Key technology trends that will shape 2022 and beyond – The Times of India Blog

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Madhav Sheth, CEO-realme India, VP – realme and President – realme International Business Group.
A lot has changed in the last two years – from how we communicate to how we perceive work. The acceleration of the adoption of digital technologies due to the pandemic has led to an increase in streamlining operations with connected technologies and automation, resulting in greater speed, less waste, and more focus on making the lifestyles of the end consumer more seamless. As the digitization and virtualization of business and society continue to accelerate, let’s take a look at a few key technology trends that shaped the year and the outlook for 2022.
AIoT gaining momentum
Even before the pandemic, the two trends that were dominating the technology industry were the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). But as the world progressed towards rapid digitization, industrial automation, these two technologies became more than just buzzwords. The convergence of IoT and AI started to redefine the future of automation and is set to lead the connected consumer revolution. With AI and Machine Learning (ML) being used to make IoT devices smarter and secure, by 2022, over 80% of IoT initiatives will use AI and ML. From fitness trackers to health monitors, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality gadgets that employ AIoT, such as smart wearables, smart speakers, wireless earphones will connect to your environment and respond to various scenarios based on the data they collect. The future AIoT platforms are going to enable intelligent devices. Combined with 5G communication technology, the AIoT sector is bound to show extensive application needs.
Rise of intelligent TWS earphones
Despite the pandemic, the global TWS (True Wireless Stereo Headset) market grew 78% year on year and was expected to grow 33% year-on-year in 2021, reaching 310 million units. The rise from work from home as well as increased dependency on smartphones for entertainment/ gaming/ content consumption has exponentially raised the demand for TWS earbuds – setting a massive transformation in the personal audio space. Moreover, with the increasing maturity of AI and ML technology, there is an opportunity for a more audible and richer audio experience. Also, AI-powered TWS may be able to reduce power consumption, along with noise reduction, which is the next direction of TWS Bluetooth earbuds. And with the widespread application of ML sensors, improved analysis, and accurate environmental noise detection, it will become possible for TWS earbuds to realize functions like exercise, meetings, and physical health judgment as well.
Demand for 5G
5G adoption is widely expected to outpace 4G next year. 5G is what will set a foundation for the intelligent, connected environment; not due to its superior speed advantage over 4G but its reliability and low latency – opening up vast new applications and use cases. While a lot of companies have already introduced 5G capable smartphones and devices, the semiconductor industry is the most to benefit. However, tapping into that potential will require a new way to engage customers, never done before. Regardless of whether technology companies are riding the 5G wave or not, it will reshape the high-tech and mobility landscapes over the next decade, and it’s the right time to prepare for a sharp demand for 5G enabled products. From faster networks to remote medicare, there is tremendous excitement around 5G, and with these possibilities, the entire value chain will go through an experimentation phase to uncover how value can be added for the customer’s benefit.
Increased security practices
Targeted cyber-crime is on the rise as working from home has become a gateway to new forms of data theft. Cybercriminals attempting to access corporate data and customer details are not the only threat to businesses today, individuals working from home/ remotely are becoming potential weak links in corporate IT security systems. With 60% of organizations expected to use cybersecurity risk as a primary determinant for transactions and business engagements, there is an increased focus on privacy laws, cyber-physical systems, ransomware attacks on individuals, and corporate intellectual property. Moreover, cybersecurity technology combined with AI and ML tools is being developed for addressing specific relevant issues, such as contactless travel. For example, remote identity verification via smartphones, digital passports, and electronic travel authentication using layers of AI security will enable seamless touchless travel. Another trend is of zero-Trust, which means the increase in digital identity proofing tools to verify employee remote logins and devices – giving the remote workforce the least privileged access – the minimum permissions they need to fulfill their function.
Rise of tech designed for remote-work
As a quick response to the pandemic, organizations across the globe implemented work-from-home, and have been surprised by its success. Remote work is here to stay as companies across the globe adopt a ‘hybrid work culture. While the world retrofitted tech from the pre-pandemic era to fit their needs, 2022 will see technology leaders innovate to achieve continuous business success and support employee productivity using technology designed specifically for hybrid/ remote work. For example, ramping up/ innovating battery performance is key to an ‘untethered’ experience when it comes to remote work. It allows devices to last longer and charge faster, driving a seamless and sustainable device experience. Moreover, like the rise of TWS, people in a remote work environment want to have a ‘hands-free’ and touchless computing/ mobile experience. 2022 may see technology being driven in that direction with AI and connected device advancements.
While current IoT systems have been designed and developed to be a reactive tool – spin into action after an event has happened, Artificial Intelligence of Things’ power lies in being a proactive tool that can study and detect events, providing predictive actions that can vastly impact consumer lifestyle – become more seamless. The future lies in its convergence, as AIoT will affect every industry vertical in 2022 and beyond.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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