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Every year, the technology landscape evolves one step further, introducing new concepts for how we live and work. Lately, the pace at which new innovations have emerged into the business and consumer space has accelerated. Experts believe the pandemic and the challenges it posed increased our rate of digital transformation by at least 7 years.
In 2022, we’ve seen the introduction of new realities through XR technology, incredible computing capabilities, and ever-more intelligent tools for business processes and automation. Understanding the benefits of each new emerging technology can help companies to determine whether they should be investing in modern ways to upgrade their business.
Here are some of the most powerful emerging technology trends of this year, and an insight into the impact they’ve had on our world.
Considered one of the most significant emerging technology trends of recent years, Hyperautomation refers to the next level of the automation landscape. Championed by analysts like Gartner, hyperautomation involves companies consistently searching for new ways to enhance their processes with automated technology.
More than just a method for combining various different forms of automation, hyperautomation requires the convergence of various technologies and tools. For companies to successfully embrace hyperautomation, they need to evaluate everything from artificial intelligence and machine learning practices to Robotic Process Automation, and “Integration Platforms as a Service”. Gartner also believes hyperautomation will involve the use of more no-code and low-code platforms.
The evolution of computing power, and what we can do with digital devices is set to continue growing at a phenomenal rate. We’re living in a world where cloud infrastructure is often the basis behind most business technology stacks, allowing for rapid innovation and scalability. We’re also seeing a growing push towards better networking tools, like 5G, and even 6G. This will mean the technology in our phones, cars and wearable devices will evolve.
Within the computing power trend, is an emerging demand for “Quantum computing”, the ability to process information represented by special quantum states. Via quantum computing, machines can handle information at a much faster and more productive level. This could lead to computing power trillions of times more significant than what we have today.
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence has stood as one of the most significant emerging technology trends for a number of years now. However, as digital transformation accelerates, and machines become more adept at teaching themselves, the possibilities of AI are evolving. We now have machines capable of recognising objects and images from videos and pictures.
We’re also seeing an increase in the number of machines capable of reading intent, sentiment, and other complex information from consumer conversations. Conversational intelligence has taken the world by storm in the last year, with many organisations embracing chatbots, virtual assistants, and machines powered by human speech.
The concept of “new realities” in the digital world isn’t entirely new, but XR is going through an important transformational period right now, wherein adoption is accelerating. Extended Reality is quickly becoming a table-stakes investment for many business leaders, giving them the power to connect teams, collaborate, and innovate more effectively. XR includes virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality – all of which have phenomenal benefits for companies.
Throughout 2022, many leading brands like Apple and Microsoft have increased their investments into the extended reality space, introducing new software and hardware solutions. Extended reality devices are also an important concept to the rise of the Metaverse, and the creation of new digital environments for customer and employee experience.
Digital twins, IoT, and the use of intelligent connected devices have become increasingly important to certain industries around the world. “Smart” solutions have long had a place in the manufacturing and engineering sector, but they’re beginning to enter the retail, automotive, and utilities environment too. We’re also seeing progress towards the creation of more “smart spaces”.
A smart space is a digital or physical environment enhanced by interconnected systems, tools, and sensors, designed to give users better insights and guidance. One example of a “Smart space” is a smart city, which offers access to vital information about traffic, citizens, weather, and more to government officials and service providers.
Perhaps one of the most exciting concepts in the technology landscape right now, the Metaverse is something many business leaders don’t fully understand, but are keen to embrace. The Metaverse essentially refers to a “next generation” internet experience, where communities, economies, and experiences can be built and consumed in a decentralised digital world.
The metaverse is strongly connected to a range of other emerging technologies in 2022, such as artificial intelligence, extended reality, the blockchain, and the rise of Web 3.0. Experts believe the Metaverse will have a distinct impact on the way companies train their employees, help staff members interact, and even connect with consumers in a digital landscape.
Low-Code and No-Code Software
As companies from all over the world continue to face growing pressure to digitally transform and adapt, there’s a growing demand for easily accessible software solutions. A lack of development and programming talent in the current world mean organisations need a fast-paced way to implement tools and automated workflows into their company. No-code, and low-code software helps with this.
These tools are designed to provide businesses with easy-to-use environments where they can build their own applications and services without technical knowledge. The rise of this kind of software will also lead to the creation of new “citizen developers” in the business world- employees who have the freedom to create technical solutions to their own issues without assistance.
In 2020, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to the scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, for their work in genome editing. The world of genomics and gene editing has grown increasingly important in 2022, thanks to the ability of these tools to help us modify crops, eradicate diseases, and even develop new vaccinations for emerging pandemics.
Going forward, evolutions in nanotechnology will give us access to new materials and tools for editing genetics on a deeper level. With these tools, we’ll be able to create better batteries, self-cleaning fabrics, and self-repairing paints for all kinds of use cases.
As cyber security issues continue to evolve, various new solutions are emerging to tackle the threats facing today’s businesses and consumers. AI tools have appeared to help identify users based on biometric data like scans and voice printing. There’s also a growing demand for new forms of data encryption, such as Homomorphic encryption. This is a computing solution capable of performing computations and evaluations of encrypted data without having to decrypt the information first.
With homomorphic encryption, companies can work with encrypted information, without putting privacy at risk, or damaging compliance policies. Already, companies are beginning to implement this new solution. For instance, the Microsoft Azure Open source library “SEAL” enables certain forms of computation from encrypted data.
The Blockchain is another trending technology which has begun to capture attention in recent years. This solution is set to increase in popularity this year and in the years ahead, as a result of impending concepts like the Metaverse and Non-Fungible Tokens. While many people associate the blockchain with cryptocurrency, it can also be a valuable tool for security and compliance.
Blockchain technologies like distributed ledgers and smart contracts can transform the way countless businesses connect with consumers and complete transactions. What’s more, NFTs will give organisations more way of connecting with their followers. Various major brands like Nike and Coca-Cola have already begun minting their own NFTs on the Blockchain.
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