Tech Trends to Watch in 2022

 

For decades, the world’s eyes have turned to the CES show in Las Vegas for an annual fix on what’s new – and newer than new – in tech. Brands big and small from all corners of the world converge there, hoping to seize the spotlight with new products and set world-changing trends with their latest innovations.

After going online-only in 2021, CES originally was to return as an in-person event in January 2022. Omicron somewhat derailed that plan, with several big names pulling out and two days cut from the programme. Nevertheless, more than 2,000 exhibitors – including Bosch, Intel, LG, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, TCL, et al – remained keen to launch their newest wares and grab the attention of the press and attendees.
 
On the show’s media day, the organizer presented the annual Tech Trends to Watch list – an unusual one for 2022, deeply affected by the extraordinary realities of life, work and play during the pandemic.
 
Below, we present our ‘trends to watch’ picks drawn from the Wall Street Journal and Yahoo! Finance. We await your own thoughts on how they may impact events, marketing and brand activation in the months and years to come.

1. Enhanced vision at home
Now that many of us are spending more time than ever at home, home entertainment has become ripe for refurbishment. At CES, it began with the not-so-humble TV, with plenty of announcements about 8K sets, more content for 4K households, and new OLED and micro LED displays promising image quality superior to LED. Samsung debuted a new battery-free remote that can be recharged with solar energy or a router’s radio waves, and showed off its already-announced ‘The Frame TV’ updated with an anti-reflective matte display.

Naturally, all this new TV tech is interoperable with other elements of the modern smart home – opening the way to making all the domestic conditions just right to make the most of both downtime and working hours.

2. Games get serious
Continuing the entertainment theme, CES offered a torrent of intriguing news for gamers. New gaming PCs and hardware were everywhere, as well as heavy hints of coming attractions using AI, cloud gaming and Omniverse. And gaming certainly isn’t the exclusive pursuit of bedroom-dwelling eternal adolescents anymore – as a sign of just how wide its audience has become, several brands used CES to display gaming options for cars.

3. Charging down the road
Non-gaming vehicle tech was another fixture of CES in 2022, throwing a spotlight on how electric vehicles continue to press their way into the heart of the mainstream market. Manufacturers showed off battery advances that promise faster charging and more kilometres per charge – another step toward making EVs as easy to use and as versatile as their petrol-fuelled equivalents. Notably, American industry giant GM got into the act with a virtual launch of their new Silverado electric pick-up, which boasts an impressive 400-mile range. Competitor Ford announced that its own electric pick-up, the F-150 Lightning, has already racked up almost 200,000 pre-orders before officially going on sale.

4. Metaverse movements
The concept and even some of the practical elements of the metaverse were already in place long before – but it took Facebook Inc’s change of name to Meta Platforms Inc last October to make the metaverse ‘hot’. Now ‘metaverse’ and ‘non-fungible token’ (NFT) are among the most-mentioned terms not only in tech, but in the world of finance.

Visitors to CES caught a glimpse of the metafuture in the form of new VR/AR headsets and even a few actual metaverse platforms. Samsung launched the world’s first TV screen-based NFT explorer, enabling users search for and display NFTs on the big screen. Rumour had it that Apple VR and a mixed reality headset are in store for later this year. Meanwhile, Hyundai revealed a plan to allow customer avatars to test-drive cars in cyberspace, and Samsung touted a new VR home decorating platform.

The metaverse may still be in a mushy, fragmentary form – but it’s got a powerful push behind it.

Sources and further reading:
CES 2022: The biggest trends to expect from the consumer tech conference (Yahoo! Finance, 5 January 2022)
CES 2022: Five Tech Trends to Watch in an Unusual Year (The Wall Street Journal, 4 January 2022)
The Metaverse Prompts High-Stakes Race for Big Tech (WSJ|Video, 3 November 2021)


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