Every year, it seems as if technology makes greater and greater strides toward simplifying our lives (or making it more complicated, depending on your perspective). As we’re all planning for a successful 2022, it’s worth taking a look at what tech trends we can expect to see in the year ahead.
Even though there’s really no way of knowing what will explode in popularity and what is going to fizzle out, these are some of the things that were introduced to us toward the end of 2021 that gained a lot of attention. We’re interested in seeing where they go from here.
Like it or hate it, Facebook is an integral part of our lives. And in fall 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s umbrella company—which includes not only Facebook but also Instagram and WhatsApp—would be taking on the name Meta. What’s more, Zuckerberg announced plans to create what’s known as the Metaverse, an entire online world where people are able to interact in virtual reality, often presenting themselves as digital avatars and interacting with others presenting the same way.
After nearly two years of doing everything virtually, many people are looking to live life in person again. But we can’t deny that virtual platforms have made some aspects of life more convenient (such as virtual meetings when being together in person isn’t feasible). Expect to see the Metaverse change the way we interact with one another, both personally and professionally.
More internet access (where it hasn’t been before).
People in urban and suburban areas tend to take internet access for granted. But in rural and developing areas, both within the United States and in other countries, it’s not always easy to get access to the internet. That’s not great when you think about how much of our lives are conducted online today. And with limited access to the internet, individuals and businesses that are already at a disadvantage will have fewer opportunities to catch up with others. That’s why many internet companies are seeking to create a wider breadth of internet access in areas where it has been limited or completely nonexistent up until now.
Privacy (what a concept!)
Mention that you need to buy something around your phone or computer and you could end up seeing advertisements for it later. If that freaks you out, you’re not alone. This kind of targeted advertising leaves many people uncomfortable because they don’t like how much access platforms have to what’s going on in their lives—and how much information those platforms are storing about them. Out of respect for people’s privacy, companies like Apple and Google are working to make it harder for app developers to engage in target advertising without your consent.
The at-home robot is no longer the thing of sci-fi movies. In late 2021, Amazon introduced the world to Astra, the first robot that could be synced up to Alexa and could provide assistance around the house. While Astra isn’t prominently finding its way into many homes just yet, don’t expect it to take long. Think about how many people have Alexa in their home—so yes, that same number of people could very well have an Astra in their home soon.
Online learning is popular because it allows experts in certain subjects to establish themselves as thought leaders while providing other people an opportunity to learn more about industries or develop skills. That’s why many companies are providing more online learning opportunities in the form of Masterclasses, e-courses, webinars, virtual conferences, and other programs. Expect to see these increase in popularity in 2022.
Busywork is a necessary evil—it distracts you from what you enjoy about your job, but you have to do it. Or do you? Thanks to platforms like Dubsado and Monday.com, business owners are able to take on tasks like sending invoices, collecting payments, sending newsletters, collecting client contact information, and much more. Less time focused on those tasks means you’re able to focus on building customer relationships and expanding the reach of your business.
Remember floppy disks. And then those gave way to external drives. But how many people are actually still using those? Although some people still use flash drives to back up and transfer files, more and more people are switching over to Cloud-based storage because it’s safer and easier. Expect to see this trend continue throughout 2022.
Smart offices are the new smart homes.
Smart homes are increasingly popular, and now the same smart technology will likely start taking over offices. Expect to see smart technology integrated into everything from the thermostat to the security system. How great would it be if you have already had the heat turned up to a comfortable temperature and the coffeemaker running by the time you show up to your 8:00 AM meeting? And if your client gets there before you, you can simply pull out your phone to unlock the door, turn on the light, and encourage them to go inside and make themselves comfortable, all before you get there.