The year 2021 cemented the idea that a growing population of working professionals and bright young pupils will need to continue working and learning from home. Mandates and isolation pushed even tech-reluctant people online. As a result, the demand for new software, faster internet speeds, and the latest gadgets increased.
With challenges mounting, remote workers and learners turn to technology as a lighthouse towering the uncharted waters of the New Normal. While switches to remote workforces and classrooms initially left the tech-adverse floundering, technology has been a lifeline for business owners, homeowners, and gamers alike. From keeping remote teams connected to enabling lightning-fast downloads of the latest games to streamline relocations, tech has a finger in more pies than some could fathom.
Fast internet speeds, 24/7 access to information and support, and an insatiable hunger for newer and better tech are all elements that make up the perfect environment for innovators to create and collaborate on some of the hottest trends for 2022. What can techies and non-techies expect for the upcoming year? Here’s what you need to know.
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The Growing Popularity of Virtual Addresses
Entrepreneurs have taken home-based businesses and cottage industries from tiny basement offices onto the global market. Thriving companies manage products and services sold to customers worldwide in home offices.
The growing popularity of the virtual address is behind this phenomenon. Virtual addresses are physical addresses where mail or packages are received and stored securely. A virtual address can be used to register a phone/fax number and acquire licenses and permits when doing business in another country. It provides all the benefits of an office without the overhead costs of a lease or administrative staff.
Additionally, virtual addresses help entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote business owners establish a professional presence in multiple cities. Not to mention, porch piracy and package thefts are eliminated, as the virtual mailbox houses sensitive mail, accessible via any computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Businesses Will be Digital-First and Remote-First
In 2022, businesses will zero in on digital initiatives. During the pandemic, organizations discovered that digital technology allowed them the flexibility and resiliency to survive and thrive.
Because remote work structures reduce overhead costs, lead to happier and healthier employees, and translate to better retention rates and lower health costs, remote work is undoubtedly the way of the future. Though, transitioning to fully remote structures is not as simple as flipping a switch. Business owners must invest in the right tech stack to ensure a well-oiled remote workforce. From project management tools to video conferencing software to digital communication platforms to a VPN, industry leaders must cover all their bases before taking the plunge.
Online Shopping with Augmented Reality
It’s hard to believe that shopping almost exclusively involved heading to a physical store just a decade ago. Then online shopping was introduced, and consumers could purchase just about anything with the click of a mouse. While the concept was revolutionary, the outcome was often disappointing because products didn’t match expectations.
In 2022 shoppers will be introduced to augmented reality (AR). Buyers will use an app to see 3D models of products before they purchase them. For example, a customer can utilize the app to look at a piece of furniture and physically manipulate a piece of furniture or wall art to see how it will look in the room.
Authentication Without Passwords
Forgetting and resetting passwords will prove to be a thing of the past in 2022. Society will make a shift towards tokens, mobile devices, and biometrics. Moving away from passwords will enhance security and end phishing and other types of hacking.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) may sound like science fiction, but these innovations are slowly becoming part of daily life and a trend that will persevere in 2022. Ride-sharing apps, speech recognition, navigation apps, and smartphone personal assistants are all examples of AI gaining momentum in today’s market.
Health services are using AI improvements to predict hospital use. With the help of AI, hospital staff can collect data in real-time and break it down to give users information about consumer behaviour. Additionally, this technology can be utilized to control infectious disease, provide personal recommendations, fight disinformation, and enhance cyber security.
For those unfamiliar, machine learning is an application that takes data and changes, grows, and learns from it. There are two types of ML – supervised and unsupervised. ML will continue to be used across many industries, creating a significant demand for skilled ML professionals.
Experts predict that the growth in the machine learning market will reach $8.81 billion this year, making it one of the top technologies of 2022.
Expansion of 5G-6G
Internet connectivity will remain vital for businesses that employ remote workers in 2022. The number of people using the internet at the end of this year will be almost 5 billion, exposing a need for faster-than-ever internet services.
Although 5G is barely out of the starting gate tech-wise, China and the United States have been researching 6G since 2018.
MOOCS Will Continue to Grow
MOOC (Massively Online Open Courses) will continue to gain steam and popularity. As the cost of traditional colleges increases, high school and mature students are reconsidering the value of post-secondary education. Each year, 70% of students who finish college do so, with an average of $30,000 in student debt to pay off.
MOOCs are transforming education by giving people the opportunity to study college courses at little to no cost. These open courses offer students the chance to learn new information, improve their skills, and in some cases, obtain certifications in specialized areas. Because they’re conducted entirely online, offering a great deal of schedule flexibility.
Domestic Robots Will Help Around the Home
People have been using domestic robots for some time, but in 2022 there will be a marked increase in the frequency of use.
Amazon’s Astro is a prime example of a domestic robot. It is Alexa on wheels and will roam around the house checking on loved ones and pets using its cameras and front displays. Astro will recognize its owners and perform tasks like finding one of its people when a video or audio call comes in. The robot can also be connected to security services and use its cameras to enhance home protection.
Year after year, technology intended to enhance human life is developed. Domestic robots, smart home technology, AI-enabled personal assistants, innovations in online shopping, etc., are just a few examples of tech that has helped make life easier and more enjoyable. One other notable contributor to today’s tech landscape is human augmentation technology.
Human augmentation takes technology, like artificial intelligence and the internet, to improve human life. The intention is to take human intelligence to the next level now.
Bionics and prosthetic augmentation have made significant strides in assisting people living with disabilities. Experimenting with genes has helped to cure illnesses previously thought incurable. But now, the race is on to end existing physical disabilities and prevent illnesses from developing at all.
Companies such as Neuralink are even working on creating a brain-machine interface capable of processing the massive amount of data from the human brain.
Technology continues to pick up speed, and despite some of the challenges that 2021 presented, it appears to be full steam ahead. Technology is now woven into human existence from the inane to the seemingly miraculous. It is truly an epic time to be alive.