxury clothes that can only be seen in photographs.
Virtual fashion will make high-end, designer living more accessible for everyone. It reduces the need for fast fashion, where cheaper alternatives are discarded after one post. In this way, the concept of digital dressing has the potential for creating a net-positive effect on the environment.
Sustainability in tech.
Contemporary tech gadgets are such a fundamental part of our lives, that there has been a renewed focus on how companies can make them more environmentally and economically sustainable.
2022 is likely to see a greater shift toward repairing and reusing rather than replacing our older model gadgets. Of course, new products will be marketed, but these are more likely to be made from materials that are both long wearing and with a more positive impact on the environment.
In the production, we can expect to see an increase in the use of low-carbon and biodegradable materials, reused and recycled plastics for example. While in terms of powering them, we will see a focus on energy efficiency and batteries with bigger capacities. Additionally, it is thought that instead of new hardware models, we will see an increase in the lifespan of a product. Phones may keep on receiving system and security updates for longer, for example.
Low-Code and No-Code software.
Both big enterprise and their smaller peers are focussing on automation and app creation to keep their businesses relevant and solvent. However, the extensive knowledge in multiple programming languages needed to do so has been somewhat of a barrier for many.
2022 looks set to make this a more realistic opportunity for many with the advances in low-code and no-code. These software development techniques rely on visual elements to build software, such as dragging and dropping meaning that organisations don’t necessarily need a team of highly skilled technical wizards to create apps or develop software.
Of course, traditional models of software engineering aren’t going anywhere; software developers will remain high on the hiring priorities of IT heads. We have found that all those in the chain that bring digital products to market have been most in demand since post-pandemic hiring resumed in earnest.
However, no-code and low-code make technology accessible to anyone with a great idea, whether they have technical know-how or not. Suddenly, app development is open to individuals, not just whole teams of skilled developers.
Can your internet connection ever be too fast? If there is one area that sets one provider apart from another, it’s connectivity speed.
Streaming is our go-to now. Whether it be music, TV, or YouTube, multiple streaming has become our everyday. Faster and more reliable internet is needed to enable us to do so without constant buffering and interruptions.
Concurrent remote working, online schooling, and streaming for enjoyment doesn’t appear to be going anywhere so it’s crucial we are able to do so seamlessly
5G is significantly faster than its 4G predecessor and has enjoyed a 3 fold growth over recent years. In 2021, the number of global 5G connections tripled to 670 million and will continue this trajectory over the next 12 months. It is expected that the whole of the US will enjoy 5G connectivity next year, with the rest of the world following closely behind.
AI has been on the tech trends to watch for the last few years. As more people are expecting their smart gadgets to get even smarter, there is more call than ever for AI to step in and elevate their abilities.
We can expect to see an explosion of AI-powered gadgets, apps, and tools in 2022. Chatbots will become more sophisticated, and content recommendations on social media platforms are more likely to be driven by AI rather than traditional data analysis.
Passwords are likely to become a thing of the past. Great news for those of us who don’t use the same one for everything!
The advances in AI we mentioned in the last segment mean that over time, there won’t be a password that AI and ML can’t crack.
Over 2022, we can expect to see a gradual move toward passwordless authentication using mobile devices, tokens, and even biometrics. Not only will this mean that we won’t need to remember and change countless passwords, but it will also reduce the risk of being hacked.
Virtual Reality for everyone.
More affordable technology, smarter AI, and faster 5G internet are not just game-changers on their own. This triad of trends also combines to help Virtual Reality (VR) to become more widely available and more realistic than ever.
Up until now, VR has mainly been used within the realms of entertainment. 2022 is likely to witness this technology being consumed more widely. Researchers and students will use VR to learn about more abstract topics, while surgeons and medical students will be able to practice complex procedures in real-time.
Thinking about the more everyday uses, professionals from all industries can use VR to better participate in virtual meetings and participate in work culture despite being remote.
Of course, we can expect VR to move on within its current sphere of use. Within the worlds of entertainment, we can expect AI, ML, supercomputers, cutting-edge photography, and animation tech to reach new heights. Creatives will be able to create even more realistic 3D images and video content.
2022 is just the beginning.
These top tech trends of 2022 are just the tip of the iceberg. What we can expect to see in 2022 are the beginnings of new ideas; a taster of what the future holds.
More research and more innovation will herald refined versions of all these concepts. They will become stepping-stones for more cutting-edge tech to follow in the years to come.