Here we are in a bright and shiny new year. Let’s see what this one could bring.
– I’ll start with virtual reality. The past year has been slow and gradual until the end. Facebook announced Meta and it seemed to excite current venture capitalists and VR makers, and sparked new vigor in the market. The term metaverse came out of the tongue and almost unnoticed, we saw the emergence of the Chinese society IQiYi. They released software and their Adventure 3 VR products that looked a lot like Quest 2, even with the name. Their price is closer to $ 500 (16,600 baht), which makes it lower than the Quest 2, but it’s only available in China at the moment. They have another model that comes in at a very low price of $ 250. Their advertising and sales pitch is almost identical to the Facebook ad. It will be something to watch out for until 2022.
– As the world emerges from blockages and the inability to physically cross borders, 2022 will see a wake-up call. If allowed, Covid will disappear this year and soon. If the vaccine craze continues, it could force a new escaped mutation that could be far more damaging, fingers crossed. With the demise of Covid, travel will return, investment will increase, and the IT industry will recover. This will see the chip shortage go away and by the end of the year things will be back to normal.
– There will always be efforts to move towards better artificial intelligence, but I see this as an incremental process with no conscious devices on the horizon. This may be the year 3D printers will be more widely available and appear in more homes. Same as usual for battery technology. The graphene surge didn’t come as expected, maybe this year will be better. Slightly bigger, better, and cheaper screens, everything else having a little more capacity. 2TB USB drives will be the new normal, but I’m seeing fewer and fewer people worrying about hardware technology, favoring cloud storage and facilities like Dropbox instead.
– This is also the year people start to take a closer look at implants and interfaces like Elon Musk’s Neuralink. I think more than one will have this in mind before the end of the year and other manufacturers will get involved. I would be wary of any Chinese option … I’m just saying.
– Cryptocurrency will take a big leap forward this year. Not so much in the personal investment market, but more with countries implementing e-money options that will eventually allow them to control the flow of money within their borders. It will be a few years before this becomes mainstream, but expect to see more countries telling their people and banking systems. I would also be wary that some countries will have back doors in such implementations as they will be the sole controllers of the technology. A cryptocurrency like Ethereum works because it is based on a larger audience and across the country and has an agreed set of rules on how it works. To expect a country not to have full control over its own versions is naive at best.
– Smartphones will continue to arrive throughout the year with the usual hopscotch of big players like Huawei, Samsung and Apple. Aside from exotic options like the ones on offer for the Elon Musk Pi concept phone, I’m not sure what else they can add to the current feature set. Slightly better lenses and photo processing. Sure. More memory and better battery life thanks to components requiring less power. Sure. Better screen, lighter weight and interface updates are guaranteed. Some amazing new features would be great, but I’m not expecting anything. I wonder if, like in some smartwatches, one or two models will take the blood pressure.
– I expect the business world to reorganize where the new normal is sometimes working from home, sometimes in the office. This will depend in part on the culture of the country and the organization, but it will have an impact on the need for office space.
– I expect manufacturers to add more robotic lines to their chains. Having been shown that people can be taken out of the equation without warning, some will want to remove or mitigate this risk as much as possible. Marketers will continue to promote the concept of big data, but organizations in general still won’t really know what it all means, let alone how to implement it properly. It will always be the year of the cloud but I think there will be a major hack this year that will temper this crazy offsite rush. The Internet of Things, or IoT, will remain a mishmash of components that don’t work well together and are prone to security concerns because there are too many individual interests in the mix. I expect the social media giants to finally start to go their separate ways somehow as alternatives like Rumble, a site popular with American conservatives, gain popularity.
– I wish all my readers a happy new year 2022.