With the new year just around the corner, business owners and tech enthusiasts are wondering what 2022 will bring in terms of innovations and which IT solutions they should pay attention to. No one likes using outdated platforms when there is a more convenient and efficient alternative, isn’t that true? If you don’t want to lose your current users and are willing to attract new ones, it’s time to peek into top 2022 tech trends: VR, 5G, AI, Quantum Computing, NFT, and No-code software. Let's go!
New ways of entertainment and education: Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is not some out-of-the-way fancy technology anymore. With numerous companies launching VR accessories, like Quest 2 by Meta or PlayStation VR, this technology is becoming more accessible for everyday use. What heats the interest in virtual reality is the rumors about the upcoming Apple headset. And we know how good Apple is at setting trends.
When it comes to mobile apps, VR sets can be easily connected to portable devices. And their use is not limited to gaming as we are used to thinking (even though gaming is and probably will be the prevailing domain for virtual reality technology). Education and workplace training is one more way to make the best of VR for businesses of all sizes.
For example, manufacturing workers can use a virtual reality-aided app to master complex processes and learn new skills online before applying those in real-life settings — no health risks, no equipment damage, lower training cost.
VR simulators can be used for a variety of learning situations, such as:
- Training hard skills for students or new hires. For example, a warehouse worker can learn how to operate a forklift via the app before trying it out.
- Developing soft skills, like interpersonal relations in customer care and workplace dynamics
- Conflict resolution training
- Foreign language practice
- Preparing for emergencies
- Employee evaluation and examination sessions
VR-powered active learning is also a perfect solution for remote learning when in-class sessions are not available due to, well, we all know what.
Faster connection: 5G
The next trend on our list is 5G. By the end of 2021, around 60 countries all over the world have adopted the 5G technology. It is not yet a standard but we can expect 5G to be more accessible in 2022. What does it mean for mobile apps?
We probably don’t have to explain that a new generation of mobile internet means faster and more secure connection with fewer interruptions. As a result, more complex apps will run smoothly on our phones.
Streaming of videos and games with heavy graphics or high resolutions, getting the best of instant cloud-based communication, better GPS service, IoT implementation — all of this is easier with 5G. This generation of telecommunication gives way more freedom to mobile development and lifts the technological limitations met before with 3G and 4G.
More reliable security systems: Artificial Intelligence
Similar to virtual reality, artificial intelligence is a technology that seemed too complex and expensive to implement for smaller-scale businesses. Not anymore. For example, you have probably used chatbots to get some assistance when shopping online. They are no other than AI.
Artificial intelligence is a part of the digital transformation of many companies and its use is not limited to customer service. One of the most important AI use points in 2022 will be cybersecurity. Why?
AI is becoming a popular practice in cybersecurity because businesses and organizations are paying more attention to cybersecurity itself. Many companies shifted online, their whole communication and documentation are via digital platforms. This means more risks around sensitive information.
Artificial intelligence allows identifying potential threats and weak points without a dedicated specialist looking into the system daily. Let’s be honest, a small data breach can cost a lot for the business. Starting with money, finishing with legal consequences. Investing in an AI cybersecurity tool means getting regular automated security scans and receiving alerts 24/7.
More precise programming: Quantum Computing
Quantum computing is drastically different from the way we approach programming now. Instead of analyzing the data in classical bits, quantum computing, as you can guess from its name, uses the quantum mechanics principles and divides data into quantum bits. Let’s not dig into the technical details too much for now but rather discuss the potential of QC for businesses.
It’s fair to say that this technology will likely change the software development industry forever and bring the next generation of solutions, requesting a whole new skill set from the IT specialists as well as a different type of hardware and software.
McKinsey gives 39 points to QC in their tech trend index, indicating that this technology is a cross-cutting and highly industry applicable one. Such giants as Google and Microsoft are already investing in tech stacks for QC. We can expect to see the first quantum computing engineer job ads on LinkedIn in the coming years.
As for the commercial applications, QC means a faster, and most likely quicker software development process, higher cybersecurity level, the democratization of AI services, and lower error rate. Isn’t it what any business would want for their IT operations?
Trading virtually anything: NFT platforms
NFT is probably the most used abbreviation in the digital world over 2021. And let us tell you that it will likely stay this way for at least one more year. The truth is that NFTs changed the way we see the digital economy and trading.
Non-fungible tokens are unique digital items; these can be illustrations, photos, music, or game characters. Well, quite anything. NFTs are sold on specialized marketplaces, like OpenSea, using smart contracts and cryptocurrency payments.
NFTs allow artists to monetize their works with ease — they don’t need managers or offline exhibitions to get the attention they deserve. At the same time, art becomes more available for buyers as they can get works from new artists for a rather low price.
Add the feeling of exclusivity and scarcity, and you can understand where all the hype is coming from. NFTs only started gaining popularity in the second half of 2021, so we can expect more marketplace platforms to appear in 2022.
Creating websites and apps easily: No-code software
Getting a website or an app for your small company is not as big of a challenge as it used to be just a few years ago. In fact, you won’t even need a development team for that. With numerous low-code and no-code platforms, those with no programming skills can create their online hubs.
With many small and medium-sized businesses having to shift online, the need for no-code software has raised. Imagine your bakery chain closing in one day for an indefinite period. Hiring a development team and waiting for at least several weeks for a website is not an option. An owner or manager can spend only several hours creating a simple website listing the services and products so that the company won’t lose its customers.
That’s why such software is getting a wider audience every month. For instance, Squarespace, which is one of the most popular no-code website building software, has gained around one million new users since 2019.
Of course, you should understand that a solution made with a no-code platform is not the same as a custom-developed one. Your clients will probably notice that you are using a template from such a tool. Still, it’s a perfect chance to see if your business needs a website or an app and whether it makes sense to invest in a professionally developed one.
Supporting sustainability: Virtual Fashion
Finally, our last trend is somewhat connected with NFTs, which we have discussed above. Pandemics made us reconsider quite a lot of things, fashion included. When we couldn’t really go outside and show off how cool do we look, the online world became the only place to express ourselves. And that’s why people started buying virtual clothes.
Let’s be honest, quite often we get some clothing items just to take a photo for Instagram and then never wear it in everyday life. Instead, you can buy a digital copy of your dream pair of shoes.
What are some other benefits of virtual fashion?
- Digital clothing items and accessories might be cheaper than the regular ones; it’s a chance to own a luxury item for those who cannot spend more money on the real-life high-end clothing
- You are not supporting fast fashion and creating textile and plastic waste
- Virtual fashion is open to the designer experiments: welcome the unusual forms and textures that do not exist in real life
- Digital clothing is inclusive for people of all sizes and shapes; you don’t have to worry whether an item will fit you or not and focus on the style only
Virtual fashion is especially popular in online gaming. Customizing the characters and changing their clothes is a big part of most gaming experiences, so no wonder that users are willing to spend some extra money on their characters’ appearance.
Staying on top of the tech trends is a way to be relevant for businesses of any size and domain. Be it a small educational startup or an offline organic products delivery service, your users will be grateful for a convenient and modern solution. After all, certain technologies are trending because they are bringing something new to our digital experience and making online interactions easier, so it is worth at least looking into 2022 tech trends.