It’s that time of year again, the time to look back on the last year and to dive into what this next year has in store. As we all know, the past few years have been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has shaped the global business and social systems and has pushed the need for remote first technology. IT leaders and companies worked tirelessly over the past few years to shift people and industries to the cloud to ensure business continuity for a remote workforce. The focus on safe and secure remote options are expected to pick up in 2022 and beyond. What else can we expect to see in 2022?
The Metaverse Will Take Center Stage
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Facebook rebranded in 2021 to become “Meta”. Facebook describes the metaverse as “the next evolution of social connection”. Ultimately, the metaverse is a digital reality space that combines social media, online gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, and cryptocurrencies to allow virtual user interaction. The metaverse may refer to anything on the internet, including anything that is seen as augmented reality. The virtual space of the future describes the metaverse, providing access to all kinds of entertainment and projects, including the opportunity to work.
2022 will be a “race into the metaverse” as large tech companies wrestle for slices of an emerging market, according to the CEO of VRdirect. Currently, only Meta offers virtual reality headsets, but soon Google, Microsoft, and Apple may introduce their own headsets and operating systems for the metaverse, like their equivalents for PCs and smartphones. Startups are also racing to build their own augmented and virtual reality headsets, and many are eager to make their mark on the metaverse.
As for the day-to-day person, their first steps into the metaverse will probably be for their jobs. As previously discussed, the pandemic has pushed companies toward virtual reality for onboarding, training, and meetings. The idea behind the metaverse at work is that by using VR headsets as well as augmented reality and other technology, businesses and organizations will be able to simulate a work environment that allows for virtual meetings and office spaces. In theory, this will allow businesses to cut down on office costs, hire employees that live further away, and accomplish more through the working day.
As the metaverse grows in 2022, expect it to have a direct impact on the future of many technology sectors. Include gaming, wearables, virtual reality and augmented reality, consumer tech products, social networks, educational technology, health technology, communication technology, digital currencies, and much more!
The Internet of Things (IoT) Will Come to a Home Near You
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a trend that is driving the ongoing digitization of society in many new and amazing ways. IoT has seen incredible growth in a relatively short period. Despite being fairly new, smart devices are everywhere in commercial and consumer circles, and they show no signs of stopping. Predictions are that in 2022, there will be around 29 billion IoT devices connected to the internet globally. These IoT devices include smart speakers, connected lightbulbs, and smart thermostats to name a few.
What we are seeing is that the list of IoT-connected home devices has exploded in the past few years. 2022 will be the year of smart homes. Entering your home with items like smart doorbells and locks, turning on your smart lights and music, and even checking your groceries with smart refrigerators will all be the norm in 2022.
Connecting these devices and having them all play nice with one another, regardless of who made them or what virtual assistant you want to use when interacting with them is something new for 2022. Currently, when you’re choosing a smart-home-connected device, you have to look at what ecosystem it works with. A solution by the name of Matter has come onto the scene to fix this problem. This industry–unifying standard is a promise of reliable, secure connectivity. It is a seal of approval that devices will work seamlessly together – today and tomorrow. Matter creates more connections between more objects, simplifies development for manufacturers, and increases compatibility for consumers. This could be a game-changer for the IoT and smart home devices.
Remote Work Continues to Reign
As mentioned earlier, Remote/hybrid working is here to stay and companies will increasingly embrace it as ensuring business continuity in uncertain times, boosting staff happiness, providing a wider talent pool, reducing costs, and more.
According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index forecast update for 2018, there will be 1.4 billion more people using the internet by 2022, compared with 3.4 billion users in 2017. This equates to almost 60 percent of the global population, assuming a population of eight billion by 2022.
Smart companies will either maintain or downsize physical offices and invest more in making spaces intelligent for a reduced number of occupants. This could mean the ability to book workspaces/rooms, automate temperature checks, increase security, and reduce the energy consumption of unoccupied spaces.
By the end of 2021, the number of available permanent remote positions doubled from 9 percent to 18 percent. That could increase to 25 percent by 2022. With that in mind, more companies are likely to make digital twins of their office spaces and dip their toes into shifting operations into the metaverse.
What Does This Mean For You?
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the tech changes headed your way in 2022, you’re not alone. Luckily, Grapevine MSP is here to help. Our company serves small to enterprise businesses throughout the central valley. We are experts in the IT field, and we are here to help you make the best IT decisions for you and your businesses. Our services include proactive IT support, cyber security, infrastructure management, strategic IT consulting services, networking, phone system solutions, 24×7 help desk services, staff augmentation, managed cloud services, and much more. Reach out today to find out how we can help you in 2022.