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Tech Trends To Watch In 2022

24 January 2022 •

By: Aidan Technology

It’s undeniable that every industry has been forced to swiftly adapt given these unprecedented times. The technology industry has been at the forefront of this change, in many instances, providing the capabilities to enable individuals, businesses and industries to adapt. (Think e-commerce to video conferencing and imagine where we’d be without it!)

One of the main trends that have emerged throughout this pandemic is the blurring of lines between our real and virtual world(s). With technology becoming more and more the focal point of our daily lives, in many cases enabling most of what we do, it should come as no surprise tech giants and other players in the industry are seeking to exploit exactly that.

While we certainly expect tech companies to provide us with the next iterations in consumer products (cell phones, wearables, TVs, etc.) and having already seen some pretty cool concepts (a colour changing BMW showcased at CES earlier this year).

BMW Colour Changing Car.jpeg

Image source: BMW via

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect about technology in 2022 will not be the tech itself, but rather the shift in psychology around tech and how our perception of technology is changing. Below is what we expect – or in most cases, hope – to see.

A race to the Metaverse

“Metaverse” is one of the hottest buzzwords floating around the internet at the moment. The metaverse is a concept from science fiction that many envision as the successor of the internet, or at least the next iteration thereof.

At its core, the metaverse is a collection of online environments that allow for social interaction that is more immersive than a traditional website. These spaces typically comprise a connection of virtual three-dimensional worlds through which one would interact either via a virtual reality (VR) headset, or through controlling your avatar as if it were within a video game. Think of science fiction films Snow Crash (1992) and Ready Player One (2011); a combination of virtual reality and a massive multiplayer online game.

The recent pandemic has forced human beings to be far more isolated than before. This has seen a pronounced increase in online interactions. Connection and interaction with colleagues, friends and family has been largely facilitated through social media platforms, chat applications and video conferencing. As a result, some believe that there is a demand for online spaces where online interactions can be more multi-dimensional and lifelike, allowing individuals to immerse themselves in digital content rather than just simply viewing it. Companies like Meta (previously known as Facebook) aim to make this extended reality a place for online activities that include work, studying, playing, exercise and even shopping. Think in-game purchases where gamers purchase virtual goods and services. These purchases in the metaverse, however, would enhance your avatar – perhaps a virtual item of clothing or your experience overall, like attending a virtual concert.


Image source: Unit 2 Game Limited via Venture Beats

Presently however, it's nowhere near a reality. In fact, it doesn’t even exist! 2022 will therefore likely be the year that lays the groundwork for the metaverse, rather than the year of mainstream adoption. It is also likely to be a “race into the metaverse” with the large tech companies developing their own VR and (or) AR headsets and operating systems to facilitate and (or) enable the concept of the metaverse.

How NFTs highlight the story of human psychology

The first tweet ever Tweeted, “just setting up my twttr” by its CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey was purchased for $2 915 835.47 in early 2021. A JPG file made by Mike Winkelman, also known as Beeple, was sold for $63,9 million in the same month. Why on earth would you purchase something you can easily access and view for so much money?


Image source: Jack Dorsey’s Twitter Account via Live Auctioneers

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a major buzzword on the internet right now. Without delving into what these NFTs are, “non-fungible” essentially means that it’s unique and can’t be replaced with something else and is anything digital (drawings, images, music etc.). Much of the excitement around NFTs involves using this tech to sell digital art and seeing NFTs as an evolution of fine art collecting, only in the digital realm.

As soon as humans have enough abundance to have their basic needs met, the next frontier is to create value in things that have no inherent value. Think about the art industry, the hype created by a number of individuals deeming a piece of canvas with paint valuable is turned into value. NFTs seem to highlight and leverage the human psychology of how we value things. If an entire group of people validates that something is real and if there is only one of them, we as humans seem to deem it as valuable.

Whether or not you agree with spending 3 million dollars on a tweet or worse, 20 thousand dollars on a Logan Paul video clip, what you should be able to appreciate are how NFTs highlight the story of human psychology and how it is shifting because of our view on technology.

What about Crypto…

Speaking of blockchain driven technologies, cryptocurrencies are perhaps the most volatile topic of discussion at the moment (ironically not because of the volatility in their price)… Throughout history, methods of payment have evolved. Initially, physical items such as gold were used as the value could be determined through its intrinsic properties. Today, the value of currencies is driven by its demand and the ability to stimulate business within and outside an economy. Money has therefore moved away from physical attributes to functional characteristics but still lacks the mobility of digital currencies.


Image source: Unsplash

So could cryptocurrency be the next iteration of currencies? Despite countries considering making it a legal tender and financial institutions incorporating them within their investment portfolios, cryptocurrencies are renowned for their notoriously high carbon footprint. The power required to execute the algorithms to “mine” Bitcoin is roughly equivalent to the power consumed by all of Argentina!

Whether Apple’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 and waste, or Europe's proposal to ban fossil-fuel based cars by 2035, there is a growing trend towards sustainability and creating technology that not only adheres to regulations but helps to facilitate it.

Perhaps the need to make cryptocurrencies mainstream will accelerate research into renewable energy, ultimately reducing its carbon footprint and making it more feasible in future. Until then, however, we may have to accept that the closest cryptocurrencies will come to mainstream is through individuals like Elon Musk tweeting about them, skyrocketing the price and melting down the internet.

Cyber Security Concerns And The Impact On AI

Trust is a vital component in the dynamic between a company and its customers, but it's even more critical when we are speaking about data. The noise around data privacy, or lack thereof, is seemingly persistent, AI whistleblowers and security breaches seem to be far more frequent; in short, companies are losing the trust of the people. It’s therefore easy to understand why people are often sceptical about sharing their data with companies.

Cyber security.jpeg

Companies, however, need our buy-in and data. Smart assistants, smart home devices, wearable technology and virtual reality are all reliant on personal data to improve and evolve. If we as customers don’t participate, the technology can get stuck in the “my voice assistant still doesn’t understand me” phase which is neither beneficial to you or the company.

It is therefore evident that a lack of trust is detrimental to both parties. While much work is still to be done for companies to regain lost trust, initiatives such as partial anonymisation of data, removing bias from AI systems and prioritising data security is a good first step.

All things considered, 2022 promises to be an exciting and interesting year in the tech realm. The year may in many ways be a “hurry up and wait” year with any of the big tech developments taking time to catch up to their hype.

While these companies provide the tech to facilitate most of what we do, it is important to realise that we as consumers have a responsibility to hold them accountable. Whether reducing their carbon footprint or regaining trust regarding all things data related, it’s no longer a nice to have, but a necessity. If companies can jump at the opportunity to create technology to facilitate our shift in psychology, they can certainly do their part to contribute towards sustainability and privacy too.

For now though, these are the things we expect – or in most cases, hope – to see.

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24 January 2022
By: Aidan

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