The Biggest Tech Trends to Watch For in 2022
We’re on the edge of a tech revolution that may surpass the Industrial Revolution in its impact on human existence. There are some significant differences however, the Industrial Revolution took place roughly between 1760 and 1840. It was a transitional process that lasted for a couple of generations. The industrial revolution, led by England, was also confined to relatively few countries.
The emerging tech revolution, driven by AI and enabled by ultra-fast internet, is already happening on a more global scale. Knowledge and technology aren’t concentrated in a handful of nations. We’re seeing technical innovation and developments in dozens of countries. The new tech revolution is also expected to deliver a lightning-fast transformation. We may be about to experience a cultural impact equivalent to the Industrial Revolution within the space of a decade - perhaps two decades.
It’s difficult to predict exactly how the technical revolution will affect our day-to-day lives, except to say that the changes will be fundamental and will touch every aspect of our existence. Some major changes are already taking place. There are five key areas that are directly relevant to all of us:
- Smart homes and vehicles
- Personalized holistic health care
- Hybrid workplaces
- The internet of things
- Sustainable technology
Live in a Smart Home
Humans have been harnessing technology to build safer and more comfortable homes since we stopped living in caves. We take the basics like indoor plumbing, electric lighting, and glass windows for granted. Even a few generations ago, most people made do without them. There are still plenty of countries where people exist without domestic amenities that we rely on.
As homes are connected to 6G internet, and access to secure cloud storage becomes the norm, our homes will potentially become tech hubs. New tech will continue to cater to demands for convenience, cost, and labor-saving innovation, but will do so in an environmentally responsible way. Expect to see AI optimization of energy and water use and climate control.
We’ll also be able to manage our homes remotely and control household utilities and devices via smartphones. An exciting collaboration between the world’s biggest tech companies means that smart devices will be interoperable. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung, are working on a new smart-home standard called Matter. Whatever gadgets you buy, or future infrastructures and operating systems that you connect to, everything should work together.
- As well as living in smart homes, we’ll soon be driving smart cars. In fact, our smart cars will be driving us around. Electric cars are set to become the norm (at least in the Developed World). Within a decade, they are likely to be self-driving. It will literally be a case of setting a destination and letting the car do the work. Driving tests and licenses could soon be obsolete.
- Another tech trend for which we’ll all be grateful, is that it is becoming easier to repair and upgrade technical devices. Companies like Dell are rethinking laptop design concepts to include a far greater number of standard and interchangeable parts. Technicians - or even home users - will also find it easier to open Dell laptops and replace or add new parts. The drive towards convenience and sustainability is part of a wider trend in high tech manufacturing. Apple is also determined to make its devices easier and cheaper to repair. Smartphones and computers are everyday devices and consumers are beginning to hold manufacturers to account.
Do you want to Live to 100 - or Beyond?
We are already about to see a revolution in personalized medical care, with an emphasis on anticipating and avoiding health issues before they occur. AI-driven diagnostic and monitoring devices will allow ordinary people to play a far greater role in their own health management. Scientists are also anticipating significant breakthroughs when it comes to curing and treating disease and increasing healthy longevity.
Accessing individual biometric data takes a huge amount of guesswork out of health care. It also reduces delays in diagnosis and treatment. Reactions to medications, and dosage calibration, will be assessed by smart machines. Tech devices can unobtrusively monitor how our bodies are functioning on a second-by-second basis. Expect to receive a real-time digital profile that shows organ function, pulse rate, hormone levels, and monitors breathing patterns, sleep, and every metabolic function. We can already use a simple finger cuff or bracelet to monitor blood pressure and evaluate the cardiovascular exercise.
Humans have always been obsessed with increasing life expectancy and extending the benefits of youth. We’re now on the cusp of making that an attainable goal for the average person. Scientists are gaining new insights into the aging process and how to repair cell damage. Not only is life expectancy set to raise - the quality of life is set to rise. Many of the physical conditions that traditionally blighted old age will be eliminated as AI and big data utterly transform medical research.
Cloud Enabled Hybrid Workplaces
The Covid-19 pandemics and associated lockdowns forced rapid technical adaptation. They also transformed our expectations of what constitutes a working environment. Employers are rapidly reevaluating their concepts of what constitutes an effective - and cost-effective - the workplace. Traditional assumptions about offices, work routines, daily commutes, and career structures have been shattered.
Some businesses are continuing to insist on daily employee attendance in a corporate office. They will quickly learn that they have to compete with more flexible companies to recruit talented workers. A company that cynically forces its staff to sit in a noisy and uncomfortable open space office for 9 hours a day, with the additional burden of a daily commute, is now at a strategic disadvantage. Not every employee wants to work at home, but most people are waking up to the concept of ‘quality of work life.
Work from home is likely to evolve into work from anywhere. AI, cloud, and 5G are likely to transform efficiency and productivity and allow the creation of instant teams, drawn from diverse locations. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will allow for the creation of specialist immersive workplaces in much the same way. Employees will have access to a plethora of information, multi-screen environments, interactive on-the-job learning, and rapid computer modeling and predictive technology. Language processing and translation technology will create a truly global workplace.
Meet the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a general term that simply means everyday devices and household objects being equipped with smart sensors, actuators, mini-computers, and communication interfaces. These, in turn, interact with private networks or the public internet to exchange data. If that sounds confusing, just think of the IoT in terms of convenience, efficiency, and smart services.
On a practical level, the IoT can mean your household appliances functioning more efficiently and saving money on utilities. It could mean your Kupat Holim offering a better-personalized health plan, or your car becoming safer and cheaper to run. It’s estimated that by 2025, over 55 billion devices will be part of the IoT. For the most part, the IoT will run quietly in the background. Like most aspects of daily life, we’ll largely take it for granted.
The problem with taking things for granted is that if they suddenly fail, we tend to get a shock. A society that depends on IoT, is vulnerable. Infrastructure security and effective encryption are vital. The other issue with the IoT is the impact on personal privacy and the potential for social control by governments, institutions, and big corporations. IoT is already transforming our lives. It’s still an open question to what extent the transformation will be positive and healthy.
Sustainable Technology in 2022
Sustainability is now a key business concern. Companies are increasingly expected to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable business practices and concern for their environmental impact. The wider emphasis on sustainability and environmental management is creating new requirements for sustainable technology. Climate tech start-ups are already identifying niche markets. They raised $16 billion in 2021 alone for new ventures in sectors like carbon management, alternative energy, and sustainable agriculture and water.
There is also growing demand for sustainable technology solutions to optimize domestic and industrial energy consumption. This will not only reduce the strain on natural resources, and environmental damage, it may reduce the cost of living. Increased government spending on sustainable infrastructure, water management, and smart power generation is already happening. We could well be on the edge of a sustainable technology or e-tech boom that will generate billions of dollars for shrewd investors.
With a thriving high-tech industry and some outstanding research institutes, Israel is well placed to be a major player. The country is already a respected innovator in the fields of water desalination, desert agriculture, and solar panel energy. Israel has a powerful 21st century culture of tech entrepreneurship and a tradition of environmental R&D and experimentation that goes back to the earliest Zionist pioneers.
The Israeli government is also pushing hard to get the entire country connected to the new fiber optic internet infrastructure. The goal is to simultaneously extend 5G and eventually 6G wireless coverage to most of Israel. We’re already seeing a local tech revolution that mirrors the global tech revolution, and may even surpass it in some areas!