Following a year in which the phrases WFH (work from home) and metaverse became instantly familiar to a large number of people, 2022 will see a fresh set of technology advances.
Here are some examples of how technology may impact people’s lives in the coming year:
Thanks in part to Beyond Meat and Impossible Food plant-based products that come significantly closer to the texture and flavor of beef or pork, meat alternatives have grown more widespread in a growing number of US households.
Concerns about the environment have boosted demand as products have improved and prices have fallen. According to UN data, raising animals for food accounts for 14.5 percent of human-linked greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a report from Research and Markets, the global market for plant-based meats is estimated to be worth $35 billion (approximately Rs. 2,62,270 crore) in 2027, up from $13.5 billion (about Rs. 1,01,160 crore) in 2020, thanks in part to expansion beyond the United States.
“Food made from plant-based proteins will be the crowning year of 2022,” said David Bchiri, president of US consulting firm Fabernovel. “The items are mature and of high quality. They’re on their way to becoming mainstream.”
‘Web 3.0’ and crypto
The first phase of the Internet was the construction of websites and blogs, which allowed companies like Yahoo, eBay, and Amazon to arise.
Web 2.0, which was defined by social media and user-generated content on sites like Facebook and YouTube, was the next iteration.
“They acquire the money and control it, then they let you on their platform,” Benedict Evans, an independent Silicon Valley observer, summarized.
Is Web 3.0 on the way?
According to Evans on his “Another Podcast,” “users, producers, and developers would have stakes and votes” in a platform in this iteration, similar to how a cooperative operates.
Blockchain technology, which allows computer programs to operate on networks of thousands or millions of computers, could enable such a momentous breakthrough.
So far, blockchain has permitted the growth of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and, more recently, the creation of NFTs, which are unique digital items such as drawings or animations.
“We talk a lot about decentralised finance,” said Bchiri of consultancy firm Fabernovel, “but I believe that in 2022, we will see more localized use cases that will enter everyday life.”
As the value of extremely volatile digital currencies such as bitcoin has reached new highs in 2021, a wide spectrum of participants have entered the game, including Miami and New York versions.
Ransomware is all over the place.
In 2021, the surge in ransomware assaults and data leaks is expected to continue throughout the following year. Cyber-extortion heists get access to a victim’s network, encrypt data, and then demand a ransom, which is usually paid in cryptocurrency.
A number of variables have fueled the trend, including the soaring value of cryptocurrency, victims’ willingness to pay, and authorities’ difficulty arresting criminals.
“With 495 million ransomware attacks logged by the company this year to date, 2021 will be the most costly and dangerous year on record,” cybersecurity firm SonicWall wrote in late October.
“Ransomware is in the forefront of my and my colleagues’ minds as we look forward to 2022. It’s simply too profitable “Sandra Joyce, executive vice president and head of global intelligence at cybersecurity firm Mandiant, wrote about it in a blog post.
Big Tech regulation?
It’s difficult to predict whether Big Tech will face big new regulations in 2022, but a series of regulatory and legal threats launched in 2021 will spark massive conflicts.
The Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook poses a significant threat to the social media behemoth in the United States, despite the fact that the case has previously been dismissed by a court.
In the aftermath of the bombshell whistleblower revelations proving Facebook officials knew its sites might cause harm, further lawsuits and a federal inquiry — and perhaps even new laws — are possible. Some opponents believe the company’s main endeavor to realize the metaverse — a virtual reality version of the Internet — is an attempt to shift the focus after years of criticism.
In 2021, Apple escaped a bullet when a US federal judge ruled that Epic Games’ Fornite failed to establish the iPhone giant had an illegal monopoly, but the company was nevertheless forced to reduce its grip on its App Store. Both parties have filed appeals.
As the EU pushes through new rules, such as the Digital Services Act, which would impose considerably greater control of harmful and unlawful content on platforms like Facebook, new regulations may arrive sooner.