As we’re heading towards a post-coronavirus era, when the healthcare crisis is over, we’re facing an undisputed truth: business models and consumers will never be the same. Once people got used to remote and digital, their expectations adjusted, and they see no turning back. The main subjects the press will discuss in 2022 will be sustainable practices, charity projects, and digital nomads. The pandemic experience will cause rapid changes in business and technology.
Understanding what trends will drive growth in the business sector can help organizations strive. Looking forward to 2022, businesses should re-calibrate operations on the following trends.
1. Self-driving innovation
The business sector will experience progress in autonomous driving tech in 2022. Automakers like Honda have already announced that they intend to mass-produce self-driving vehicles. Tesla technology has already reached another level with its autopilot learning to control the car’s movement on the lane, recognize road signs and traffic signals, and automatically rebuild when necessary.
Ford also joins the self-driving trend – expecting to bring on the market a self-driving car-sharing service in 2022. They predict customers will be able to purchase the machines in 2026. Mercedes-Benz also intends to incorporate more autonomous driving technologies into vehicles in the future. For instance, it wants to add the Super Cruise autopilot functionality to 22 car models by 2023. Due to the competitive edge this kind of technology would bring, other automakers are also expected to invest resources in startups in the self-driving tech area.
2. Extended reality – augmented and virtual reality
Extended reality tools are making their way into sectors like business, healthcare, entertainment, and education. The healthcare crisis has escalated healthcare applications like remote surgeries that include self-serve options. Nowadays, extended reality offers patients the chance to have an eye exam with the assistance of high-resolution cameras.
The industrial and commercial applications of virtual and augmented reality are endless. Many organizations have already included augmented reality technology in their processes to improve customer service and training.
The pandemic forced many employees to switch to telecommuting, and VR and AR can help them work together and communicate. Remote assistants, AR navigation, AR avatars, mobile AR, AR in the cloud, AI integration into virtual and augmented reality, and facial expression and eye-tracking recognition technology will be prevalent in 2022.
The organizations expected to support AR and VR popularization are Scanta, Microsoft, RealWorld One, Groove Jones, Gramercy Tech, and other companies.
3. Development of 5G infrastructure
The transition to intelligent city systems and homes and the demand for high-speed internet connectivity have triggered 5G-6G technologies. The following year, many organizations will invest in creating infrastructure on their basis to support updated applications and utilities.
Several carriers already use 5G technology. Australia, for instance, built the 5G infrastructure before the pandemic, and during the last months, it found it of great use. The American brand Verizon announced that it intends to expand the 5G network to colossal levels starting with October 2020. The leader in the 5G revolution is the Swedish corporation Ericsson, but many other telecom operators are investing time and resources into developing technology and infrastructure to support 5G services. Thanks to 5G, other services also evolve. For example, the Internet of Things and drones rely on it to communicate with onboard devices.
The further development of 5G and 6G is expected to improve smart cities worldwide in 2022.
4. Expansion of telemedicine
Even if one thinks everyone focuses on reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the healthcare sector, experts handle many other issues. Most public and private clinics have started to offer telemedicine services to serve patients with all kinds of healthcare needs. For example, the victims of workplace accidents can now contact their doctors via video chat and use artificial intelligence-based systems to diagnose their health issues. The patients who work with legal service experts like How to Sue know that it’s crucial to seek medical help for their injuries to get compensation. They have the option to use AI medical systems to have their treatment and medicine delivered contactless.
The number of people switching to telemedicine has increased from pre-pandemic levels, and specialists expect the number to grow further.
Besides the expansion of telemedicine, we also expect to hear news from fields like artificial intelligence and biotechnology in 2022. Machine learning can be used to create robots and handle administrative work and diagnostics in the healthcare sector.
5. Contactless delivery
The popularity of contactless delivery has grown over the last year as people search for ways to minimize physical contact. Companies like Instacart, Postmates, and DoorDash offer contactless delivery in the USA. Uber Eats has expanded the reach of contactless delivery worldwide and has plans to further develop it in 2022.
Meituan was the first company to offer this kind of service in China. It uses drones to deliver groceries to buyers. China is the first country to pay attention to the benefits a drone-based service could provide in the current situation. American companies prefer to use AI-powered applications and robotics to tackle this issue.
6. Remote work becomes the new reality
The pandemic has triggered a soaring rise in the popularity of video conferencing and telecommuting. Even if some people still struggle to accommodate the changes, the trend will go even stronger in 2022.
Zoom has become the symbol of the pandemic. Even if the company was launched in 2011, it didn’t reach significant success until the pandemic, when companies turned to it to support their remote operations. Other video calling services that also helped during the pandemic were GoToMeeting, Teams from Microsoft, Webex from Cisco, Google Hangouts, and BlueJeans from Verizon.
Besides the above, established services, some newcomers also gained popularity among remote workers. Startups like Tandem, Eloops, Slab, Figma, and Blueescape have also created services that facilitate collaboration. Their features make it easier to create and share content, track project evolution, communicate, organize virtual team buildings, and train workers.
Business and technological trends in 2022 will be the logical continuation of the last two years because the impact of the pandemic won’t change over the following year.