As a futurist, every year, I look ahead and predict the key tech trends that will shape the next few months. There are so many innovations and breakthroughs happening right now, and I can’t wait to see how they help to transform business and society in 2022.
Let’s take a look at my list of key tech trends that everyone should be ready for, starting today.
#1: Computing Power
Computing power will continue to explode in 2022. We now have considerably better cloud infrastructure, and many businesses are re-platforming to the cloud.
We are also seeing a push towards better networks – 5G is being rolled out, and 6G is on the horizon. That means even more power in our phones, in our cars, and in our wearable devices.
#2: Smarter Devices
Growing computer power is enabling us to create smarter devices. We now have intelligent televisions, autonomous cars, and more intelligent robots that can work alongside humans to complete more tasks.
In 2022, we’ll see continued momentum for this smart device explosion, including the introduction of intelligent home robots.
#3 Quantum Computing
The trend of quantum computing — the processing of information that is represented by special quantum states – enables machines to handle information in a fundamentally different way from traditional computers. Quantum computing will potentially give us computing power that is a trillion times more powerful than what we get from today’s advanced supercomputers.
I predict that in 2022, quantum computers could fundamentally change how we approach problems like logistics, portfolio management, and drug innovations.
Data is a key enabler for all of these trends. All of the digitization in our world today means we have enormous amounts of data available, and data has now become the number one business asset for every organization. We can use data to better understand our customers, research key trends, and get insight into what’s working inside our organizations.
#5 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Organizations and researchers are now using all their data and computing power to provide advanced AI capabilities to the world.
One of the key trends in the AI world is machine vision. We now have computers that can see and recognize objects on a video or photograph. Language processing is also making big advances, so machines can understand our voices and speak back to us.
Low-code or no-code will also be a huge trend this year. We will be able to build our AI using drag-and-drop graphical interfaces, so we can develop extraordinary applications without being limited by our coding skills.
#6 Extended Reality
We now have more augmented reality (AR) capabilities on our devices (particularly our phones and tablets), and we're seeing an even bigger push toward virtual reality (VR). In 2022, we'll see new, lighter, more portable VR devices, so instead of having clunky headsets that require WiFi connections, we will have devices that are more like glasses that connect to our phones and give us superior VR experiences on the go.
These extended reality advances pave the way for incredible experiences in the metaverse, a persistent, shared virtual world that users can access through different devices and platforms.
#7 Digital Trust
Blockchain technology, distributed ledgers, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are transforming our world, and we will continue to see advances in this technology in 2022. These innovations go beyond Bitcoin to things like smart contracts that allow us to verify ownership with NFTs. This year, we will see more companies and individuals enhancing physical objects with blockchain technology and tokens.
#8 3D Printing
We can now make things with 3D printing that we would never have dreamed of a decade ago. In 2022, we’ll see transformations in manufacturing and beyond, from 3D printing technological innovations, including mass-produced customized pieces, concrete for houses, printed food, metal, and composite materials.
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to two scientists, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, for their work developing a method for genome editing. Genomics, gene editing, and synthetic biology are a top trend of 2022 because these advancements can help us modify crops, cure and eradicate diseases, develop new vaccines like the COVID-19 shot, and other medical and biological breakthroughs.
Nanotechnology will also allow us to give materials new attributes by manipulating them on a subatomic level, so we can create things like bendable screens, better batteries, water-repellent, self-cleaning fabrics, and even self-repairing paint this year.
#10 New Energy Solutions
The last hugely important trend is new energy solutions. As we tackle climate change, we'll see continued advances in the batteries we use in our cars, as well as innovations in nuclear power and green hydrogen. These new trends will allow us to power our ships, our planes, our trains and generate energy for the general public.