Every year since the beginning of the new decade can be defined by the buzzwords that dominated its era. 2020 was defined by phrases such as the: ‘value chain, digital transformation, and IoT’. By 2021, phrases like remote work, crypto, and end-to-end or peer-to-peer solutions became the new wave. This leads us to the question of; what will be the defining buzzword of 2022?
Although it’s too early to decide what these buzzwords will be, highlighting the simulation and emerging technology trends for 2022 is much easier. Deductions on last year’s working patterns and the operations within the industrial sectors provide much hindsight and insight into the expected tech trends of 2022. So, here are our trend predictions and expectations for the New Year.
- Elevating the Metaverse – The application of virtual reality or augmented reality has become popular across diverse industrial sectors. One example is the stellar role in making remote monitoring and virtual validation and training possible within the manufacturing industry. In healthcare, finance, logistics, and e-commerce sectors, AR provides its end-users with a visualization tool and insight into complex systems and operations.
The Metaverse is the next evolution of virtual reality and it is expected to take social interactions and business connections to the next level. Although role-playing computer games such as the SIMs provide a glimpse into the potentials of a virtualized world, a true Metaverse is expected to take things to the next level. Within the Metaverse, virtual reactions will produce real-world actions. Examples include making virtual in-shop purchases that lead to physical deliveries or virtually controlling repair robots to take corresponding maintenance actions on the shop floor. In 2022, the capabilities of the Metaverse will be expanded to include more industrial applications.
- Exploring Web3 and the Blockchain Capabilities– The introduction of Blockchain technology and its corresponding crypto currencies introduced technology decentralization to the world. Since its inception approximately a decade ago, the jury is still out on whether a long term future exists for Blockchains. Coming into this mix is Web3 and its decentralized computing process.
Web3 intends to decentralize the information on the web using encrypted channels or addresses to share and access information. Thus, an individual can shun centralized web2 systems such as the cloud and utilize encryption to protect personal data. Web3 and Blockchains take after the decentralization movement sweeping through the tech industry and other industrial niches. Like edge computing, Web3 enthusiasts can expect to bypass centralized information systems and storage locations to access and share information.
- Leveraging Artificial Neural Networks to Automate Problem Solving– The rise of the thinking machine, system, program, or inanimate item is made possible by machine learning and its subset neural networks. 2022 is expected to come with increased adoption of neural networks within diverse systems to solve everyday problems. Starting with the manufacturing industry, simulation and digital twin models extend the application of neural networks to predict operational outcomes.
Neural networks already play important roles in recognizing speeches, faces, and patterns. This will enable the industrial sector to automate workflows that can save hundreds of work-hours executing repetitive tasks and reduce human error. Industrial stakeholders are expected to continue to explore the benefits neural networks bring in 2022 by taking advantage of open-source solution providers such as ONNX to integrate AI into applications.
- Leveraging Sustainable Technology – Elon Musk’s opinion piece on Twitter shed some light on how people may view the use of technologies that use up ‘too much’ energy. Claims that crypto currency mining reduced the value of major crypto currencies and started conversations on utilizing sustainable tech. These views are also shared across the automotive, industrial manufacturing, healthcare, and other industries.
2022 is expected to witness some considerable investments in climate-friendly technology as enterprises devise ways to reduce their carbon footprint. The investments are expected to include improving both the energy consumption rate of operational and information technology solutions.
- Tech that caters to an Evolving Workforce – The pandemic continues to revolutionize how we work as today’s workforce continue to agree that the everyday commute to and from work inhibits personal goals. The great resignation of disillusioned staff also means that employers who are unwilling to compromise on office hours will have to deal with defecting employees in search of a better work-life balance.
The New Year will see more employees continue to build on the hybrid working models that have been tried and tested through 2019 till date. Emerging technologies that support virtual collaboration and team bonding will assist employees with training and motivating the workforce of the future. The industrial sector will also continue to leverage advancements in edge computing, robotics, and AI to support its dwindling workforce and improve safety on the shop floor.
- Industrial IoT – The internet of things and the solutions that support it such as IoT platforms and edge computing solutions are being put to ingenious uses across the industrial sector. IoT solutions are not new to the tech industry but a changing operational landscape means manufacturers will leverage IIoT in different ways in 2022.
End–users will utilize IoT to solve remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, condition monitoring, and other complex operational problems. The data gathering abilities of IoT means it will also empower enterprises in other industrial sectors to capture the data needed to gain insight into their operations.
- Immersive Entertainment Tech – Improving online gaming, streaming, and interactive experiences that entertain audiences has always been an important goal for the entertainment industry. The location of servers and interactive hardware close to large entertainment populations have helped reduce latency and connectivity issues but more is expected to achieve real-time, seamless entertainment or gaming.
The entertainment industry is expected to rely heavily on emerging solutions such as edge computing, 5G networks, and Wi-Fi 6 to improve the experiences of online gamers. The introduction of new smart devices and wearables to improve entertainment experiences is expected to become the mainstay feature of 2022.
- More focus on Cyber Security Solutions – Efforts to improve cybersecurity and to reduce the effects of security breaches have become popular fixtures on every trend list. Statistics show that cybercrime was up by approximately 600% in 2021 and this figure is expected to increase in 2022. Thus, tech enterprises are expected to improve on existing cybersecurity and deploy end-to-end solutions that limit the negative costs of successful security breaches.
- Automating Transportation – Driverless cars have been a part of our everyday conversations as far back as 2010 but developing fully-automated vehicles and securing clearance for their public use has been challenging for automotive manufacturers. 2022 is expected to build on the existing conversation as more and more automotive giants join the quest to deliver fully-automated cars that can run personal errands without human assistance.
- Personalized Healthcare through Technology – One of the important lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic, is how easily healthcare centers can be overrun leaving patients in need of personalized care with limited resources. Advancements in delivering medical care through virtualized solutions and smart hardware are expected to continue in 2022 to deliver optimized healthcare to patients in their homes.